A section of BSNL customers have complained of difficulty in getting their faulty landline instruments replaced. The old instrument is often replaced by another used instrument which does not work too well, according to many customers.

S. Ranganathan of Arumbakkam says he has given up seeking a replacement as the few attempts he made proved futile. “My instrument is quite old and the voice of the person on the other end cannot be heard clearly. There is a buzz,” he says.

When he sought a replacement, he was told that the instrument was fine and there was an issue only in the connection. “I find the service very poor and there is no follow up,” says the senior citizen.

Many customers said they primarily used a cordless instrument in their houses and the BSNL instrument was used only when there was a power cut.

“Whenever we answer calls on our landline, the callers say they cannot hear us. There is invariably some disturbance in the line. We have to immediately switch to our cordless phone or call back using our mobile phones,” says 67-year-old R.Lakshmi.

V. Anand, a BSNL landline user in Adyar, had the experience of his instrument being replaced with one that gave more problems. “I have virtually stopped using the landline connection,” he says.

S. Saroja, legal coordinator, Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) said several complaints regarding replacement of landline instruments have come to their notice. “We heard that there was a shortage in supply of new instruments. Customers are being given the option of buying a new instrument of their choice in the market,” she says.

Observing that the supply of landline instruments was limited, A. Subramanian, Chief General Manager, BSNL Chennai Telephones said: “We are unable to give new instruments to everyone. We are encouraging customers seeking new connections to buy their own instrument. We will reduce Rs.500 in the first bill. That way, they could opt for an instrument of their choice,” he said.

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