labels: advertising/branding, bharat sanchar nigam ltd, telecom
BSNL keeps hundreds of cell phone clients waiting for hours news
Jays Jacob
25 October 2002

Kochi: Customer service was at the worst, so typical of a public sector company, when Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) kept hundreds of its prospective mobile phone clients waiting for hours on 24 October 2002, after the launch of its mobile service in Kochi.

With just 10,000 prepaid cards on offer from BSNL in 16 counters across Kerala (Escotel has 7,000 counters, BPL 3,600 and Airtel 2,100), there was a heavy rush for mobile phone connections, which BSNL officials failed to deal with.

In the Ernakulam region, only 2,000 prepaid connections were on offer in just four counters and with the low rates offered by BSNL, obviously there was a rush. But in the end, the customer service left a lot to be desired. Also, the officials admitted that even for the 2,000 connections on offer in the district, full kits were not yet ready.

“There was total chaos. BSNL officials’ attitude at the counters was typical government stuff - no concern for the customers,” says Mohammed Faizal, a resident of Kakkanad, who had waited for four hours at the BSNL’s Kalathiparambil Road office for the connection. In fact, the customers had to stand at three different counters (one to get the application form, second to crosscheck the filled forms, and third to make the payments) to complete the proceedings.

In the meantime, the private competitors are bracing up to the BSNL entry by planning similar ‘packages’ soon. It is learnt that all three private players in Kerala - BPL Mobile, Escotel and Airtel - are in the final stages of preparing a package, in response to the BSNL offer.

“Escotel always believed in providing competitive and affordable rates to customers. We have responded to the competition in a positive manner,” says Escotel (Kerala) chief operating officer V G Somasekhar.

Adds a BPL official: “We will come out with a similar package soon. The promotional offer, which may coincide with Deepavali, is expected to last a month.”

Airtel officials, without being forthcoming, say there could be an announcement on a package from New Delhi sooner or later. “We are yet to get anything specific from our Delhi office. But, there is a possibility.”


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BSNL keeps hundreds of cell phone clients waiting for hours