My husband keenly promoted Reliance as he believes, till today, that they have the best network. My parents and sisters live in Chennai and Reliance appeared to have the best offer for STD calls at that point in time.
All these reasons convinced me to go for Reliance service provider despite there being very less choice of instruments for a CDMA connection.
After 7 years and 3 instruments – all extremely mediocre and purchased only at Reliance outlets – I have finally changed my way of life.
I had been postponing the purchase of a new mobile as it was never a pleasure to purchase stupid ones from the Reliance counter while such lovely ones were available all over town. While both my kids (staunch promoters of Vodafone) kept purchasing latest models, my husband and I just continued to foot their bills.
About 8 months ago, Reliance gave me a free SIM card with a new number – because I was a big customer (my monthly bill ran to about 1500 rupees). Unfortunately, they could not transfer my CDMA number to GSM at that point. Luckily for me, I kept the deal on hold and stuck to my old phone.
A couple of weeks ago, I told myself that it was high time that I got rid of my horrible mobile instrument and was keen to convert to GSM. The moment I mentioned this, my son told me to go for a Samsung Corby Plus. I checked at the local mobile showroom and the internet and liked it too.
The very next day, Venkat purchased the instrument and handed it to me in the form of a pre-birthday (5 months to go yet ;)) gift.
Now, all I had to do was to get a SIM. With so many ‘IDEA’s flying around, I went to the local Reliance showroom to enquire about converting my CDMA number to GSM.
I had to wait at the counter for 25 minutes while there was just the one customer in front of me. The woman in charge was so distracted – she spoke to the people on her left and right and just could not concentrate on her work. No wonder it took her so long to complete the transaction. This is not the first time I have faced this at Reliance. It seriously makes me wonder today why I have put up with this all these years.
I went ahead and asked her about transferring my CDMA. She told me that it would be cheaper for me to get a new connection. When asked ‘how?’ she told me that I would have to pay 250 rupees extra for conversion while a new number will come free of cost. Some service!!!!!!!!!!!
I told her clearly that that would be cheaper than informing my 422 connections that my number had changed. You should have seen her face to believe the stupid expression on it. They have been trained to think CHEAP!
She told me to come two days later as there was no stock of forms. It was a Monday. I asked her whether I should come on Wednesday. She told me that Thursday would be better and not to hurry as she had so many forms to complete and they would take a long time!!!!!!!!!!
I told her that I needed a GSM in a hurry. She laughed and told me “that will not be possible. You come with the required documents and photo and we will get the form filled. Then it will take a minimum of 10 days for the GSM connection to be established.” This was a transfer from Reliance to Reliance. Amazing! This was told to me, a customer for a little more than seven years. I am already their customer and they still wanted proof of identity.
My husband told me that in these days of ‘portability’ it should not take too long and I should talk to Reliance again. I did not want to go there before Thursday as I was not too keen to wait in line for 40 minutes and receive stupid replies.
On Thursday, I walked into Vodafone at Sion. The security asked me my name, mobile number, purpose of visit and gave me a docket number. I was called to a counter within 5 minutes – no exaggeration. The man at the counter took my passport, Reliance bill and photo, made necessary copies, filled in some forms himself, took my signatures and told me to pay Rs. 369 at the cash counter – all in 10 minutes. I paid the money in another ten minutes and voila! got the SIM card in my hand. They told me that the ‘portability’ will happen in 7 days – “sorry ma’m, we cannot promise before that as it takes that long” was what he told me.
The next Wednesday night, at 12 midnight, my new SIM started working.
“Mr. Anil Ambani, do wake up and smell the coffee.Your company thought to control the mobile instrument market by creating CDMA, but then you did not think of making quality stuff. That’s probably because you were catering to the poor. Bad thinking in my opinion! Pretty short-sighted! And the service provided by your Sion counters (in the plural) is nothing short of terrible. It will not be long before my husband’s number also gets exported."