BSNL has caught a whiff of fraudulent activities by the staff of Aircel and has taken the required step of going to the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cell in Chennai. BSNL is also seeking assistance from Trai and is planning to take the matter to the regulator if these illicit activities on Aircel’s part continue. The reason why BSNL had to approach the TERM is because they found a discrepancy in the numbers of subscribers which were transitioning to BSNL networks after Aircel stopped its services. BSNL has alleged that over 12 lakh plus customers have joined BSNL via portability, but many corporate customers, high billing individuals and CUG connections of corporate firms were prevented from joining the network by not providing them with technical assistance to do transition to BSNL.
S M Kalavathy, BSNL’s chief general manager also confirmed BSNL’s stance on the issue. “Private telecom players have involved in such activities, and we have raised the issue with the TERM cell. The response to BSNL is encouraging and we are looking forward to more customers as our billing and service mechanisms are transparent”.
V Sathiabalan, former telecom advisory member was of the same thought regarding the matter and gave voice to allegations too. He said “Customers of Aircel are not able to transfer their number to BSNL network. Mobile Number Portability was rejected three times by Aircel due to wrong UPC reason within a span of 30 days. Customer were forced to go to other private players by conspiracy”
As DC reported, many Aircel customers with CUG connection employed at a coal terminal in Ennore Port were to transition to BSNL networks using portability, but the staff who were responsible for the process made delays in the technicalities forcing the customers to opt for another subscriber.
Sathiabalan said that DoT should look into the matter and take stringent action two ways, firstly for the tactical delay which has caused unnecessary discomfort to the consumers and secondly for the loss which the government has borne because of this ordeal by Aircel. He also added that in a private sector company the complaint mechanism was hidden behind a ‘terms and conditions’ tag however such isn’t the case with public sector companies.