August 26, 2004

You know how...

... the mighty Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited claim, via big ads placed in major papers, that it has a convenient mechanism to address your complaints/billing inquiries/suggestions/ingrown toenails? (OK, not the last). (But the first three, yes).

Indeed. Recent MTNL ads have said that the Minister of Telecom, Shri Dayanidhi Maran, wants to ensure proper response to MTNL customers, and offers these steps to get your problems addressed:

1) Call 198 to complain.

2) If there's no response there, call 1509 toll free to complain.

3) If there's still no response, send email to the Public Grievance cell at the Ministry of Communications,

4) If there's still no response, call Delhi (011) 23356666, or fax (011) 23357777 (both, I shall presume, at your expense).

So my latest bills (2 MTNL phones) both have Rs 100 "reconnection charges" which I believe are wrong. On the bill itself it says, if you have billing inquiries, call your nearest MTNL Quick Customer Service Centre (QCSC). Mine is in Bandra, number 26410111. This number is steadily busy, for days on end, at any time of day. I do get through once, only to be told curtly that I should call 1500 (which I do, only to get a recorded message saying this service is temporarily unavilable -- for 4 days now) or 26428800, which number is constantly busy.

So I decide to exercise the steps in Shri Maran's ad. I call 198 and through an voice menu system, register complaints. Three days, and nobody has called. So I call 1509, only to be told that I should call the QCSC. When I explain that I have been trying to call there without success, I'm told there's no further help available at 1509. So my wife sends email to the address. No response, so she sends it again. Still no response. (Two days).

So now do I pay to call/fax the Delhi numbers, confident by my experience so far that I will get no response and thus will waste my money? Meantime, the due date on the bill is close, so I begin to suspect that the lack of response is a ploy to make me pay anyway (for fear of disconnection).

But hey, Shri Dayanidhi Maran, Minister, can tell the world: "We have a grievance redressal mechanism in place for our customers!"

No matter that it is impossible to exercise. Now who takes care of ingrown toenails?


ak said...

May I give out your blog's address on my blog? There aren't any malicious people in the blogging community.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ani, I think that's OK (for you to put a link to me). Though I have just come off a long exchange on a couple of blogs where some of the folks were pretty nasty indeed (and some probably said that about me...!). I may need your help with some of this, incidentally. As an experienced blogger. Question: Is an experienced blogger a bloggeroo? A bloggerite?

Dilip D'Souza said...

This is a test.

ak said...

An experienced blogger is known as a "blogger". I've come across some really nice people. Perhaps you had a bad experience. Or, perhaps I was lucky?