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Ordeal of BSNL subscribers

THE BHARAT Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) District Telecom?s decision to send bills to its subscribers through a private courier, in addition to the Postal Department, left hundreds of mobile phone subscribers in a state of confusion and harassment as the bills failed to reach them.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 14:53 IST

Bills fail to reach
THE BHARAT Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) District Telecom’s decision to send bills to its subscribers through a private courier, in addition to the Postal Department, left hundreds of mobile phone subscribers in a state of confusion and harassment as the bills failed to reach them.

With the last date of payment of mobile phone bills being September 8, a large number of BSNL subscribers rushed to GMTD office at TT Nagar today to procure duplicate bills to make their payments. As per the regular practice, the state-owned telecom major sent SMS to its subscribers between August 31 and September 1, stating that the bills have been dispatched to them. However, hundreds of them did not get bills.

As the customers crowded the GMTD office, it put additional burden on the BSNL staff. The customers wanted detailed bills, for which Rs 50 is additionally charged, and they failed to get them.  

The accounts department of BSNL blamed the courier service for non-delivery of bills. “This time it was decided to give a part of bill delivery service to private courier, as there had been complaints from customers against non-receiving of bills through postal service,” a senior official said. “But the courier service has proved to be a failure and we need to look into the matter,” he added.

Earlier, BSNL used to send its bills through courier service, but the result being unsatisfactory, the then general manager (Bhopal District) M L Gupta decided to handover the delivery service to the Postal Department. In the meantime, there were sporadic complaints from subscribers of not getting bills in time.

In May, a large number of subscribers failed to get their bills and had to run from pillar to post. Though the BSNL officials initially blamed the Postal Department, it later turned out to be its own failure due to some technical problem at Pune end.

However, considering the seriousness of the matter, BSNL extended its last payment date by a week. This time, even several BSNL employees failed to get their bills at home.

BSNL this time is reported to have given nearly 10,000 bills to a private courier, and 4000 bills to the Postal Department for delivery. “BSNL sent me a letter through Madhur Courier on August 26, which I received today – itself speaks of courier’s service,” remarked senior superintendent (Post Offices), Brajesh Kumar, the next door neighbour of District BSNL. 

In contrast, customers of private service providers – Airtel, Idea and Reliance expressed their satisfaction over timely delivery of bills, which is delivered through courier service. “In the last five years, at least I’ve never faced any problem in receiving my bills,” remarked Uroosa Subuhi, president of Chinar Apartments, Koh-e-Fiza, and an Idea subscriber.