Insulting mobile services

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When mobile phones entered the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the general perception was that the communication gap will vanish and people will have some relief as the new facility will spare them hours of wait at phone booths to reach out to their nears and dears. But within a short span of time these expectations were diluted as different service providers started exhibiting callousness not only in their services but also in dealing with the customers’ problems. The technical snags woke up to defeat the very cause of knitting the state on air. And as if this was not enough, the suspension of mobile telephony, and particularly the Internet services every now and then has become a routine. Making the matters worse is that the people have to pay for the services even for the time when actually no such services are available to them. Today the situation is such that people are loathing the erratic services provided by different telecom companies, which have become a cause of headache for them rather than a panacea to the pain of distance. These and many more countless problems are persisting despite repeated complaints from the people, which unfortunately have not been able to move the bosses of these telecom companies. Instead the ‘babus’ (officials) are turning more and more rude and arrogant with each passing day. While the customers are crying hoarse, the authorities continue to remain insensitive to their needs.

The problem with the mobile telephone services in Kashmir is not only on the count of erratic and faulty connectivity. The service providers have also been very insensitive and at times even insulting towards the people’s sensibilities. In a bid to promote and publicize various services and add-ons, people are flooded with useless pesky phone calls and short messages (SMS) without any concern for their individual likes and dislikes as also their cultural sensitivities. While some auto-phone calls and SMSs invite people to use some add-ons, others are simply an onslaught on the local beliefs and sensibilities. For instance, the ‘Push Messages’ that clutter subscribers’ inboxes usually carry very sleazy messages inviting people for sleazy chats. How can these telecom companies afford to be so unmindful that majority of their subscriber base comprises of Muslims and that too elderly people, who are not only not interested in visiting such sites but also take such invites as offensive. And unfortunately this offensive onslaught continues despite the matter being brought into the notice of the authorities here.

Different telecom companies operating here are expected to be a bit more careful in their operations. They should put an immediate stop to promoting sex and sleaze through their services. Moreover, people, it goes without saying, pay not for being insulted. They want better service in terms of connectivity so that the primary purpose of mobile telephony is served. Almost half of the state is inaccessible from mobile phones due to the paucity of towers or other technical hiccups. The enthusiasm inception of these mobile services had triggered among the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir has almost died down completely by now.

Unlike elsewhere, people in this part of the globe are plagued with availability of a very limited choice in term of service providers. Obviously with only a few service providers in the field here, people have no alternative but to choose between and among only a few service providers. In this situation with almost non-existent competition among the players, customer is the ultimate sufferer who pays only to collect heartache once his/her cell phone refuses to do the needful owing to the unaddressed faults of the service providers. Adding to their discomfort is the outright despise of the mobile companies towards the customer sensitivities. The need of the hour is to take the matter seriously and ensure smooth and clean communication all over the state without signal and other technical problems as well as without any insulting messages and useless calls and frequent suspensions of Internet services.

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