BSNL introduces two new services

TIRUCHI, FEB.26. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) introduced two new services for its subscribers here today — an answering machine service and a computerised cheque deposit kiosk.

While the cheque deposit kiosk has been established at the Central Telegraph Office premises in the city, the answering machine service would be available for BSNL landline subscribers in Tiruchi and Karur.

Subscribers could deposit cheques or demand drafts towards their bills at the kiosk round the clock before the pay-by-date. Detailed instructions, in both Tamil and English, have been provided on the sides of the machine to enable subscribers to deposit the cheques without any difficulty. The system has a bilingual option. Subscribers would be issued an acknowledgement slip on deposit of cheques. Duplicate bills and other application forms could be obtained from the kiosk.

The installation of the equipment would ease the congestion at payment counters and subscribers need not have to wait in long queues, the General Manager of BSNL, Tiruchi, S.Ramalingam, told mediapersons after commissioning the kiosk.

Mr.Ramalingam said a touch screen kiosk, which would provide information on various services offered by the BSNL, would be set up in Tiruchi soon. Similar kiosks and cheque deposit kiosks would be set at all revenue district headquarters and at the 14 Short Distance Charging Areas (SDCA) headquarters in a phased manner.

The answering machine service (AMS) would be available on request for landline subscribers in Tiruchi and Karur for storing voice messages. Subscribers availing the facility would be provided with a voice mailbox and whenever there was no reply from AMS subscriber's number or when the number was busy, incoming calls would be automatically routed to the voice mail box where callers could leave a message. Total confidentiality would be maintained and the AMS subscribers could retrieve the recorded messages any time using the assigned passwords.

Though the facility is free, subscribers would have to pay the call charges (STD rates applicable if accessed from outstation) for retrieving the recorded messages. A maximum of 10 messages (each of one minute duration) could be stored at the voice mail box at any given time. Application forms for the service would be available at the BSNL customer care and telecom centres.

Answering a query, Mr.Ramalingam said the BSNL, Tiruchi, has forwarded a suggestion to its headquarters on creating a waiting list for applicants seeking pre-paid coupons for mobile phones in view of the heavy demand in the market.

BSNL was initiating stern action on complaints of irregularities in the sale of the pre-paid cards. However, he said the situation was likely to ease by March when the BSNL would add about 3.50 lakh new connections to its cellular network in the Tamil Nadu circle including 50,000 in Tiruchi district. The BSNL was expected to augment its cellular capacity by another eight lakh connections by next year.

Currently, the BSNL was focussing on improving its cellular coverage and erecting additional towers. About 15 more towers would be added in Tiruchi soon.

On distribution of telephone directories, Mr. Ramalingam said though the BSNL has printed 2.80 lakh new directories, 30 per cent of the subscribers were yet to collect the same. The BSNL has now proposed to distribute the directories through its field staff.