Cellular Hangama 😉
All the 3 GSM cellular providers (you know whom) in Chennai (excluding the govt controlled BSNL) have this funda of hidden costs to their tariff bill. With TRAI coming to rescue (!) of the mobile users in India, these guys have decided to stay put and confine to their mantra of High-Price-at-Low-Cost-and-Fool-the-Customer.
The last 3 months has had too much color and drama in the telecom circles and we are now seeing shades of dirty gray in them, now. When TRAI took over research over the hyped cellular prices and tried to regulate them, it resulted in reduction of high incoming rates to free incoming calls. From then on, these cellular companies started getting less revenue than they used to get. This resulted in them changing their tariffs every now and then. At one point, the market was a perfect competition, meaning, all the 3 companies with same Postpaid and Pre-paid tariff. The customer was then left to select whichever provider he wished too. All 3 were giving away free incoming calls but the outgoing call’s tariff changed totally. Till then cell-to-cell outgoing calls within the same provider was costing less than a rupee. I had a postpaid connection and I was charge 50 paise a minute for cell-to-cell within the same provider. But after incoming became free, all outgoing calls were made Re. 1.50.
Oh !! Here is the funda I thought. You guys advertise in bold colors as free incoming but charge 1 rupee more per call. Now that equals your revenue, which is lost in incoming-call-free scheme. Atleast during those days, myself and the receiver were sharing the costs. Now it is on the only one head. The best part in this whole hungama of TRAI price limitations, these guys are getting more profited. But we customers (read as poor foolish customers), think that the rates have really come down and use the mobile more. Result, Mobile phone bills for thousands of bucks. Moreover, many new PFCs (Poor Foolish Customers) are jumping into this cellular bandwagon. So even as many more people joining the cellular club, these companies are not ready to reduce their profit margins. And by lobbying with other competitors they can keep their prices fixed to bring the customer to a fix. So what is the use of talking perfect competition market, TRAI, Globalization, Mobile Phone era etc.
Meanwhile, while these private cellular guys are tampering the market, BSNL increased its price list by 50%. It was under the assumption that since more people would move to mobile phones, their revenue would be reduced. As a double whopper effect, finally it is the goody-goody customer who got crushed between the much-hyped TRAI intervention. A similar issue is happening in the Cable TV CAS issue. The dispute between Cable TV Operators and Private Channels has enlarged so much and it is now on the customer’s head. I know the final outcome. It will be nothing but DUMP the price on the customer for he has no other option of leading a life without TV. Even the gods cannot save us now. Already they are being played football in Ayodhya. Who else can?