Telecom ministry hauls up BSNL, MTNL, India Post

The telecom ministry has issued notices to state-owned telecom firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd and India Post after union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad personally took note of citizen complaints of service quality on social media since July.

Prasad, who has over 4.65 lakh followers on Facebook, received the complaints relating to the three departments under his ministry. "Till date, 102 notices have been issued to departments under this ministry and 64 have been resolved. BSNL now has an official page on Facebook to connect with people," an official said.

The minister has asked BSNL and other concerns to use the social media, following which it held a workshop for officers in charge of public grievance redressal in each telecom circle. On top of that, BSNL has appointed an agency to look into issues raised by subscribers on social media sites.

When contacted, BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava confirmed that the complaint monitoring mechanism on social media is already up and running. "We have started training our officers to handle complaint on social media following the minister flagging the issue. Whenever we get complaint on our Facebook page, we start forwarding it to the customer care department, which then reaches out to the aggrieved customer," he added.

"BSNL reported operating profit after a long time and within 18 months of the new government coming to power. This is a sign of improvement in services."

As part of its efforts to step up, BSNL has outsourced its call centre activity to a leading agency that handles similar assignments for leading telecom operators.

"Since we are deploying new equipment, our capacity to handle more customers is increasing. That is why we launched free night calling service as we can handle large traffic now. We have most widespread network in the country, which we are rapidly improving," Shrivastava said.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India rules, consumers can register their complaints by calling up the customer care or sending an e-mail to the telecom operator.