December , 2017


It Happens Here :>


“Hello mam, I am calling from blah blah life insurance mam, are you interested mam? Blah blah blah..” WTF?!

There are 0.7 million people working in call centers in our country today. Almost everybody has a cell phone, which works on a sim card, provided by network operators like, Idea, Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, MTNL, etc. The calls and messages from these service providers are also as random as the above two lines. And besides, telephone companies earn heaps doing all this.

The worst part of having a sim card and a mobile phone might be, getting interrupted with annoying calls at odd times. People buy amazing phones to show off and one of the first calls they get are from those companies, whose sim card they own. The phone rings, they anxiously take the call and then what sounds like a partly electrocuted voice echoes in the ear “VODAAAFONE!”. One might be angry enough to throw their precious new phone away or might have the urge to strangle the person calling, but that’s how it is! They will call whatsoever. They know the sim owner will say no to everything they ask, but they still try calling. Now that is determination!

“I save the numbers they often call from. If I am lucky enough, they don’t call from other numbers. These callers are so annoying! Sometimes they call up just to ask my details!”, says Nupur Shroff, a student from MNR Medical College. “I use Idea, and they are clever! They never call me from the same numbers. I get calls when I am in class, in the library, or sometimes even early in the morning. I don’t know who pays them for bothering people this way!” complains Rama, an engineering student. Rameshwar, a commerce student says, “I get calls from Vodafone late in the night sometimes. And they play cheap Telugu songs, to advertise dialer tones! Is this some sort of a punishment for having a mobile?”  Kriti, a student from Bhavans degree college says, “I don’t know why but these people call up only when I am on roaming!” Even life insurance companies do not spare lives. The callers call up anyone possible and take their information.

People working at a call centre

People working at a call centre

Alekhya, a physiotherapy student says, “I once got a call from LIC Life Insurance Policy saying they have a new policy. I said I was not interested since I was still a students and I didn’t care about insurances yet. The caller asked me if I knew someone, who was interested. Do I look jobless to them?” Swathi, a B.Sc student says, “I get calls continuously when I am in class. I take them sometimes thinking they are important because I don’t recognize the number! These calls are such a pain!” Ramya says, “I get pissed with those stupid smses. Love and relationship, astro card, friendship, and all those good for nothing messages. I wonder if anybody even tries to read them”. Pallavi, an M.Sc student says, “These recorded messages they play are hilarious. I play them on loudspeaker, and my friends and I laugh!” There is a community on facebook that says, “I’m fucking sick of call center staff that cannot speak English!” 18,000 members are a part of it.

These network providers don’t exempt the entrepreneurs, software engineers and other working people too. T.S.Srinivas, and entrepreneur says, “If I get a chance I’ll sue these people who call and the companies they work for. They make business disturbing us! What sort of a government do we have? Or at least they should promise me some benefit at the expense of my time. I am the end user after all. This is almost illegal. Which other government manages companies, who bother people at the middle of the night?” Venunath, who works in Infosys says, “They call me and ask me my name and other details. I hang up on them all the time. Even people calling for loans and properties are irritating. It’s not their fault though. They are only given the job to call people. The main companies who handle this should be blamed!”

The telephone companies make money giving our numbers and other details to the network providers. These companies in turn earn by calling several people up and text messages regarding ‘special’ offers. The customers are categorized based on the bills they pay per month. The whole system is bifurcated and works simultaneously, with their profits going up by leaps every time. They make sure customers attend their calls, and read their messages, by calling and messaging from various numbers. Amar (name changed) a call centre employee says, “We are asked to make 50-75 calls a day. We can’t help it you know. It’s our job.”

When a small shopkeeper is taxed for having an electronic board on his shop, these companies have all the rights to be taxed for disturbing people too. But it clearly seems that the system won’t change for many more years to come, and sadly we can do nothing about it.

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