Earlier last month we had reported about famed BSNL's night unlimited plans going away. The plan changes were so major that users would end up paying a lot for what they usually got for free.
The proposed revision is set to completely do away with the night unlimited part and customers would be paying at reduced rates for those times. 1 GB of data download which used to cost nothing so far will cost Rs. 154 (at the rate of Rs. 0.15/MB) during 2 AM to 8 AM. It will cost double the amount if used during other hours.
Despite of this major impact BSNL did not intimate a majority of consumers over this long period. Note that the decision was taken before June 10 and the changes were to be effective (now effective) from July 1. Going by the comments, only some BSNL offices intimated customers over last few days of June and most of them are alerting after the change of plan. Though we at TelecomTALK provide authentic information, many of our readers were confused with this move by BSNL due to lack of official announcements. Last month the comments were mainly about will the change happen. Alert readers confirmed the same after contacting local BSNL offices. As we feared, due to lack of proper intimation, lots of customers are sharing their worries about bill shocks next month. Check out these experiences:
On July 4, Jaseel wrote: I came to know about it after 4 days ! Already used 4.4 GB in my 2.5 GB limited connection. Thank God I checked my usage after 4 days, or else I would have never known. I still got no text or email or call from BSNL. When they’re gonna notify me? After I get a bill of 5000?
This change basically means – no downloading, no youtubing and not even extreme browsing. I’m so done with BSNL. Man I used to love this plan for Free Night Unlimited. My usage last month was 77 GB ! U know what we should do? Don’t pay those bills. No notification and took our money for a year contract and change it with no hesitation. Absurd.
On July 4, Rekha wrote: Luckily I checked it today when it crossed 5GB. Will end up paying 450 for the bsnls mistake for not communicating properly to customers. Decided to switch to other vendors. For 600, some provide 10GB@2mbps+unlimted 256kbps. End of my 7 year old relationship with Bsnl All the best bsnl. All others reduced amount and increased limit. Bsnl increased amount and reduced freebies! I hope it will go down soon.
On July 3, XY wrote: Just got a call from bsnl cc stating the same! But those idiots should inform their customers at least the previous month. I downloaded around 10 gb of data on this month itself!!!! This sucks!! I wonder what will be the bill amount!
On July 3, Jyotirmoy wrote: Yes,there ischange in this plan.I have been using BBG FN 500. ASSUMING THERE IS NO CHANGE, I USED THE SERVICE AS USUAL IN NIGHT 2 TO 8 AM ON 2 ND JULY. LATER GOT SMS THAT ” You have consumed 80 % of your free data” in today morning. There checking portal shows that I am using BBG FN 500.Actually they have not changed the name, but charging Re 0.15/ MB during ‘night’ usage. CC confirmed the rate and change of plan to me later. THERE WAS NO SMS/MAIL PREVIOUSLY FROM BSNL.Now I am thinking of leaving BSNL or going to a minimum value plan( only to keep the connection alive because speed was very good – 1.75 Mbps,speed tester.net). What are other user’s opinion regarding perception of our future change?
Going by the above comments, it is very clear that there will be many other customers who are still not be aware of this major change.
Is this a Deliberate Move?
Till date BSNL has not alerted customers about this plan change across major channels. While they are fairly quick in announcing single STV withdrawals (screenshots below), and rent hikes across broadband plans on the official website(s), we see no notice pertaining to this change on their website(s). We could not locate the plan details on their official website (note that these plans were withdrawn long ago for new customers and they were probably removed from the website then).
We wonder if BSNL is planning to welcome all unhappy customers in August to their offices and make a killing by suggesting expensive unlimited plans to everyone! This would essentially mean at least Rs. 300 more per month to a consumer.
What is the Solution?
- BSNL must accept their mistake and push forward these changes by at least a month.
- Customers must be intimated by proper means like email, SMS or phone call and be briefed about the impact and suggested alternatives. Not everyone can compare plans easily. It takes time for experts too!
If BSNL fails to do both of the above, we suggest customers who get high bills to opt for "SAMADHAAN" scheme. However according to their corporate website the option is not available now. They keep relaunching it from time to time. So unfortunately negotiating for a similar deal could be the answer. Of course approaching consumer court can also be a solution but that demands time and effort.
Per se we are not against tariff hikes or usage revisions. We just believe that brands need to be ethical and alert customers well ahead of time so that they can think about alternatives. What do you think about this unethical move? If you are impacted what would be your action?
Even at my hometown, I used to be on one of the night unlimited plans and I received no intimation by whatsoever means (email, call, SMS) from BSNL till I got my plan changed by 26 June.