Billing blues

R. Dinakaran | Updated on January 05, 2011 Published on January 05, 2011


My friend got a bill from his telecom service provider. Though the ‘message subject' said the bill was for December, the attachment had the November bill. When my friend contacted customer care, the officer assured him that the bill would be e-mailed again. This time, it was worse. Again the subject mentioned the bill was for December, but the body said the bill had not been generated. The ‘My Account' section in the service provider's Web site too was not of much help as it also said the bill ‘was not generated'. But surprisingly, his ‘outstanding' was clearly displayed. The customer care had no clue how one could get an ‘outstanding' amount when the bill was not even generated.

The next complaint level — the Nodal Officer — was sure the bill had not been generated. No amount of explanation from my friend that he had received an empty bill or his account was showing an ‘outstanding' convinced him.

My friend was also getting a ‘1 GB browsing limit exceeded' message on his screen, when his limit was 6 GB. All his queries to the telecom service provider received a stock reply, “We will look into it.” He got fed up and migrated to a 2 Mbps ‘unlimited plan'. Within three days, his browsing speed dropped to 256 kbps. The customer care had a helpful, “Your plan is for 256 kbps only.” Even the Nodal Officer's office had a stock reply. “You must have exceeded the FUP (fair usage policy)”. What was the FUP limit? It was 20 GB, he was told. My friend was flabbergasted. Did this mean he had used up 20 GB in 3 days? The speed was restored to 2 Mbps the next day. If you think, from all these bloomers, that it must be a public sector company providing the services, you are wrong. It is the country's top private sector telecom company.

So, even if your bills are generated by computers, you must remember that humans sit behind those machines....and be prepared for some unpleasant shocks. You will also have to deal with humans to get the problems solved...and get some more shocks.

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Published on January 05, 2011
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