Bandhan Preet Singh : Mobile service providers in India are indulging in unfair means to deprive customers from exercising MNP to switch operator. The telecom forums and many other consumer complaint aggregating websites are full of such complaints revealing unfair tactics resorted by most of the private operators.
After a long wait MNP finally got launched across India on 20th Jan,2011. Mobile users unhappy with their service providers got the option to switch by retaining the numbers. The process to be followed by a consumer to go for porting looks very simple and hassle free. But in reality customers are facing innumerable problems. Some of the problems are like service disruption while handover occurs for many a days while TRAI says it shouldn’t be more than two hours.
But the most grueling and frustrating experience for consumers is the rejection of porting code requests on flimsy and unreasonable grounds.
Some of the customers are complaining that Private Operators are giving lame excuses like:
1. We can’t afford to loose a valuable customer like you without any solid reason
2. Subscription to Lifetime plan
3. Certain scheme active like CUG
4. Legal reasons without any detail
5. Porting code mismatch even if it’s correct
Such an experience and excuses really irritates the harassed customer and he becomes an avid brand ambassador for negative publicity by word of mouth. I can’t understand why these companies are failing to understand that it’ll ultimately do more harm than good in terms of brand value erosion.
One Person shared his agony with us. Read it below:
Please do not believe in the statistics of Airtel. They are cunningly either delaying or rejecting MNP port-out requests.
I had obtained a UPC to port out from Airtel to BSNL and submitted my request on 1st February 2011. On 2nd February 2011, I got a message saying that my porting request has been rejected by my existing service provider for ‘Legal Reasons’. Since 2nd February 2011, I had been following it up with Airtel (calling up and visiting customer service centers) to know what those ‘Legal Reasons’ were, especially since mine is a pre-paid connection.
After days of pain, only today (9th February 2011) I got a confirmation from Airtel that they rejected my request because I had agreed to continue with Airtel and I accepted some new plan offer that they had proposed. This was absolutely cooked-up and false. I asked the nodal officer to prove this, to which he is shying away.
I am openly challenging Airtel to play me back the call where I had accepted their offer.
Now, the Airtel nodal officer asked me to obtain a new UPC and start the process again (for no fault of mine).
I tried to get a new UPC by sending a new request to 1900, but I repeatedly get an error message saying ‘Invalid Request’.
My first UPC is still valid till 14th February 2011. What should I do now ?
Airtel is playing fraud and are trying to somehow delay or deny my port-out request.
The web is full of such complaints from affected and harassed consumers. Mobile service providers, TRAI and DOT will have to seriously ponder on the issue to ensure that the benefit of MNP ultimately reaches to the end consumer otherwise it would merely remain a much hyped jargon.
Will TRAI and DOT take cognizance of this and educate customers what to do in such cases. Is there any mechanism in place where customers can make a complaint,if facing any problem?
DOT has consumer grievance mechanism in place which directs a consume to make the complaint first to the service provider at three levels and if not resolved then can make complaint to the DOT.