Saturday, August 22, 2009

BSNL - Connecting India?

loooong post ahead. but guess it wont be that boring either :)


Falling in love is always expensive. Especially when it comes to a long distance relationship. Well, I am not here to complain. I am really enjoying every bits and pieces of this love. Today lets talk about how we actually connect ourself. err.. phone conversations alright??

Long distance relationships would mean more phone calls, extended hours on call, more rail/flight/bus tickets and added electricity bills cos of internet usage and late hour sleep :P Yeah yeah i know that all these shouldn't be kept on a count when you are in love. but sweet heart, we are living in a world hit by recession, ain't we?



My phone bills were no exception. i wished Airtel was kind enough to stop sending me bills, but they weren't! I got the bills on time and that was not all, they send me reminder messages and gives me at least two reminder calls before payment due date.
Initially I used to get warning messages right when i enter the last week of every month. The messages declared that I have crossed my credit limit. When I mentioned it to their CS Agent I was assured that it would be rectified. And I see the next month bill - my credit limit has rose from 3.5k to 8.5k! wow, customer service i say!



okies. this post was supposed to be about BSNL! So as you could imagine Airtel was already burning a hole in my pocket. I started the hunt for a mobile service which could give me a cheaper call rate across state borders. I wandered across the terrains of GSM and CDMA. Atlast i reached the valley of BSNL. The roads which lead to the door was less used, at least by the crowd i knew. I gave a blind eye to the warning signboards as my eyes were fixed on their rate card.

Okies, so we do have a lot of positive things to be told here. The plan which I took is called the 725 plan. Its a postpaid plan and it gives me the option of selecting one BSNL STD landline number [you know whose number i chose] and all calls made to that number would be free. Further, all local calls made to BSNL landline/WLL/Mobile would be free of cost. The highlight - all STD calls made to BSNL landline/WLL/Mobile phones would be charged ONLY 40 paise per minute. These calls could be made free of cost after 11 pm and before 6 am! wow - wut a plan! How many of you knew such a plan existed? Okies all you souls who are living away from your family/love/friends and who make extensive number of STD calls [to BSNL numbers] could thank me - I have a paypal account :)

alright, now come back to earth. you wana know about the sign boards i ignored initially, don't ya? i checked the tariff online here. When I reached the BSNL customer care centre [yes you have to find out a CC centre and fill a form and give them your beautiful fotograph pinned with your address proof to get hold of that tiny little sim card] they had a tariff card which reflected different set of data. That card was a year old and the person in the counter refused to accept that there was a free call number allowed for this plan.

the person in counter[CR]: "saab aise free calls diye tho sab log yeh plan nahi lethe kya? aaj thak koi nahi aaya aisa bolke"
me: "arrey par aap ka site mein tho likha hein ki ek free call hein aur baaki ke numbers ko 40 paisa hein. "
CR: "aap kuch bhi bol lo saab, aisa kuch plan nahi hein. yeha pe bas yeh plan hein. aapko lena hein tho le lo."

by this time the floor manager came to my rescue. he checked the data i had with me and went to his desk. after a while he was back with a smile.

FM: "sir, this information you got here is right. the tarif we have at the counter is a year old. this data is new. however i see that there is NO free calls on offer. you could make calls to one number at 20 ps per minute compared to others which cost you 40 ps"

I was too tired to argue. I thanked him and took the sim. I had this thought that the people at the help desk would resolve all my issues. They would have access to the latest info, wouldn't they? So I got my sim card and they give you only the card - no pocket book, no cover, no leaflets, nothing. just a card. I was wondering what the Customer care number would be!

The connection took 2 days to get activated [compared to Airtel which takes an hour!] I tried the usual CC numbers - 111, 121, 123 no help! There is always internet for help. So I found out the number from BSNL site and called them from my landline. Note that the new connection is not activated yet and I did not get the number yet. [Airtel gives you a number on spot!]

I selected the language option as ENGLISH and waited for a CSR.

CSR: "cheppandi sir, em kavali" [telugu][tell me sir, what can i do for you]
me: "err, i need some information about plan 725."
CSR: " prepaid sir?"
me: (i never knew prepaid had plan 725!) "no. postpaid"
CSR: "number cheppandi sir" [telugu][tell me the number sir]
me: [still wondering why is he talking in telugu] "i dont have a number. its a new connection."
CRS: "okka nimisham sir" [telugu][one minute sir]
me: "ok" waits for 6 minutes and the call gets disconnected!

Welcome to the superior service of B S N L.

Call # 2:

CSR: "cheppandi sir, em kavali"
me: [not again!!] "i need some information about plan 725."
beep beep beep beep. The call got disconnected. He did not like my tone or my language!

