|Sudden closure of Reliance services catches users off guard|
GUWAHATI, Oct 28 - Customers of the debt-ridden Reliance Communications (R Com) in the State are having a harrowing time due to the sudden closure of its 2G and 3G services.
While the company had announced that it was downing its shutters from November 30, its services have virtually collapsed in Assam and other parts of the North East since October 26.
A senior R Com official wishing anonymity said that the company failed to upgrade its facilities in recent years and its 2G licence was not renewed after it had expired in December 2015.
R Com has approximately 12 lakh customers (both prepaid and postpaid) in the North East. In Guwahati, its customer base is around 60,000.
“What the company is doing amounts to plain cheating. We were never informed that it was going to close down its business. And now when some newspaper reports are saying that it will close down on November 30, its services here have come to a complete standstill since the past three days,” Vikash Gupta, an R Com user said.
With the company effecting large-scale job cuts, the situation has become all the more confusing. “No one knows who to ask to get any clarifications. Most of the customer care centres are closing down. There are no prepaid vouchers in the market. Our security deposits are also probably lost,” another customer said.
Customers also accused the government, the Union Telecommunication Ministry in particular, of not pulling up R Com over the shocking treatment it was meting out to its customers. “The government must have some control over private operators in such situations so that the customers are not left in the lurch. It is precisely due to the laxity of the government that big corporate groups fleece the customers and then simply leave them in the lurch,” he said.
Customers’ woes have been further compounded by the prolonged time taken for switching over to another service provider through portability. “As R Com is hardly functioning, the process has been delayed further,” an official of another service provider said.
“The silence of organisations like AASU is surprising. It’s a matter of vital public interest and these organisations have not deemed it fit to protest. It’s baffling,” another aggrieved customer said.