Tata Indicom and its idiocies
If you thought that private operators have improved the availability of services, here is a personal blow-by-blow account of Tata Indicom and its idiocies. I had written a mail last year to the Customer Care centre enquiring about their Internet services in my city. At present, they have presence in the nearby city for which I would have had to pay heavy pulse charges in order to access the same since my usage is high.
I commented about the lack of digital access number for the same. I have a BSNL line, which restricts outgoing numbers only to 172xxx numbers under their promotional scheme to improve access to internet. This fact I brought to VSNL’s notice. However, the reply I got merely repeated the same issue I had raised. So much for their standard of comprehension. As the days change to weeks and weeks to months, I have a strong belief that standards of IQ are falling in the customer support across board.
Cut back to a couple of months. They tied up with a private service provider in my city for providing Internet access. However, the access to their number (172226) from BSNL was still barred. (Reflects BSNL s anti competitive policy, which denied me the right to choose).
Finally after all that happened, I chose to keep my mouth shut and waited for the assurances of their frontline staff (customer service what else) that access is being worked out. Fast-forward it to last month. VSNL had an agreement with the private operator, which was not renewed at the end of the year. The contract terminated, the existing subscribers were asked to access an alternative number, which entailed heavy pulse charges. All along the line, they promised to set up their servers that would give local access to 172226. In fact, there was an activity on the ground, but nothing came off it. The decision to set up the server never happened and they went back on their promises to provide connectivity leaving their existing customers high and dry. Last heard one of them even threatened legal action.
I was talking to the distributor concerned with the commotion, when I realized that how these people have repeatedly went on their promises. Not realizing the enormous costs to the person concerned but at the cost of the goodwill that he had earned in the market, they have almost duped him. Whatever account he gave me off VSNL was depressing to say the least. Of course, I cannot reveal my source of information in order to protect his privacy.
Tata has launched its mobile services in my city recently. I went and enquired about the Internet access. Howsoever smart these people are, it is clear that they presented themselves as sorry figures for disorganization. Heavy usage of internet is unheard off in their offices and there is no package for unlimited surfing as Reliance has. In fact, they were quite happy to deflect my queries to the same distributor for accessing the internet packs. In the course of discussion, they even did not bother to ask me about my requirements for the same. I do not expect to be pampered, but if one wants to sell a product, there is definitely a way around to do so.
The foregoing account gives me enough proof that Tata’s are best in making “Desh ka Namak”. I wish they stuck on the same. The after sales services are absolutely lousy. Despite the massive hoarding showing smiling Indian Cricket Captain, I wonder what good has it done to them. If they cannot take care of the existing customers and reneging on their commitments and promises, why would new customers ever sign up for the same?
The purpose of this post is not to trash the quality of the services because I have never used the same. Hence, I cannot comment on the same. This is something that I have experienced on a first hand basis and a personal account. I have a reason to believe that VSNL s infrastructure and the net telephony offer is excellent. A great product that is being marketed so blandly by the bosses in the saddle, it is hard to believe that they got their jobs in the first case. Or rather retained it in the first place.
VSNL is advertising itself as the pioneers in India who got Internet. It is an asinine claim because there was none other at the time. As a part of the government structure, it had to. How does this translate in being a pioneer is beyond my comprehension. If Tata after acquiring VSNL did not retrench the staff, it was their biggest mistake. I am sorry to say but they have their minds stuck in the cobwebs of inefficiency. Make the people accountable for their lapses. I am sure that despite the higher tariff structure of their plans, it is worth it to invest in the same; at least better than BSNL.