Several prepaid mobile users from other States are facing top-up travails with retail outlets of some operators refusing to oblige top-up requests for roaming numbers.

While many operators claim to have top-up facilities across India, on the ground mobile users visiting Chennai find that several franchisees and retail outlets refuse to honour requests for numbers outside Tamil Nadu.

BSNL is one operator which has imposed restrictions on top-up for numbers outside Chennai and Tamil Nadu Circles. This follows complaints of cross-selling by some franchisees outside their territories using the roaming C Top Up SIM cards provided by BSNL, an official said.

“Users on roaming can buy vouchers at franchisees and outlets and use the code to recharge their accounts,” said Chennai Telephones spokesperson G. Vijaya.

Officials at Vodafone and Airtel said top up was possible at any of their outlets across the country. “We follow a system where franchisees buy up talk time for their home and roaming accounts which they retail to consumers. There are also a range of specially designed roaming vouchers for users to choose,” a Vodafone spokesman said.

Some users have also complained that while topping up online is a round-the-clock alternative, they are often unable to access full range of top-up or recharge offers on the web.

“On several occasions, there is a time lag between topping up online and the actual activation of talk time on the mobile,” said T. Sadagopan, consumer activist.

“Restricting the options can be a hassle for people like us,” said Janardanan Raja, a senior citizen from Kerala, who is in Chennai to spend time with his grandchildren.

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