Priscilla Jebaraj

Few know of Excel Power plan's benefits

  • It allows calling any two numbers in State at 10 paise a minute at 60-second pulse rate
  • Pre-paid users can sign up through an SMS, post-paid users must go in person to apply

    CHENNAI: Over five lakh subscribers of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited mobile services in Chennai can now call any two of their friends anywhere in the State for just 10 paise per minute at a 60-second pulse rate but very few of them know anything about it.

    The plan allows subscribers to select two BSNL numbers anywhere in the State, one of which must be a landline.

    The other can be a landline, cell or WLL number. This is available for all BSNL cellular subscribers except those using the Excel Anant or Excel One India plans.

    The telecom corporation launched the `Excel Power' scheme recently but it does not seem to be in a hurry to announce a marketing plan.

    Several subscriberscomplain little publicity has been given, including by way of text (SMS) messages.

    They have not received any information, except through a small newspaper advertisement and report.

    Consumer activist T. Sadagopan attributes this to the lack of transparency within BSNL, which, according to him, comes in the way of access to information for its subscribers.

    "They keep sending us all sorts of nuisance messages that irritate us. But when there is a good scheme like this that benefits so many people, why don't they give more information about it," he asks.

    Contradictory information

    The BSNL call centre (1500 / 94440-24365) is of little help. Even if someone has seen the newspaper advertisement and calls the toll-free number, the call centre executives give contradictory information. They are not clear on whether the scheme applies to post-paid subscribers, he says.

    For post-paid customers too

    A senior BSNL official, however, confirmed that post-paid customers could avail themselves of the benefits. But he admits there is a hiccup while prepaid users can sign up for the scheme by simply sending an SMS, post-paid users must go in person and apply at the customer service centre.

    He says the SMS sign-up facility will be available to post-paid users "in the next few days."

    On the marketing campaign, he says "we are working on that ... trying whatever possible through the usual methods."

    Hoardings will come up in the next couple of days and marketing executives have been directed to send messages to existing customers.