Monday, March 13, 2006

Life after death...

"Mobile phones can be addictive as cigarettes. This is what mobile operators are counting on as they fall over each other to offer products with 'lifetime validity'. Experience, according to leading operators, proves that anybody who has a mobile phone in his hand, will sooner or later, start using it for making outgoing calls and once they are in the "incoming free for life trap"they are in for ever."

This is a media report, which I bumped into. A serious issue and I thought I will deal with it seriously. We have been seeing the cellular service providers and their Marketing and Advertising magic wands for quite some time now.It seems they do same things and together. This category or sector never existedin India, and when it came it came with a bang. The days when incoming calls were a dreadful dream, are gone for sure but are we getting what we deserve?

Arent we still taken for a ride by this cartel?

If you say that now we have choice, shouldnt we take it as, the house wife asked to choose between, a thief, robber and a rapist...

Mobile user base in India is zooming, but consumer satisfaction is not. Out of 11 mobile operators in the country, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Idea, BSNL and Reliance Infocomm have fallen considerably short on their performance parameters vis-à-vis 2004, according to a survey.Mobile user satisfaction has gone down on parameters such as sales, network quality, billing, customer care and value-added services, according to the third VOICE & DATA Mobile Users' Satisfaction survey. The decline was a general industry trend, which spanned almost all operators.

However, despite this, the overall user satisfaction went up by 0.92 percentage points compared with 2004.” The survey brought out that the Trai benchmark (95%) on quality of service remains as elusive for all operators except BPL and MTNL. “The worst performers have been Aircel and Tata Teleservices," it said. Aircel, which topped the chart last year, is at number 10 this time.“However, there has been a considerable improvement in the satisfaction level of Hutch and Reliance Infocomm users".

" The best improvement has been in the case of MTNL, which jumped over 10 percentage points to claim the top spot along with BPL," according to the survey, conducted with a sample of 3,763 users in urban and rural clusters.Users in B and C circles remain the most dissatisfied. “Operators seem to be more inclined on increasing their subscriber base -- one reason why B and C circles have witnessed the highest level of growth in recent months." As none of the services are at their optimum, users have few expectations from various components of their mobile service like value-added services, billing integrity and customer care. That's the big reason why the overall satisfaction is a shade higher than that in 2004.GSM and CDMA users are not happy with the network performance. The satisfaction with network is lower in rural India.
“BSNL and Reliance Telecom customers are the least satisfied with their networks. BPL and MTNL, who scored the highest in overall satisfaction, scored low on this score," it said. Customer satisfaction with billing has also gone down over 2004. Except for Infocomm, there was a significant decline in satisfaction level of customers of all operators. Compared to GSM users, CDMA users were more willing to change operators because of billing issues .

Combined with this is the fact that CSP's promise offers that are many times ficticious and hiding plain facts.Telecom authority TRAI issued a consultation paper on the slew of tariff plans promising lifetime validity to mobile phone subscribers. TRAI is of the opinion that these offers raise some issues which must be addressed in consultation with consumers, service providers and other relevant organizations. The seven issues raised in the consultation paper are:

1. Long-term viability and sustainability of tariff schemes with lifetime validity

2. The concept of lifetime validity

3. Change in traffic patterns and IUC (Interconnect Usages Charge) regime

4. Protection against hike in tariff

5. Implications for the orderly growth of the telecom sector

6. Existence of exit options

7. Whether there is a need for asymmetric regulation of the service providers, requiring prior approval of tariffs from the authority.

God knows what has happened, but in the field things are the same..

My friend who took a "life time -no recharge" offer from Airtel recently, with a grin told me his experience.He recharged for 1000 rs and thought now for his life time he will not have to recharge. He then called 123 and found out ,to his ultimate shock that for Airtel , his life time was only three years.. after that he will have to be dead and gone or will have to recharge, if he wants to "enjoy uninterrupted services".

Now Idea proclaims... free outgoing calls for the first two minutes.....

after that...?????

Of all the celebrities who endorse, of all the chaxes who put their brains to work overtime.. arent all of them the same...

Is their life after death..?

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