The man at the counter, in an almost scolding tone, asked me why I didn’t come to the counter to deposit a bill, but rather paid it online. I was shocked why anyone would discourage to pay online and ask them to walk to the physical location of respective telephone exchange/office or customer care centre.
As it happened, I forgot to pay the bill and got my broadband connection disconnected temporarily. I work online, and that means, I face monetary loss every day on which I don’t have Internet connectivity to my clients.
On Thursday(12 -06-2014), I approached BSNL exchange office at Boileauganj, but it was late at 4 PM to pay the bill, so I was asked to come over the very next day. To my bad, the next three days were holidays. That means there was no chance I would get my Internet connection working for next three days. But, then it hit my mind that BSNL accepts online payments. Internet is bliss in situation like mine. I won’t have to wait for the holidays to pass. So, I paid my broadband bill online on Saturday (14 -06-2014) from one of my friends connection. I received an instant transaction sms from the bank on my mobile.
But, what followed was way far worse than I had expected. The connection wasn’t activated during the holidays, so, I walked to the exchange to inquire about the status of my payment. The man at office told me that my billing amount is still pending. I showed them the SMS and told them that I had actually paid it online on Saturday.
The man at the counter, in an almost scolding tone, asked me why I didn’t come to the counter to deposit a bill, but rather paid it online. I was shocked why anyone would discourage to pay online and ask them to walk to the physical location of respective telephone exchange/office or customer care centre. Online bill payment facility means lesser burden on employees at the counter and instant bill payment facility to the customer on a few clicks. That’s what I replied to the employee.
To my surprise, he told me that it takes three days to process the transaction if it’s paid online. I told him; it’s been three days already. He corrected his statement and told me, its 3 working days”. Now, that means I will have to wait another three days, which makes it 6 days if counted from the day the online payment was made. He told me, the connection would have activated within couple of minutes after payment if I had come to the counter.
Now, that is really ridiculous. In this age of World Wide Web, where everything is going online, Himachal Pradesh Government is insulting the boon of Internet. Why the hell anyone would pay bills online after such a mental harassment. The computerization and the Internet connectivity mean automated commands to cut short the time that manual process of billing will take. Here, with BSNL, it’s a contrast; you pay on counter for faster service and, if you pay through BSNL online bill payment portal, then you get to wait for six days before BSNL will acknowledge your payment.
HP Govt. rocks online. Its broadband service provider itself is crawling to go online. I would advice, avoid online payment if the holidays are ahead or your connection is deactivated. Go to your respective BSNL exchange or the customer care counter near you.
By A Resident of Shimla (Identity Not Disclosed as Requested By the Complainer)
Fastway cable subscribers in Shimla feeling cheated despite paying hefty monthly charges
Fastway is charging Rs. 600 per month despite that we don’t have any service. Today is our 6th day without cable inspite of daily complains to the provider.
SHIMLA- Subscribers of Fastway Cable service in Shimla have been constantly complaining of poor service quality and poor customer support. Now some residents wrote to Himachal Watcher complaining that they are feeling cheated as the provider is extorting arbitrary monthly charges but isn’t delivering regular cable service. The residents complained that the cable service mostly remains suspended. When they try to lodge complaint, the Channel 9 ( Fastway franchise in Shimla) customer support hardly respond to phone calls.
I was fed up with Fastway’s poor service. I realized they are charging unreasonable amount for almost nothing as the cable doesn’t work of the time. So, I switched to Tata Sky, and I suggest other subscribers to get rid of Fastway. It’s better to have your own system,
said a resident of Summer Hill.
Another resident of the same locality complained,
The Channel 9 group is cheating the residents of Summer Hill. It has hiked its charges but most of the Channels are unavailable daily. It’s very common that the cable remains out of service for more than two to three days.
All residents of Summer Hill want that some punitive action against the service provider for not delivering ensured quality of service despite hefty charges,
he further added.
Fastway is charging Rs. 600 per month despite that we don’t have any service. Today is our 6th day without cable inspite of daily complains to the provider,
said a local.
Locals from Tutikandi reported similar case.
The cable boy doesn’t appear to collect monthly charges. Meanwhile, Fastway withdraws it services for non-payment of bill. I call them and ask to send the cable boy to collect the monthly charges but he doesn’t show up. The provider has no control over the cable boys,
said a local.
The housewives are mostly dependent on cable for little recreational opportunity they get after all household tasks are done, pointed out another local. In fact, in urban world, cable TV has become a basic amenity as it now directly affects quality of their lifestyle. The cable service providers are continuously hiking monthly charges while their services are degrading day by day.
The consumers have demanded the responsible authority to take cognizance of the situation and take measures to regulate the rates as well keep the service providers responsible.
