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!