Beware of BSNL: A house full of cheaters, looters, and slackers


SHIMLA: BSNL services in Himachal and conduct of its employees towards its consumers have reached an alarming stage. While the telecommunication and broadband services have become a necessary part of daily life for the public, BSNL’s quality of service, their looting of consumers with unlimited tricks, and their carelessness is now getting to far for the consumers to bear anymore.

A couple of days ago, newspapers reported that BSNL consumers in Palampur suffered due to carelessness of employees. Outgoing calls on their numbers were bared due to non-payment of bills. The truth was that these consumers had not received any bills from the past couple of months and they weren’t informed in any way before taking such a step. Regarding the same, ‘The Tribune’ said, “The BSNL subscribers were caught unawares with the call bar imposed on Tuesday. About 50 per cent of the subscribers had not been receiving their bills, but the authorities, without any prior information, imposed a bar on the outgoing calls.”

Recently, HW also received many mails from BSNL consumers, telling their grievances. One of the complainers wrote:

“I am using Govt. Employee postpaid phone number since the last 7 years. I wanted to port my number to another service provider. I approached the CSC situated on the Mall opposite to UCO bank on the Kali Bari road. The lady on the helpdesk misguided me by telling me that in order to port my number, I need to convert it into prepaid connection first and then use it for 90 days. I have already applied for conversion from postpaid to prepaid connection. But, now I know for a fact that BSNL employees are telling lies to the customers thereby leading to their harassment. The procedure, which otherwise would have taken just 7-10 days, will take 90+ days. And all thanks to the people sitting in the helpdesk, who are supposed to help the customers. Moreover I had applied for conversion from Postpaid to Prepaid on 19/9/2013 and the no. is still not converted into prepaid and neither my postpaid is working now. This lying & cheating by BSNL is serious harassment of the consumers.”

Another complainer writes:

“My bill for the BSNL land-line connection showed me additional charges of Rs.339 when I received the bill. The charges were imposed for a service title,”Music on demand”, which I never subscribed to in my knowledge. I wondered how and why anyone would listen to music on landline phone. When, I enquired the BSNL help desk at Kasumpti, they simply expressed their inability to explain it. The main BSNL office confirmed that I had subscribed to the service last month after taking my consent through a phone call. I tried to remember about any sort of call from BSNL and I came up with a very cheap lie. I remembered that I had received a call from BSNL regarding the service mentioned in the bill. After briefing me, the BSNL employee asked for my permission to activate the service and added that it’s completely free of any charges. Why would I care to say no if it’s free? They noted down my details of connection, E-mail id, and activated the service. They registered me using my e-mail without giving me any intimation or control over my account and, at the end of the month, they handed me a bill for using the service and held me responsible for subscribing it. Not just me, but many of my known mentioned the same trick BSNL used to cheat them.”


Adding to the situation, referring to a ridiculous trick, a complainer added:

“My mom complained deduction of charges everyday on her BSNL mobile connection. She isn’t literate and can’t handle the cell except receiving or dialing a number. When I checked the cell, it displayed text messages informing that Rs.10 were being deducted everyday from her balance for an entertainment based service. Surprisingly, my mom has a basic, black and white mobile, which does not support mp3 or any kind of multimedia content. I called the customer care and asked them to deactivate the service, but only after BSNL had looted over Rs.100 in 10 consecutive days. BSNL is pathetic. They cheat people with their cheap tricks. Now, no one in our family uses BSNL mobile connection anymore. We can’t simply trust them.”

As an example, consider the fact that BSNL has lakhs of users throughout the state. If it tricks 10,000 consumers for Rs.10 a day, the trick will fetch them Rs. 100,000. It’s just an example. In reality, every telecommunication provider uses such ricks with millions of consumers every day.

Rashid Mohamad is yet another victim of BSNL’s ignorance. He forwarded us the complaint he had submitted to BSNL. It said:

“I’m complaining here for the third time in last one year duration. My BSNL landline telephone number 01905-256123 is again not working properly. I’ve made a complaint about the fault about 3 months back at their toll free number 198. But I’ve not received any update from anyone and the status of complaint is still “Assigned to Divisional Officer”. I’ve left every hope now because this is not tolerable. In last year my phone was hardly up for maximum 1 month. My last complaint was resolved successfully but for a very small duration. This is very frustrating for me and I’m heartily disappointed by BSNL behavior. I’ve even stopped paying bills of that phone number. When there is no service at all why should I pay BSNL( Landline charges + broadband Charges ). Further, I won’t be responsible for any kind of notice or summon about the bill from their end. I don’t want no more botheration now so I’ll be happy to disconnect the landline.”

Then, the BSNL broadband consumers cry of poor internet speed on their unlimited packages. One of the complainers said, “BSNL network sucks, even in the prepaid services. The network is busy all the time. Even 1 GB data can’t be utilized within a month due to slow connection”. While another complainer expressed his disappointment saying, “Even the bills have huge mistakes. Charges for the unlimited broadband plan are Rs.750 including taxes for a month, but the bill issued mentions Rs. 2000. BSNL need to wake up and stop eating money from private companies and work efficiently”

A very common complaint we came across was concerning the attitude of BSNL employees. Whenever, you make a call to their office, you’ll be referred to another number, which will continue until either you lose all your balance or your temper.

The consumers don’t owe BSNL anything as long as they are paying their bills, but BSNL does owe to its consumers. It owes uninterrupted delivery of quality service to its consumers. Its services are getting worse in a time when Himachal need a technological revolution in telecommunication and internet services. Cellphones and internet aren’t just limited to fun surfing or chatting on social media sites anymore. It’s becoming a part of business and vocation gradually. While the government spends thousands of crores on e-governance, they forgot to consider the poor quality of Internet services. On the other hand mobile connection consumers are being cheated and looted every day.

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