Faulty toll-free number adds to woes of power consumers in Gurgaon

  • Rashpal Singh, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: May 28, 2016 11:18 IST
The IVR informs the caller that his/her call is being connected with an agent but the call drops off after one ring. (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photo)

Consumers of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) are facing harrowing times for the last 20 days due to frequent power outages. Any hope of a speedy redressal or relief too has eluded them as the toll-free number -- 18001804334, meant for redressal of power supply issues, is faulty.

With an increase in power demand and frequent dust storms, outages have also increased forcing consumers to call the toll-free number.

The interactive voice response (IVR) informs the caller that his/her call is being connected with an agent but the call drops off after one ring. Left with no choice, the consumers are either calling the officials or approaching the local discom offices.

“I tried contacting DHBVN customer care number but no one received or responded to my call once the IVR took the input. I tried getting help for restoring supply from other sources but to no avail,” said Mukesh Sharma of Sector 22. A number of residents have being complaining of a similar problem.

For checking the status of the toll-free number, this HT correspondent repeatedly called on the number during the last five days but with similar results. An HT team visited the centre in Sector 14 and found that over 80% of consumer calls met with the same fate.

The IT wing and manpower at the centre are outsourced to private companies.

“There is some issue with the BSNL cable. We have repeatedly written to DHBVN and BSNL authorities but the issue has not been resolved,” a call centre staffer, seeking anonymity, said.

The staff blamed lack of coordination between DHBVN and BSNL due to which the fault is lingering.

“We are aware of the issue and have contacted the BSNL authorities for a resolution. There is a slight improvement when compared to the situation earlier,” said Randeep Singh, superintending engineer (IT) DHBVN, Hisar.

A BSNL official said since the call is attended by the IVR and goes blank after that, the problem would be with the call centre IT system.

The DHBVN had in December 2014 launched the toll-free number as per the norms of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC). Other local telephone numbers for the purpose were discontinued after the launch of the toll-free number.

On receiving a call from the consumer, the call centre staff forwards the complaint to the line staff. In case the line staff fails to respond, the complaint automatically escalates to higher officials.

Besides power supply, the call centre lodges complaints and requests relating to billing, new connections, system improvement and theft.

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