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Subscribers allege discrepancies in bills of private telecom players

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DQW Bureau
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Many wonder why BSNL continues to register upward growth in its segment even

with the advent of private players like Reliance Infocomm and Tata Indicom. The

answer that many users of these services give is ‘trust.’ "We are used

to the babudom of BSNL and though we don’t get sweet voices and sugar coated

replies from BSNL, our work is done," asserted Rajesh Shah, a former Tata

Indicom subscriber

Shah cancelled his Tata Indicom fixed wireless long back after the company

failed to keep its promise of providing Internet through its fixed wireless.

Though it has now started the service, the answer that he got from a customer

service executive was a flat no when he enquired to confirm the commitment that

the franchisee has given him. But Shah continues to get zero payment bills of

his cancelled service even today.

"I took Reliance instead and to my surprise, I found that their call

center services and their web world stores are nothing more than a glorified

fish market," he said. Agreed SN Khemka, CMD, Compusoft Exports Growth Ltd

who had subscribed to eight Reliance mobile connections in November 2003 and in

the first month he got a bill from December 2002 to December 2003.

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"Instead of one month bill, I got one year’s bill for all eight

connections. I don’t know what system they use. Worse part is that they just

don’t reply to my complaints and now I have stopped complaining since I know

it is of no use," he added. Still worse, almost all the bills generated

have at least Rs two to Rs three additions in the total. With very few who tally

their bill totals, this ‘deliberate mistake’ will fetch Reliance, with a

customer of base of 50 lakhs, a cool one crore per month. "Isn’t that an

innovative way to earn profit?" Khemka opined.

But the GSM operators are more or less spared from these allegations as no

such irregularities have come to light. Some of the RIM prepaid customers are

thronging the Reliance Web World enquiring whether their billing starts the

moment ring starts on the instrument.

Though the Reliance executives have discounted the fears but the subscribers

are yet to put their faith in these companies. But sources in the CDMA segments

attribute this to attitude and illegal profiteering than billing systems of

these companies.

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Binu Alex


Ahmedabad (Cyber Media News)

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