Wednesday, November 08, 2006

BSNL Blunders: My Story

Well after a long time i am posting again. This time i am going to write about the blunder of BSNL in Jharkhand.

To cut the long story short - I applied for a BSNL landline phone on 12th of October 2006. The person at the main office told me that it should take about a week for the phone to get installed. I was a bit surprised, because in Calcutta the BSNL phone takes about a week to be installed. But i was not unduly worried about the wait. The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and finally november came. And with it came the chill of Jharkhand - but no BSNL linesman. So picking up courage, i called upon the regional office which was in charge of installing my phone. The first day i was curtly told that the Officer-in-Charge is on leave and he will come back in a weeks time. So after a week, I again entered the lions den. The lion, i mean the officer in charge was now back in office but was not present in the office. On being asked i was told that the OC has gone on some inspection. After an hour the OC arrived and gave me a patient hearing. Then he asked me to wait. After about 1 hour, he went to his computer, booted it up and downloaded the list of work orders sent by the main office. After going through the list he told me that my work order has not yet come. I requested to be shown the work order list - and lo and behold my name was 7th on the list. After I pointed this out to the OC, he merely shrugged his shoulders and said that within 10 days you should get the installation.

Here i would like to share the peculiar nature of the work order with you. There were a total of 26 work orders. Out of which 21 were for disconnection of BSNL lines, 4 for transfer and only 1 new connection - that is mine.

Well after five days the linesman came and installed the phone. After the installation he asked me for a baksheesk (tip) of Rs. 200/- . When I asked him why was that necessary, he said that i had got the phone within a week whereas other people have to wait for about 6 months. I was aghast! 6 months!! "Yes", said the linesman "Actually now a days we work faster". Anyways the phone has been installed but it has not been activated. God knows how many days it will take for the phone to get activated.

I was just wondering as to why has not BSNL communicated with its line and staff people the importance of competetion. Now a days Airtel, Reliance and Tata Indicom - all provide land line services. And their phones are installed and activated within 24 hours. With such a quick response time from competetors; BSNL service people wonder why people are disconnecting their phones. I guess it is high time BSNL woke up from its slumber and started customer servicing in ernest.

Just to give you a contrast - a friend of mine got a Tata Indicom landline with fax and internet facilities by paying Rs. 1900/- I, on the other hand, made the mistake of patronising the government company and have to shell out a total of Rs. 2200/- (Rs. 2000/- installation charges and Rs. 200/- in Baksheesh) and the phone is not working yet!

Wonder when will BSNL ever learn?