Call # 3:

CSR: "cheppandi sir, em kavali"
me: "can you talk english or hindi please" [i really doubt their IVR system now. its must be getting routed to the wrong place!]
CSR: "okka nisham sir"
CSR 2: "boliye sir"
me: [thank God. National language is any day better] "muje 725 plan ke baare mein jan na hein"
CSR 2: "number boliye sir"
me: "number nahi mila. naya connection hein"
CSR 2: "call rates jan na hein sir?"
me: "ji"
CSR 2: [explains everything] "sir par hum yeh confirm nahi kar sakthe ke aapka f&f (friends and family) number activated hein ya nahi. uske liye aapko pehle bill cycle complete karna padega." [wow, i like gambling!]
me: "okies. thanks"

so here I completes one bill cycle. the happy news is that my f&f number is activated. the bill is quite transparent. no extra charges. they gave me a detailed bill free of cost. i can pay the bill online. the coverage is the best and the clarity is good. Over all BSNL is indeed a good experience BUT you have to forget the fact that there is a service desk!

55 comments:

Meera said...

hehe :D Cool.
BSNL is sure connecting India but not the cutomers with the service desk! :D
And how we enjoy,thanks to bsnl! :)

pinkZz said...

BSNL.. my mom does hav too.. it sucks at tyms !

me haavin airtel... ! luv it..
i can't undrstnd why BSNL doesn't give better facilities.. even if it can provide better network,..
anyways..
enjoy with your BSNL.
tc!

Rane (The Orchid with All Shades Pink) said...

woaaaaaaaaaaaa! it took from one wavelength of emotions to another....lol..and when you started i was actually going to scold you for complaining about your mobile bill...as in..you got it right? it's like asking your wife in a candle lit dinner - 'Kitna khayegi yaar? bill dekha hai? :P

but the way you took the entire post.. woaaa..i am impressed and a big big big bow to you....


Rane

rimz said...

Awww.. nice long post n definitely worth its length..:)
Bsnl's CS really sucks. But in-state here we have a very nice plan Rs.0.05 to ol BSNL n Rs.o.50 ol other. It rocks. N in case of STD i think BSNL gives best connectivity n clarity.
Chalo, ur probs is solved n ur maikin love happily now..:D... All d best..

~PrIncEsS nUcHu~ said...

LOL :D


Good na.. Happy talking with Meera:)

~PrIncEsS nUcHu~ said...

you have been awarded bro..

http://princess-nuchu.blogspot.com

swati said...

BSNL...:( worst network..good fr the basic phone..
Good luck sweets :)
one has to do a lot when one is in love :)ehehe :P aftrall hearing ur loves voice is above everythng :)

usha said...

tell me something new!!
guess what, my mobile num, landline num and internet connection are all bsnl. gosh..
what do i say, its my idea of self torture, i guess. but yeah, you're right, the only thing is that they generally dont give you nasty surprises in their bills, like the rest of the service providers. If you ask me, they have the best technology, and hence the coverage and quality. wish we could say that about their people too!

Pooja said...

lolz...

i can understand ur pain..i got BSNL too! :P

Americanising Desi said...

what a waste on expense ;)

Aparna said...

hey my dad works in BSNL...

he sure wouldn;t like this :P


seems like u had a big trepidition with getting BSNL service

but i dont think any other network provides STD call at as low as 20 paise....i know some provide but they are a lot of hidden charges

BSNL is very transparent as u have pointed out

and i have this powerpack prepaid plan which is excellent for sms'es


source- a BSNL network customer

P.S : what's wrong with my template??

P.P s: u live in hyd and u don't know telugu??

Shravan | ശ്രവണ്‍ said...

agree with the first line :) and bsnl sucks big time.. says they have the greatest customer service range and wow.. u cant even reach a CC officer. and when it comes to call rates, i agree, bsnl is the best.. but am just wondering why they arent providing more quality service? and all i can do is to laugh when i read : last call charge 10 ps message delivered :P sucks.. airtel gives it for free..

and not to mention about bsnl kerala.. they manage to connect kerala with just 3 switching stations, making the texts delayed and calls often not made !

Ashwathy said...

oh my good lord...! i m sure u must have been ready to tear ur hair out in frustration by the end of it! what an experience!

i think each time u compared it to airtel, u must have mentally wished for that connection rite?

Shimmer said...

hmm.. bsnl always caused prob fr me :P

i like airtel prepaid bttr :D

Ria said...

gosh!!is this what u call customer service! Baah!

sawan said...

M, right!! high time they take care of this. :) all said - thnx to bsnl :P

sawan said...

Vedz, me have airtel too :) this bsnl connection has another purpose as u gues :P ant btw airtel is awesome! :)

sawan said...

Kajal, hehehe lol wut a comparison! thnk u ma'am :)

sawan said...

Rimz, thnx grl :) and that offer sure luks attractive. wish we (me & M) were in the same state!!

sawan said...

Princes, thnx swts :)

sawan said...

Nuchu, awwe .. thts so sweet of yaa.. i luvd them all! thnx sweety.

sawan said...

Swati, yeah yeah one has to do a lot :P thnx for the wish swts :P i shall pass it back some day :)

sawan said...

