BSNL is India’s biggest state-owned telecom company. It revolutionized the Telecom sector of India many times. Their landlines made it possible for almost all the villages to connect to rest of the country. 3G was first launched by BSNL. Though the credit of high-speed network revolution will be given to Airtel as they brought practical speeds. BSNL’s Speeds were in papers. The word “Sarkari” has a different meaning now. It is a synonym of Slow, Weak, Inefficient and more.
State-owned Telecom Giant BSNL continuous to carry this tag with its poor implementation of policies, super poor maintenance of its infrastructure and super duper POOR care of its customers in the era of a competitive market.
I remember buying my first ever SIM card. It was back in 2007. I had to give 2 Address and ID proofs. Paid 550 INR. Had to wait 7 days for the activation. Got just 3 INR credit and the call rate was Rs 1.20/ minute. BSNL was my preference over Oasis (Airtel now) because my father was a Government servant. Till date, I didn’t get the logic behind his idea that one must opt BSNL only as its Government company.
Anyways fast forward to 2014, I was using BSNL still, despite MNP option available. Since I was a postpaid user I had to literally walk to my hometown’s BSNL office each and every time I wanted to make a change in my Bill plan or Data service or whatever. I was still okay with it. Things went worst when I started facing call drops. Trust me blindly, I investigated whole bloody thing that why the call drops are happening and approached an officer of BSNL in Jaipur. After explaining him whole thing and showing him proofs and cases I gathered over the time, I asked him to look into this. The solution was lying in the technical department as it had to do with Voice with Data transfer on 3G. His reply made me sad enough that it was last time I explained anything to a highly paid useless Government servant. He said,” You better port out to Airtel, they do not have call drop issues”.
After coping for two more months I did that. Ported to Airtel. In fact, I ported my secondary number to Airtel too. It was only last month that I heard that BSNL has improved its services. I was curious to see that. Using my parent’s phone did not help me much.
Meanwhile, I found a Canopy of BSNL near my house. I asked if they can port my number to BSNL. They agreed. Now the fun begins. Till this time I was not knowing that I am not knowing that I will be regretting my decision very soon.
I took my UIDAI and port code and rushed back to canopy guy. He explained that I will be offered Rs 100 Talk value and few other benefits and that too for free of cost. (I was even ready to pay)
I gave him docs and asked him for any receipt but he denied. I came home with MNP SIM and started waiting for its activation. It takes 7 days generally.
Next day I got a call from BSNL office asking my father’s Name as it was not mentioned in my UIDAI. I gave the info. After 6 days my BSNL SIM got the network. I was busy so could not check it. Next day I tried to make a call from it but found that SIM is not allowed to do so. I tried calling 1507 for tele-verification despite knowing it was not required. I heard the response that I can not make International calls. WTH !! Called 1503 then and had a conversation with Customer care executive. He informed that I do not need Tele-verification but my SIM card has not received FRC yet. FRC is the first recharge that merchants do when they sell you a new SIM.
This process is now automatic in all telecom companies but BSNL is still manually doing it.
I explained the CC executive that I do not know from which BSNL office of Jaipur the canopy guys came from. He said that you either do FRC by paying on your own or find those guys.
FIND?? So BSNL has its employees working on a road but they are not aware who they are. I reached nearest BSNL office and explained them this situation the other day.
They said that no one from BSNL posts any canopy and the offer which I was talking about cost 107 INR. Even SIM was not free I was supposed to pay Rs 20 for it.
I was shocked. I was having a Sim card and my number linked to it and BSNL says this was not their act.
I was ready to pay and activate my outgoing calls but then I pulled myself back. really wanted to find those guys. I rushed to BSNL head office in Jaipur. I asked them if the post such canopy. They said,”No idea”.
REALLY? No Idea? Is that even a proper answer?
I explained my situation to them too. They said we can not help.
I just came out laughing at myself. And while stepping out I recalled that it is the same office which I visited 2 years back asking for 1285 INR of security refund of my postpaid number which I ported out. I have not received that amount TILL DATE.
Why BSNL, why?? With the entry of JIO, even the leading telecom company Airtel has seen a competition. What makes you guys so rock hard and stupid that you don’t want to make any change and improve services?
We must not underestimate the capabilities of BSNL. It still has the largest landline base and widest Telecom infrastructure in the country (Jio might win here within few months). Along with that its employees are most well paid and get all the facilities. Then where the problem lies?
The problem lies in the Management, in the morality and in the thoughts of its workforce. Paralyzed workforce and zero accountability to growth make it worse.
These problems are not just with the BSNL mobile network. The broadband of BSNL which is second to none in reach has been of a bad reputation from years. Not just speed or plans are outdated. They even have problems with some of the websites too. Some popular website never loads properly on BSNL Broadband. Making payments via some of leading banks never go through.
Anyways, just like me many are now tired of BSNL and do not care. But this is the biggest state-owned operator. How can they just do not care? It is the time that government must look into this. We all know that last time when BSNL made the profit, it was the year 2008.
Just offering cheaper data plans will not attract customers. Solve rest of the problems, make your staff behave properly. And remove rust from those new but ideal machinery. Use them, properly.
Instead of setting an example for useless things, do something good in this time when Telecom is growing like never before.
I hope I will port back to BSNL next year. Till then I am loyal to Airtel.