Thursday, September 17, 2009

What is wrong with BSNL

I have always wondered that with the largest network reach, probably cheapest tariffs and probably one of the most happening brand ambassador, why is BSNL not prospering like other cellular providers. I finally found my answer.
I recently felt the need for an additional mobile connection with a GPRS plan attached and because of some recommendations, I decided to take a BSNL plan. So as usual, I went to their website which mentioned that I need to go to a CSC (customer service center). I found which one was nearest to my address and went there. As usual I carried sufficient cash, cheque book, credit card, address proof, identity proof.
I reached the office and looked for the person "responsible for mobile". BSNL Madam showed up after half and hour after a pan and chai. Here is how my conversation with him went.
  • Me: I need a new mobile connection.
  • BM: Do you have a BSNL land line connection?
  • Me: No, I don't have but my wife has
  • BM: The lady will have to come
  • Me: But I have address proof.
  • BM: No.
So I decided that I will come back with my wife and take the connection. I went home started looking for BSNL bill, found that the landline bill has not come for last two months, I never noticed it because I pay it online so except for address proof I don't need the phone. So I went to BSNL office once again and same BSNL Madam was there.
  • Me: I need a new mobile connection
  • BM: Do you have BSNL landline
  • Me: I have but the bill has not come for last two months, I can tell you the phone number
  • No: Come with the bill
I went back again, and one of those days, I found a two months old BSNL bill. I thought now I can go and get the connection.
  • Me: I need BSNL connection, I have filled the form, my wife has  signed
  • BM: The lady will have to come here
I thought she seems in good mood, so I asked my wife to come immediately. She took 45 minutes to arrive while I whiled away my time chatting to the BSNL security guard.
  • BM: Show me the original identity proof, she never asked this before but fortunately it was there so we showed.
  • BM: Do you have BSNL land line.
  • Me: Yes, I have already told you 4 times
  • BM: Where is it, I need a copy
  • Me: It is attached to the form
BM looks at it and then declares, I don't where it this address you will have to go to this address's CSC. I said why did not you tell me this 45 mins back when I came and you told me that my wife has to be here for the connection.
  • BM: We don't work like that
  • Me: What do you mean
  • BM: We go one by one
  • Me: Atleast, can you tell me where is the CSC I need to go to
  • BM: I don't know
  • Me: How can I find out
  • BM: I don't know
At this time, I realized that I was being too optimistic. This was not going to happen anyway. I tore off the form and dropped in in a dustbin.

Whenever I have asked my friends who work for BSNL the reasons of poor performance of BSNL, they have always blamed the government regulations related to tender etc and because of that they can't order equipment on time. I think they are wrong. The reason BSNL is not performing well is because of its employees who still live in the times when you had to beg to a SDO(T) or AE for a telephone connection and if is satisfied with your growling, he may give you one.
India might have been liberalized but the citizens of India have still not been liberalized from BSNL. I don't think the mindset can be changed.

1 comment:

  1. Compare this with the vodafone service I got when i took the connection 12 months back. I just called their customer service number, a guy came to my house, filled up the form for me, took the originals of address and identity to nearest xerox shop and got photocopies for me (I had to trust him, anyway he had his ID). He sent a list of phone numbers from which I can shoose one, then delivere the packet with SIM card etc. next day, took my signature on credit card form so that bill amount gets charged to credit card every month. End of the story.
    They do not have fixed price GPRS plan though. The customer service person did not know what is vodaphone live (unnecessary branding to confuse people). At some level, I think private commpanies make money by confusing people.