Usha, same pinch!! i have a landline, mobile and net conection frm bsnl :) but till now i hav no complains about the broadband! and for the fone, i have an airtel too :) bsnl has the best resources. but their competetors beat them in one thing. they have money and the people are greedy :)

sawan said...

Pooja, same pinch :) i am so happy tht some one there sis sufering like me! sadist, i know :P

sawan said...

Seher, it got a abenefit as well - in the form of the free call. it sure aint waste of expense. but forget the customer care.

sawan said...

Aparna, i have nothing against BSNL. my dad worked with Indian Telephone Industries. I know the politics in any govt firm and i know why this is happening. stil wen u dnt get wut u deserve, its definitely a pain :) Look at the PYZAM tool bar and codes reflected at the top of ur blog. it cud be removed.

sawan said...

Shravan, agree?? i knew!! enikkappazhe oru pranayathinte manamadichatha :P araane mone kakshi?? :P ter is nothing to wonder - wen BSNL is laging in services, the private firms are benefiting. wen the private firms are benefiting, officials in BSNL are also getting benefited. ofcourse govt wud be at loss - so wut? the usual attitude!!

sawan said...

Ashwathy, u bet! i was about to cancel the connection. but thinking of the call, i gues i cud forget the cc :P i have an airtel too :)

sawan said...

Fahima, I love Airtel postpaid - anyday! :)

sawan said...

Ria, i wish atleast one from the BSNL CC reads this post!

enchantinganki said...

mera pass BSNL hi hai and my uncle is DGM in BSNL....!! :-)

yaha kafi chalta hai ye..many phones free...

gud yaar..itni masahakkat k baad u got the fruit..!!

ab sing: BSNL-BEST HAI MERE LIYE!!
and say thanks to apni Ms. Padukone :-P

bondgal_rulz said...

Baba re!! Kya kya karna padta hai pyaar mein. :P :D

Nice post Sawan. I'm sure the nights would be a tad bit less long with your sweetheart's voice crooning in your ears.

Stay in love
Cheers

Cursed♪♫ said...

I have IDEA. it's really expensive and sometimes they cheat. trust me!!!
I hate it!! *grr*
BSNL is cheap but I guess the coverage is not that good. That's what I've heard!
I'm fine now. Are you crazy to think about me taking injections????? I can't even take a tablet. I cry for hours till mum makes me believe that I can take them. Injections are out of question :p

Lena said...

ummmm... happy talking :P

Scattered Thoughts... said...

All is well when end is well.. no? Even rose has thorns so never mind :)

Shravan | ശ്രവണ്‍ said...

:) kakshi aara ennu pinne parayam let me go write all the exams and come back to the blog's world :) just came in to say that i found a better plan for me, i prefer texts more than calls and look at wht reliance gave me 750 national texts/day at an expence of 3 rs ! means connected 24*7 !(ie after trying out all other gsm providers other than docomo and aircel, switching to docomo soon)

and yes ji, i agree, officials are getting benefited :) so as enchantingganki says, lets sing bsnl best hein mere liye :P

Little Girl Lost said...

all this is so confusing and so scary that i have decided to move in with my boyfriend to eradicate the menace of calls and bills and schemes...

i posted. come and see.

enchantinganki said...

hey,gotta talk to you!!
reach to me on gtalk.. :-)

Dhanya said...

Being in love can cause so many problems no? :P But like you said, it's all worth it :)

workhard said...

Hi

BSNL service sucks.. now u lucky u got docomo...


Make website india

яノςんム said...

rofl!!

i swear i know every bit of this..

long distance love always make ur pockets light :D

thank god, we are both in punjab.. :D
he had an Idea and I had an Airtel so we both opted for TATA CDMA.. voice clarity ultimate and charges are nominal :)

Pri said...

haha...thats the story with idea as well..the service desk ppl are a real pain!
anyways koi nahi.good to know u ultimately have it sorted out now

sawan said...

Anki, thnx to Ms. Padkune anyday. if not BSNL then for something else :P

sawan said...

Isha, nights is as it was wen i was single. she stays with her family :P

sawan said...

Juhi, an IDEA can chage your life! :P injections are any day better, atleast it makes u fine in minutes :)

sawan said...

Lena, danx swts :)

sawan said...

Maheep, one comment as a frnd and not as a manager!! :P wow

sawan said...

Shravan, 750 msgs/ day sure sounds cool, but i am not into messaging. in fact i hate that!! wuts up with docomo?

sawan said...

Amritz, so wen r ya comin here?? i came i saw :P

sawan said...

Anki, i reached i reached :)

sawan said...

Dhanno, it sure is :)

sawan said...

Workhard, i stil wonder wits so spcl with docomo!

sawan said...

Richa, i am sure the voice clarity wud be good enuf :P

sawan said...

Pri, :P an IDEA can change your life!!

workhard said...

Well with docomo, the std charges same as local.. so u might give it a try.. although i must warn u, if u going for prepaid.. they are always out of stock on recharge cards.. but u will find em.. if u really go hunting..