It was surprising when I was complaining about people, and my friend typing back LOLs on Gtalk Chat! I was complaining about the sick people, who know me since long and have almost four to five mobile numbers saved in their mobile phone book against my name, whereas I use only one. I was damn serious about people not discarding the old numbers and then, themselves getting confused which one to dial, in case if they want to catch me. My friend still LOLing. When asked, she was also one of them. Its horrifying to know that she still has 5 Mobile numbers under my name. But the best part is, she claims to be aware of which number is currently active. I realized how sick people are, when they read only a part of my text message. With the last number update SMS I had sent, I had added a small list of 4 numbers that I don’t own at all. Rarely people seem to have followed that but just added one more number to their Phonebook which was the latest.
I have even met some of these people, who claim to have concluded
right that a Cell Phone number is very important for them. They cannot change their number what-so-ever may happen to them. They don’t mind paying massive bills that are sent by Service Providers. Even if their billing is wrong as per them, they might not want to argue with them with the fear of their number getting disconnected. One of this friend of mine, who owns a business of Construction Materials, recently got a new Reliance GSM Connection. He got this new connection for outgoing purposes as he feels Vodafone is charging them more than everyone else. When I ask him, why doesn’t he discard the VF Number? He says, “bhai, poori life meri iss number pe tikki hui hai. Aisa main bilkul nahi kar sakta hun.” Another of my aunt uses a Loop Mobile Number and faces tremendous Network Issues in the area she resides. When asked
why don’t you switch to other operator who has a better Service in
your area? She says, “its a pain to distribute the new number.!” Why
look outside? Looking into my home, my dad doesn’t want to change his Reliance number. I wonder whats so messy about changing a number? I wonder how much does it take to update your fraternity with your new number? An quick SMS to all, if the fraternity is small or less than 200. Or you can keep everyone informing about your new number going live from XYZ Date, when you ever speak to them from your current number. I find people are so silly when they show helplessness associated around changing their numbers. It should be by-laws to change your cell phone number every 6 months or a year… :: 😛
My wirefree life started on 09th April 2005, with a new Vodafone
Connection and the number was 9833 XXX XXX. It was amazing for almost 1 year. There were small arguments with the Service Provider for their pathetic Customer Service, but I didn’t want to make it big. I had got this connection, bonded to a handset from Sagem as my First Mobile. It was a Sagem MyXW-1 Cell Phone. As per the Sales Person, I was bound by obligation to use it for at least 10 months. Post which this handset will be unlocked by them and I can use any other SIM Card / Service Provider as well. Done with 10 months? Am following up for the code to unlock, which took me about 2 months. After this long wait, I managed to get it unlocked. But didn’t change my Number or Service Provider yet. One fine day, I realized that my Handset has again been blocked for some unknown reasons. When you call up Customer Service, they say there was no such clause. Am bound to use the same number and same Connection all the life now. That is where the distrust starts. Who are you to bind me with a number? F*** O**!! It was an amazing experience to drain all my frustration on the Vodafone Customer Care Executive (50 minutes call to 111) and even the Vodafone Store Attendant (40 minutes of all-high-voiced lashings to him, on his desk). I wonder if both of them are truly ethical to themselves, they should have understood that how wrong Vodafone is and must have left the job. If not, may be the world is unethical.
I started looking around for a new Service Provider & also a good
handset which should be affordable to me cost wise. On 9th November 2007, I managed to get a new Nokia 2626 & a new MTNL Trump Connection. It was decided long back to go to MTNL Trump, but i was waiting to get a right number! I just happened to visit to my friend’s stationery shop and we were discussing the Service Providers. In the chat I expressed my thought of MTNL Trump but the stopping factor – I need a good number! He calls up one of his so-called-punter and within 30 minutes he is at his shop. A whole bag of MTNL Trump SIM Cards. Almost more than 500 and I was asked to select the number-of-my-choice. Reading each number, sorting some of the wanna-bes, analyzing from the numerological point (my number is 1) I had managed to short list about 12 numbers. But the one that caught my eye, and I finalized for it – 9969 XXX XXX. Submitting the Documents > waiting for a couple of days > number was activated. In the meanwhile, I had switched over my job. So there wasn’t anyone to be informed of the number change, except for
the few HRs who were in touch with me on Vodafone Number for the New Job Interviews and formalities. This new number went amazing.
Unstopped Services from MTNL. That is when I realized people have so many wrong perceptions about MTNL GSM Service. Its truly a niche Service Provider till date. People might find they don’t have much offers. But people ignore the Talk Time provided on each offer. For instance:- with GPRS in so demand today, no service provider offers any talktime on monthly GPRS Plan of 98 bucks. Whereas MTNL Trump provides a talktime of 27 Rupees on a recharge of 99 plus a month full or uninterrupted GPRS Service. You scratch a voucher for any SMS Pack as well and you will end up getting at least a small amount of 5 bucks talktime in it.
