Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Monkey

Its is official. The government of India has run a special ops and rescued my mobile number from the clutches of notorious service providers. I am now the absolute owner of my mobile number. Does it make me feel empowered? Does that make me feel like the master of airwaves? LOL! I know better. Here are my thoughts on MNP introduction in India:

Advantage Customer: Sure, I can now opt for more competitive tariffs, and better service. I can cock a snoot at my existing service provider if the put me on hold for too long, I can demand to be treated carefully, else...But then, the problem is that my service provider is already one of the best in the country and I have been on preferential queue in customer service years ago. 

Caveat Customer: You better be a high mobility user with bills running into several grands, and add to this, if you are also a prompt paying customer, you will probably figure out in the service providers retention bucket, else, forget it, you are insignificant. If you are a low billing user, pay your bills after ten follow ups and threats and constantly tries the patience of Customer Service, in all probability, your service provider is waiting for you to move out of their network. You are one monkey that will feel lot better on the other side of their fence :) And you know what, you can't port out unless you foot that bill!

I have had a mobile phone since 2000. I have been with BPL, Hutch (now Vodafone), TATA Indicom, Docomo, and now Airtel. I know that irrespective of the "low cost" claims of each of these telcos, I seem to cough up almost the same as my mobile bill all the time. After attaining this Bodhic gyan, I chose to stick with Airtel, and have remained on Airtel for some years now. I have decided to continue of Airtel and not go for any other telco because of the following reasons:

  1. My calls always connect and they don't disconnect just because the wind blew a little stronger my way!  
  2. My service provider never claimed to be the cheapest, and that sounds perfect!
  3. I can predict my bills and see the counter rise on a daily basis
  4. The data service is predictable, it is either there and works, or simply not there :)
  5. I have had two issues with them in the last five years, and the way the handled it made me fall in love with them for another five. They were never defensive, they were on my side.
Loads of my telco friends are expecting churns and acquisitions. I have told each one of them only one thing: "You will be richer from those who leave, and poorer from those who come in, like my telephone bills, your destinies are NOT GOING TO CHANGE!"

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