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|February 11, 1998||
Telecom consumers plug for private service providersAn overwhelming 69 per cent of telecom consumers favour entry of private players in basic telephony services as competitors to the Department of Telecommunications, a nation-wide survey has revealed.
Sixty-nine per cent of the respondents supported the entry of private operators, citing poor service and problems related to DoT personnel. Only 8 per cent opposed the entry and the rest failed to answer.
"The citizen's charter survey was done as part of a programme to focus on problems faced by consumers of services provided by the government, and is a pilot study on five service sectors - telecommunications, banks, health, municipal service and electricity," Santosh Kumar of the said.
The study also covered the consumer's response to other problems associated with the telecom sector.
Around 375 households in eastern, northern and southern telecom regions, including 25 households of NOIDA (industrial belt near Delhi), using services provided by a private telecom operator, were surveyed.
The responses were collected and analysed by the Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (Voice), New Delhi, Kumar said.
On the number of calls required to register a complaint with the telephone department, 64 per cent said a complaint was registered after two to five calls while 29 per cent said they could register a complaint only after 6 to 10 calls.
In contrast, 85 per cent of the respondents using telephone service provided by a private operator in NOIDA said they were able to register their complaint on the first call itself.
Forty-eight per cent of the respondents said their phones were repaired by DoT within 2 to 5 days of the complaint, 35 per cent said it took 6 to 10 days, 8 per cent said it took 10-30 days and 6 per cent felt it took more than a month.
Fifty-five per cent of the respondents using private telephone service said their phones were repaired a day after their complaint, while 45 per cent said it took 2 to 5 days.
The billing related services and operator services of the private sector, in contrast to MTNL, are very good and the general attitude of the staff is better too.
None of those using private phone services ever had problems of inflated bills or had to pay to the staff to carry out repairs in contrast to the 51 per cent who said that they had to pay telecom staff every time there was a fault.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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