Sunday, June 21, 2009

How Indian telephony users perceive? A snap report

K. Srinivasan, presenting the snap survey report

Prime Point Foundation and Corporate ezine PR-e-Sense conducted an online 'snap survey' during the second week of June 2009 to quickly understand the perception of various Indian telephony users. The survey coverred landline, mobile, broadband and DTH/Cable TV services. The survey findings were presented by K. Srinivasan, Chairman, Prime Point Foundation on 20th June 2009 in a Seminar organised by Consumers Association of India (CAI) jointly with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

1. Generally, the BSNL users are critical of the quality of service (QOS) and customer care provided by BSNL. Generally consumers are more concered that BSNL is not giving tough competition to the private operators. This attitude of BSNL is not in the interest of the Nation.

2. Users from Private operators are critical of the customer care and lack of transparency in their tariff structure. Though TRAI has directed that all the operators should have a proper system in place for customer care and to provide 'escalation path' like call centre, nodal officer, appelate authority, etc. I personally found that they are more in paper. In some of the sites, it is difficult to get the numbers of the nodal officers. In many cases, the numbers will not be picked up anybody.

TRAI was represented by Mr Mathew Palamattam, Deputy Advisor. Airtel, Aircel, Vodofone, BSNL were represented by their middle level Officers. Tata Indicom and Reliance did not send any representative.

From the various deliberations, I observed that TRAI does not have enough 'teeth' or 'powers' to punish/penalise the erring operators. I understand that TRAI has powers only to announce rules and regulations. When the operators do not care for such rules, possibly, TRAI also will join the consumers only to 'weep'. They cannot do anything more. Only Government can explain as to why they keep TRAI 'teethless'.

The recorded version of my presentation in the Seminar is gien below. Please click 'play' button in the flash player below to watch the presentation (17 minutes). The streaming will be smooth in broadband connections. If you find any difficulty, right click this link and save the target/link to your desktop in wmv format and watch through windows media player.

The presentation can be watched in the following link also


  1. Sir: A after reading this, i immediately opened The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997. I think i have reason to contradict what TRAI is saying and allowing consumers to weep.

    Section 29: Penalty for contravention of directions of Authrity (Read as TRAI) - If a person violates directions of the TRAI, such person shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and in case of second or subsequent offence with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees and in the case of continuing contravention with additional fine which may extend to two lakh rupees for every day during which the default continues.

    Section 30: Gives enough teeth to TRAI to take action against companies and directors.

    Section 31: Gives ample scope to TRAI to punish Government Departments, especially BSNL. If TRAI proceed against BSNL CMD in already registered case, BSNL CMD will have to pay thru nose a huge sum of 36 crores to TRAI on a single complaint.

    TRAI saying that - they merely forwarded the complaint to operator or saying any other thing is just excuse for something else.

    See the scenario at Insurance regulator - Your complaint is acknowledged and acted within hours. In TRAI - everything is just fishy. In the end i wish to write that TRAI is self proclaimed Toothless Tiger, they are mere post office as they want to be, why is .................... prize.

    Avinash Murkute


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