Trai on Phone Threats

I got this by mail the other day. Something I can really relate to and am sure many of you would have gone through such harassment. I have faced such problems with almost all telecom service providers in India including ESCOTEL, BPL Mobile, Airtel, Reliance, Hutch.

Alarmed by the rising number of threatening calls made to defaulters, who do not pay their bills, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to take the operators to task. The regulator has sought information from telecom licencees on their recovery methods, under an attempt to curb the growing problem.

“A large number of subscribers are receiving threatening calls for payment of outstanding dues, which may or may not be correct. This is not specific to any company, but if this practise goes unchecked it would bring a bad name to the entire telecom sector,” Trai said in a letter to the telecom oerators’ associations.

The regulator was of the opinion that calls made by “anti-social bullies” are also being extended to the subscribers’ relatives and friends. Strongly objecting this, Trai was of the opinion that this was not possible without the help of the operators who would be providing the call data recorder (CDR) details to these outsourced agencies. “The telecom operators are not taking enough care to check the veracity of details, credentials, authorisation and there is an apprehension that even CDRs have been shared,” it said

Telecom companies and banks have outsourced their recovery operations to direct-selling agents (DSA) and agencies, who in turn, call up the defaulters. These agencies threaten users with non-bailable warrants, while some of them use force by sending “bullies” to customer premises.

Similar incidents have been largely reported in the last two months, which is a serious and an undesirable practice. This is also a blatant violation of licence conditions, the regulator said. According to an industry analyst, Trai has the power to bring the telecom companies to book, if any of these operators are found to be guilty of such practices. At present, the regulator is looking at curbing this menace.

And telecom service providers are the worst in providing customer service. I mean ALL telecom providers here. As all off them have outsourced their support services to Call Centers, the folks who pick up our calls know ‘$hit’ about the problem we are talking. If we want information thats available in their database, we MIGHT stand a chance of getting it. But, if we need HELP, there’s no luck. Not even the service provider outlets can help us as they too are contracted agents. I have been trying to get conf call working on my Airtel connection for the last 4-5 months. None of the morons at the outlets or at Customer Care could do anything about it.

Half of this problem is because of outsourcing. Even bill collection is outsourced. So, the agents do whatever they can to get money out of customers.

And if payments are missed even by mistake, they don’t even consider looking into your payment history before calling up at home and threatening whoever picks up the call. Once, when I was travelling overseas and I couldnt pay my bill on time, Airtel  agents called up my Mom and threatened her Court notices and Summons. And the bill amount was -Rs. 560/- .

Too bad that Consument Protection laws in India are as mundane and useless as our political system!

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  1. #1 by Anonymous on June 9, 2008 - 5:09 pm

    Hi,
    I too faced a similar problem with Airtel. I have been a devoted user of Airtel for many years now but what happened today totally broke that image.
    I had got my sister’s phone disconnected several months back after paying the outstanding dues as full and final settlement. A few days back I got a mail from Airtel demanding that I settle my bill or else they would take legal action. I called up the number provided on that mail and the person was himself ‘surprised’ that his number was mentioned there !!!. I explained that it was a mistake and I had already settled my dues. He said he would get back to me shortly.
    After a few days I got a call from ‘Tis hazari’ court saying that a summons has been issued against my sister and she has to appear in court the next day. Natrally we got a little alarmed and promptly went to the airtel office and paid the amount, just 600/-. They then demanded another 1100/- to take the case back which we had to shell out.
    It was only later after going through some of the sites that we found that these were just extortion agents trying to bully us.
    I have decided to stop using any kind of Airtel service from now and would urge you all not to give in to the bullying by such BULL&^@^ companies. They deserve to be taught a lesson. If we consumers unite we can teach them as lesson. TRAI is always urging consumers to raise their voice against such consumer exploitation. I urge you all to atleast voice your opinion. Why should simple people like us suffer the torment while these bullies fill their coffers !. Join me in this fight against the likes of Airtel….let us show them what power we consumers have.

  2. #2 by minoruglyman on July 3, 2008 - 12:13 pm

    google apple sun ibm go

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