Skip to main content

A Notification, Story, and Apology for You

It’s a crime not to publish regularly when you have a blog. And it becomes extremely unforgivable when you have this many readers reading your blog’s RSS. So, all, please accept my apologies for no updation in the last two or three days; here is the reason for that. One more thing: This is a notification post, and not connected to the general topic of the blog. I have labeled it as a Blog Notification. Here onward, dear readers, I will have all the notifications for you under this lightweight banner.

I am here in India, and the only countrywide Internet service available to us is from the Indian government-affiliated company, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigham Limited). Since it is the only company offering Internet service in our area, I have no choice. If there were other companies available, I would gladly have switched.

It was until evening last Friday, April 18, that I was getting Internet connectivity without any fault whatever. Suddenly in the evening, when I tried to connect, I got an error message: “Error 676: Phone line is busy.” Since I am used to such error messages, I did what I do usually—reconnect. And reconnect, and reconnect—no use. I put the connection timeout as 1 second and kept trying for the whole night in vain.

On Saturday, I called up BSNL customer service. First, I called the normal customer service number and found myself waiting and waiting, hearing the "service is busy" message. Since fortunately I had secured two or three other numbers of nearby BSNL offices, I called one of them, the number of the telephone Exchange of my place, Vizhinjam. I got a lady online, with whom I had talked at an earlier date. She, clueless and confused as always, redirected me to another number, of the Junior Telecom Officer, JTO.

I had talked with and had a small acquaintance with this fifty-year-old person, who is ironically the ‘only’ technician available in the telephone and broadband company like BSNL in our whole exchange. When I couldn’t get in touch with this person, I called up the support again and this time got connected. I told them of the trouble, and they tried to do some minor troubleshooting steps like modem reset, reconnect, etc., and nothing happened; I kept receiving the same error message time and again. By this time, I had to redial the support number thrice (each time they gave me a new troubleshooting step, they disconnected the phone after giving me vacant promise that this time it would be all right.) At last, somehow they elicited that it was the trouble with the modem (Phone line is busy), and asked me to contact the local Exchange, Vizhinjam.

Getting round to where I started, I called up the JTO again, and after some tries, I got connected to him. I renewed my acquaintance with him and told him of the trouble. I relayed what the support had found out, “the modem is faulty and needs replacement.” He said that the new consignment of modems would arrive only on Monday, and then he would bring the new modem and connect it for me. I was relaxed for Sunday and tried reconnecting several times.

On Monday, as I got no reply or communication from the JTO, I tried his number. Ring! Ring! But none to answer. After ten tries, I called up the lady I called first. She gave me another number to call. This one was Sub-divisional Engineer of the Exchange. This officer promised me that he would send the JTO to me by afternoon. Afternoon, when it passed 3:30, I called up the same number again and a different employee received the call. When I told him of the trouble, he asked first to call the support, then JTO, and then, when I said I called them all and talked with the sub-divisional engineer as well, he said the officer had been out and didn’t return afternoon. He gave me the officer’s cell number.

When I called the sub-divisional engineer on his cell, he said the JTO was on leave as there had been a local demise and he was attending the rituals. And he promised to bring me relief the next day.

Sunday morning, as I was not getting the broadband, I had switched to dial up. The speed was mostly 10 kbps and sometimes better at 20 (while BSNL always touts it as 56 kbps). I used it to access and check my mail. By Monday morning, dial up was also down. I had written a post for the blog, and taking about half an hour, updated the blog on 19th.

By Tuesday morning, as I got no call from anybody, I tried to get in touch with the JTO. By this time, I had checked my dial up connection several times and found that it was not working at all. When I couldn’t get in touch with JTO, and got beep sound whenever I tried a number, I realized that the telephone itself was out of order. I tried the number of the lady in the Exchange again as it was the only number that went through. At last when she was connected, she confirmed there was trouble with the whole Trivandrum SSA. I had nothing to do.

By afternoon, fortunately for all of us, BSNL somehow got it right. I tried the JTO’s number again and this time, he didn’t recognize me at all. I had to retell him the entire story to make him understand. He then told me that the modem consignment would arrive only in the evening, and he could come to my home the next day by noon. When I insisted that it seemed like a trouble with the Exchange and not with the modem, he had to consent to check the Exchange system. He said he would get people to change the port for my phone and gave me another number to call about it.

When I called it and told them the problem, the man on the other end assured the connection would be fine within an hour. I decided to wait for that long and fired up the computer game to kill time.

By the end of an hour and a quarter, I got a check call from the Exchange telling me the port was being changed. Within five minutes, I got another call, the person told me to check my connection now. When I tried to reconnect the modem and dialed up, the connection was all right. After some time, I got the call from JTO also, checking if the connection was fine.

So then, for getting this little port thing right, I had to call no less than twenty or so calls to this company in a span of three days. And it was all mere port problem. In one of the calls, the person who attended told me a little interesting thing: “There is no technician with us, the only one that we had got a transfer recently. And everything technical is managed by the JTO,” who is an old man.

Here is another petty thing about BSNL customer service. When you call HP’s care, the technician won’t disconnect the call until the customer does so. If he does so, HP will spot-fire him. With BSNL so is not the case. The technician (who is not knowledgeable than JTO himself) gives you some unimportant tips, which you might know yourself and would disconnect the call after a little promise like “It should be all right once you do it, ok?” Maybe BSNL should start counting their days as newer companies are creeping through our lands, filling more regions.

You will shortly have the regular new post in the blog.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008


Popular posts from this blog

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly. Hyphen (-) The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash . Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen. A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance: The T-rex has a movement-based vision. My blog is blogger-powered. John’s idea was pooh-poohed. The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks . En Dash (–) En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance: People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension. Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours. In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the k

4 Effective Ways to Write About a Boring Topic

  With the plethora of interesting topics to write about, you’re fortunate enough to get the “boring” one. While it can be a pain for many writers to wind up with such a task, I’m telling you now there are ways to make yours more interesting than it is. So if you find yourself stuck with the dreariest topic to fill in a blog about, don’t fret. Here are the four best ways to unburden yourself. 1. Never a boring topic, only a boring writer. Here’s the hard fact: It’s never about the topic being boring. It’s about the writer making it boring. For instance, you’re supposed to write about aquariums. I know, how can you continuously make this topic interesting, right? Well, you’d be surprised just in how many ways you can make it an enticing read. Start by listing down the basic “what”, “where”, “when” and “how” surrounding the topic. You can ask (and research) about “What material was first used to make aquariums?” or even “How the first aquarium was built?” or “What are

Another Tiny List of Confusables

Earlier, you may remember we published a list of confusable words . Here we are again, with such a list of words. Abjure/Adjure: Abjure means "to formally renounce (give up) something" such as a position. Adjure on the other hand means 'to appeal to' or 'solemnly order'. The governor decided to abjure his position due to political pressure. Normally, adjuring to the subordinates doesn't give many results. Amount/Number: Use amount when you have uncountable subject. Use number when it is countable. The amount of love one gets depends on the number of friends one has. Appraise/Apprise: Appraise is the word applied to quantitative evaluation of something. Apprise means 'communicate' or 'inform'. Appraising diamonds is the work of an expert. Joe apprised me of the schedule of events. Attorney/Lawyer/Solicitor: These terms are highly misinterpreted and confused by many people. Let me clarify. In the US, an attorney is any member