Sunday, October 03, 2010

Goodbye, Vodafone!

I started using cellphone in 2003. Today I got one of the most stupid SMSes I have ever received. It was tough to make out what it meant for a while. It was written in English but the sentences were to be interpreted in Hindi. I was surprised that a professional company like Vodafone can send such an SMS to its pre-paid customer for past 7 years. I reproduce the SMS here.

"Jaruri soochna. Bharat sarkar ke naye niyamonke anusaar aapke khate ko update karne ke liye aapke recent documents ki jaroorat hai. Issliye aapke Vodafone number ki outgoing seva kal raddh ki jayegi. Iss seva ko activate karne ke liye kripya apne self attested identity proof, address proof, sim copy copy aur 1 passport size photograph, aapke nazdiki Vodafone store/Mini store mein jama kare. Saath mein original documents le jaye. Dhanyawad"

One can see how ridiculous the SMS is written. It roughly translates in plain English like this.

"Important Announcement. According to Government of India rule, your recent documents are required to update your account. For that, your outgoing call service will be barred tomorrow onwards. To activate this service, please submit your self attested identity proof, address proof, sim card copy and one passport size photograph in nearby Vodafone store/Mini store. Bring original documents along with these. Thank You."

I had already submitted all these documents while getting my pre-paid SIM. I had resubmitted them some 4 years back when they asked. This propelled me to ask many questions to the customer care executive whom I called immediately after understanding what this silly SMS meant. Here are they.

1. Recent documents are required by you again and you have lost the already submitted documents somewhere, why to cut my outgoing call service for your blunder?

2. Is it not your fault to activate my connection for 7 years without submitting proper documents to the government?

3. What did you morons do with my already submitted documents twice? Did you give connections to someone else on my documents?

4. If at all the documents are required again, is it not your duty to send your representative to my address to collect them if I agree to give?

5. If I want to terminate your connection right away, how can I get back the remaining amount in my pre-paid account?

The customer care fellow did not give proper explanation to any of these queries. It has become a routine for these mobile service providers to blackmail the customers at arbitrary times for the mess they themselves create due to their fraudulent activities.

I am fed up with such unethical behavior of Vodafone. I finally decided not to submit any of the documents to Vodafone. I will submit them to some other provider like MTNL to get a new connection. I will use this Vodafone number for incoming calls till they terminate that also. I will spend the remaining amount in this prepaid account while roaming by receiving calls.


Goodbye, Vodafone!