Meanwhile, Cellular Service had become one of my addictions and I
thought of being aware of all happenings there. I had even signed up
and visited regular to http://telecomtalk.info for their latest
updates on Indian Telecom Industry. There were unconfirmed news about mobile numbers getting exhausted in India. I got into curiosity of how it could be possible. It would be a catastrophe if India is running out of mobile numbers. TRAI and DoT had only two ways to sort out – either by adding an extra digit to mobile numbers or by allowing other number switches to be used. That’s when there were news about New Number series coming out. Adding a digit is not a solution as it involves heavy capital investment into technology. What was it? Now Mobile numbers will start with first digit as “8”. It was a never before act in Indian Telecom Industry. 5 Digit Series were allocated to Service Providers for various circles and the SIM Cards were now out for sales at every retail store. Around that time, I managed to visit the same friend’s shop and he mentioned that Reliance is getting GSM Service with Series of 8080. I was already aware about their launch and even learnt they are towards the cheapest Service Proider now, as compared to other GSM Providers. He again called his punter > me browsing through available options > finalizing one > 8080 XXX XXX > activating it and I was in a new world. Busy endorsing my new number that starts with “8”. Would blog some other day about my experience with “8”. In less than a month, I realized my prepaid account being getting used without my notices. I refilled for 100 bucks and in a week it showed up only 60 bucks. I was more than sure (I have my own set of policies to deal with prepaid numbers) to not have used even a single rupee of talktime for voice calls or data calls. An heated argument with customer care reveals that I had signed up (a baseless argument) for some free tips service and hence was charged. A small spark and they were on my nerves. When asked them to deactivate, they provide me some number who will help in deactivating. Calling that
number for almost a week, went to no use. I finally had made my mind to drop this one as well.
Luckily my MTNL Connection hadn’t expired yet and hence could
reactivate to start using that again. It was still the same good
Service Provided for me. Everything was fine untill one day was the
news that my team was supposed to work from our newly acquired
premises, within Powai though. I moved there and discovered there was no network from MTNL Trump. I would not blame MTNL for not reaching there. But the Customers are to be blamed for not demanding it. With high volume of demand, hadn’t MTNL planned to install towers on this location? I have already decided, not to defend self and keep flowing in the direction of the water. I was into office with just a handphone and no network at all. I had provided by Direct Line number to my family for contacting me. I enjoyed being with a useless cellphone, may be for almost a couple of months. It was one day that my family was finally frustrated about this bad-contact-ability of mine, I had to hunt out for available options. With a bit of research I found that Vodafone, Aircel & Airtel have the best reception in this new location. I was determined, not to prove more insane by selecting Vodafone. Some of them gave bad reviews about Airtel. Aircel was used by one of the colleague and he had assured me of their better reception. It was a big time hunting for Aircel SIM Cards with retail dealers. Rarely anyone had them, and if they had – the numbers weren’t that attractive. Finally a day came when I got one Aircel Number – 9786 XXX XXX. I had zero issues with their Services, except for only limited retailers to refill the prepaid number. Once I had some argument with one of my relative and that’s when I realized – I am into office. I have very low balance on the Aircel Prepaid Number (something close to 24 bucks). There is no Aircel Outlet here to recharge this number. I can’t move out of building premises, just to search for a phoney recharge. This argument won’t be short enough to finish quick.
Amidst all the frustration, I realized the importance of having a
postpaid plan – uninterrupted services. I had my research done already about available postpaid plans in open market and under Employee’s Corporate Schemes as well. The Corporate Plans obviously looked better than Open Market plans. The only advantage that I found was the CUG Benefit within my firm’s employees. Luckily the family argument ended when I was left with 15 rupees in my Aircel Prepaid Account. Hurried back to my desk from Lobby, and hunted for the Vodafone Dude’s number > phoned him for an appointment > managed to get a number of my choice > 97699 XXXXXX > assurances of this getting activated in a couple of days > it was important for me as I was about to leave for a pleasure trip. The new Vodafone Number got activated in less than 48 hours and it was all good.
Until we found Airtel Corporate Plans re-framed for our firm’s
employees with lot of free usages. We checked with Vodafone Dude and he assured us of similar free things to come up in about a months
time. These assurances went for almost a quarter. I can’t wait anymore and I took a final decision to use the newest feature – Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and switched over to Airtel. I managed to keep my number same and change the service provider. This time giving no troubles to my known ones of editing their Phone Book!!