Caught in a cell

‘So, you want postpaid?’


‘You have residence proof?’

What do you mean?

‘Ration card, Voter id, driving license?’

No. You see I’m not from Mum...

‘Electricity bill?’

Yes, but on the landlord’s name.

‘Sorry, not possible.’

Vodafone, Airtel, It’s the same conversation everywhere. ‘Sorry Sir, you’re not eligible for a postpaid connection.’ Why? Not because I’m a terrorist; not because my name is Khan (it’s not, it’s Ray, and it’s Bengali, though I’m not related to Satyajit Ray). It’s because I’m not from Bombay.

Good news, after 10 months in the city now, I am finally the proud owner of a postpaid Vodafone connection! Bad news, it took 10 months, harassment, a score of ‘your service has been disconnected’ and stupid conversations with stupid customer-care employees.

God bless that girl at the Fort Vodafone store though—she is smart, and with a positive IQ, quite a rarity with customer care execs. And bless my HR manager for the letter stating I could get my bill on the office address (it also stated, ‘However, the company will not be paying the bill’ just to make things clear).

So, if you’re new to Mumbai and want to get a postpaid connection without having to ‘please visit the Vodafone store near you for further assistance’ every time your line gets disconnected, here’s the checklist:

Are you from Mumbai and have an ID-proof with a city address? You’re eligible.

Are you a terrorist? Eligible, unless you tell them you’re going to use the connection to blow up their office perhaps. Provided, you have fake documents to prove you’re from the city. Or have bribed the driving school guy to get a real license.

Do you have a friend or colleague from Mumbai on whose address you can take the connection? Maybe/ maybe not. Depending on the Stupidity Quotient of the person who comes for address verification. My address verification, I was promptly informed, happened when no one was home and the verification inspector (woah) concluded I’m unworthy of the connection.

And finally. Is your HR, after some coaxing perhaps, willing to provide a letter stating you can get the bill on the office address? Yes! And that’s how I am finally a privileged Vodafone customer!

So there you go. In a nutshell, go to your HR. Or go to the driving school with a 200-rupee bribe. And do not take a postpaid connection casually, since all this hassling is being done to protect terrorists from sailing in a boat to Gateway, taking a 5-star hotel and railway station hostage and opening fire. Vodafone’s policy deters them severely.

Mr Terrorist, if you are using a postpaid connection with a Pakistan address and trying to call Al Qaeda to inform the body count, tough luck. You might hear the cheerful recorded Vodafone lady go ‘Sorry, your lines have been temporarily disconnected. Please visit the nearest Vodafone store or use the swarm of TV media outside the hotel to get your message across.’

1 comment:

Mani said...

nice one buddy...