The word “Help” means “To assist”, “To aid”, and lot of other meanings are also available in dictionary for the word “Help”. But, none of these meanings involved money with the verb help; instead the idea of paid aid or paid assistance is called service by definition. Here comes the question, why and how Telco’s define Help line and its usage for its customers.
Initially they started charging Rs.0.50+tax for help line and customers ignored the charges and kept on calling helplines to get their issues resolved. PTA, the only lord available for cellular companies remained quiet over the unique idea. This liberty by PTA and quietness from customers allowed cellular companies to increase helpline charges (last month); in fact they doubled it straight away.
I am not doubtful here that cellular companies don’t have any right to charge the service, but I do protest for calling this service as helpline. Furthermore, I also term this un-ethical, rare and unique idea, which is not implemented anywhere in the world.
Let’s dig out possible reasons for cellular companies that forced them to charge help lines.
- To Discourage non serious traffic
- To maximize customer beneficiary
- To invent a new stream of revenues
- Or they started charging by just following other operators..
But unfortunately, none of up-mentioned reasons actually justify paid help lines. If we roam around world, we come to know that mobile operator help lines are available free on any mobile network. It is very lame to charge for help lines.
Charging for help lines is not customer welfare step by any means, rather it is wrong use of right way and later on it could bring negative effects on mobile operators in shape of taxes applied on telecom industry, that will definitely give raise to help line charges as well.
Telco’s need to revise their steps, especially in this intense situation where customers are not even ready to pay for their voice calls and SMS they use and it could be possibility with the recession time that major decline will effect Pakistani Telco market as well with decline in subscribers base and instead of using it as paid segment they must give customers liberation to use their help lines and introduce new techniques for blocking obnoxious help line callers.
At the same time, It is customers’ responsibility to use help lines as help seeking support not only, and not to discuss personal issues or making fun of the customer service staff.
But again, this could be handled by blocking such obnoxious and non serious customer help line access for their respective numbers. But definitely, Money has its own attraction and we must not forget those obnoxious customers who even never forgive “15” Police Help Line for such obnoxious activities, so it is responsibility to make use of every facility in a better way.