Looting own people in times of unrest, this Shimla shopkeeper is a disgrace to Dev Bhoomi
SHIMLA– The State Tourism Department and the Food and Civil Supplies Department is well aware that during peak tourist season shopkeepers, liquor stores, hoteliers, and even road-side tea-stall extract over-charges from tourists. Situations like heavy snowfall, when the transportation is hit and supplies are limited, is a jackpot for their kind. The department isn’t interested in correcting this irregularity. However, this loot isn’t limited to tourists and outsiders anymore. This (shown in the video) shopkeeper didn’t spare even the locals. Several residents of the locality reported unlawful extracted for goods and bullying on being protested. Fed-up with this goon, one of the youth tried to capture his anti-social behavior on mobile cam. This is what he came out with – a disgrace to Shimla.
While a part of entire conversation is not recorded in the small footage, enough was recorded to confirm the unlawful and anti-social act by the shopkeeper.
This shopkeeper of Chauhan General Store, located in Vikasnagar, near the Kali temple, with couple of his goon friends, was caught on camera demanding more than printed Maximum Retail Price (MRP) when the city needed his co-operation. He was making profit by exploiting the situation created by recent spell of snowfall after which over half of the city plunged into darkness and residents faced shortage of daily supplies like milk and bread.
Surprisingly, with no fear of administration, the shopkeeper not only denied selling goods to a consumer but also abused and threatened him. It is a matter of shame for not only for Food and Civil Supply Department, but also for the institution responsible for maintaining law and order. The shopkeeper and his accomplices openly challenged the consumer to approach any authority, even the court with this complaint. Such absence of fear of law is worrisome.
Compare Himachal Pradesh with other states and you’ll find it a peaceful state with co-operative and hospitable natives. The capital Shimla, a tourist destination of international fame, shared more or less same reputation until recently as urban environment started taking over society in the city. This shopkeeper is the latest and well documented proof of it.
He is not the only one of his kind; several black sheep could be spotted if the administration ever bothers to maintain regulations. It is saddening that such people do not show any respect to law and to rights and dignity of the consumers.
Himachal Watcher is forwarding the video clip to the Food and Civil Supplies Department for appropriate action.
Poor Fastway Cable Service in Shimla harassing consumers
SHIMLA-Subscribing to Fastway cable service in Shimla city has become a mental harassment for public as services offered are miserable. People prefer to buy their own DTH setup and recommend same to others to avoid bitter experience with Fastway cable operators.
Despite paying monthly charges of Rs. 200-300, most of the channels are either not available due to poor signal strength or are down most of the time. Accessories provided by cable operator are too of very poor quality. According to a pile of complaints that people shared with Himachal Watcher, Fastway’s customer care is one of the worst experience they ever came across.
The cable boys in Shimla, on the other hand, share the same attitude. To avoid consumer complaints, the boys do not collect monthly subscription charges every month. Rather, they show up only after five to six months demanding total pending payment.It disturbs monthly budget of middle class families who were comfortable with paying small sum every month. The rest of time, these cable-boys do not receive calls to intentionally ignore customer complaints.
A resident of Shimla told Himachal Watcher that the Fastway cable operator disconnects his connection arbitrarily every week. TV screen shows a message “You have not subscribed to this channel.”
“When I dialed the customer care number displayed on the TV screen, no one replied. I tried again on next day but still there was no reply, said one of the complainant,” said the complainant.
According to complainant, the cable boy or any other representative of the company did not approached him to receive monthly payment despite his complaints. At the same time, operator’s reason for disconnection is non-payment of bill.
“I told the operator to come and get his payment, but no one appeared,” he added.
“Now, tired of Fastway service, I have bought my own DTH. I will strongly suggest avoiding Fastway. Their services are getting only poorer,” he further added. Several other residents are facing similar experience.
A resident of Kasumpti complained that the remote control provided with set-top box stop working after couple of months and the operator took over three weeks to replace it.
Television has become integral part of current lifestyle as a mean of entertainment. In a city like Shimla, cable TV is a respite for victims of stressful modern, urbanized lifestyle. Entertainment and recreation have always been present in every civilization since ancient times in the form of music, dance, sports, arts etc. However, in modern spaces, recreation is limited to only TV sets and smartphones.
Considering the studies conducted by various researchers regarding the role of television in modern lifestyle, poor cable service deprives consumers of entertainment and a major mean of gaining information (media), which cast negative effect psychologically. This implies that TV is directly associated with quality of life.
Therefore, the cable operators, especially the Fastway must not take their pathetic, inadequate service lightly. Behavior of the staff is also questionable. In brief, there are substantial grounds on which the cable company can be dragged into consumer court.