Getting a PTCL Landline Connection: A Tale

Living in the capital city of Pakistan is a pride and pleasant experience for every one. It is a dream for everyone to live here and enjoy the best facilities including telecom. I remember when Etisalat took over PTCL few years back; we heard stories of strict administration in the company. Higher officials were told to reach the office at sharp 9, reply all the applications for connection and remain in the office till 5 pm. So, I had very good impression about PTCL which was responding sharply to all problems. I think, that was high time for the PTCL as changes and challenges were there for every one; for customers, it was the time to witness the positive change and for the employees to have higher facilities and dedication for the company.

I shifted to my this new house, with the same dream and inspiration I moved to my nearest PTCL exchange situated in rural Islamabad, just 9 minutes drive away from the President house.

First of all, I was greeted by a security guard who guided me to the right building. I entered the main room, where a clerk was collecting applications. When he asked my name, I could not understand, so I asked him, what he was asking, he replied…”app ta lam kia hay aur app ka dhar kieder hay” (What is your name and where is your home).

Then I tried to understand his language and replied all the questions in a smart way. When I asked him about the SDO, he replied “Wo 11 bajay aatay hain“. Then I asked him when I will be connected with the PTCL line, he tried to satisfy me by some promises which were not met by the company for 9 months and now I even don’t bother to have PTCL connection at all.

Another man, sitting next to him told me that the lineman Rasheed will return soon and we will send him for survey and based on his report we will make a decision of connection.

After 5 days and repetitive requests, Rasheed sb finally arrived and gave me the good news of in-availability of connections in my area, despite my home is hardly 500 meters away from the PTCL exchange

“Getting a pair is a big problem bro, but don’t worry I will try my best to get you the connection – though i have number of other applications”, told me Rasheed.

This was my last interaction with PTCL and this happened around 9 months ago. I never dared to ask them the status again.

Last week when I read a column by the renowned columnist Irshad Ahmed Haqani against the PTCL, I suddenly decided to work on PTCL exchange and local staff which is mainly responsible for the basic services. I visited PTCL exchange nearest to my home and asked few questions from my dear staffers. I again asked for connection and they offered me V-Fone, which is simpler solution for PTCL these days.

Then I decided to contact the relevant SDO. I waited in the same room and kept a vigilant eye what was happening around. First I noticed that the complaint register has over 2 thousand pending complains of the service with total connections of the exchange crossed well over 6 thousand.

A woman was very angry while talking to Habib about the service. It was the 12th consecutive day that she was making a call from nearer PCO and asking line man to rectify the problem as his phone was dead. Every time she was told that the line man will approach her in a short time.

Another man, Asghar from near village, was asking again loudly to reinstate the phone which was indecently cut during storm last week.

It was disclosed by Habib that we have closed over 1300 connections during last two years due to non payment of bills or surrender by the clients on complaints of poor service. Due to complaints and un-satisfactory service of the company the average revenue has gone down by 25 % as compared to last year.

One thing which impressed me was that the callers and complainers have good interaction and good will about each other. They were irritated, dejected and angry, still they were requesting as PTCL was very kind to give them a landline connection and they were not ready to deprive of it at any cost. They were still smiling and bearing the poor performers. Habib was attending calls continuously and keeping the record of the complaints. However, humanely it was not possible to make happy every one when there was not commitment by the workers. The piling numbers of complaints by the customers was increasing each day.

After waiting for 2 and half hours finally I found the man who was behind all this poor performance of the exchange. Ch. Nageeb was in 40s and looked very energetic while entering the room. He asked few questions and then moved to his room. While reaching at 11:13 am, he was showing as he was working day and night to make it easier at the exchange. I can’t understand what the responsibility of SDO was?

I enter in his room with a relax mood and as a helpless customer, asked him weather is it possible to get a phone connection or not. I introduced myself as a local resident and he replied my questions with out giving proper attention. He said, “We work hard to deliver the best possible services but the people have an attitude of targeting the PTCL. These people want us to be here all the time. We have families, social life.”

After listening to this heart breaking story, I walked out of the exchange and asked myself whether we will be able to see a better Pakistan in our lives?

I was wondering if capital city has such problems and difficulties in getting a phone connection, then we must think again what will be the miserable condition of the people living in far flung areas.

  • Man,i agree with you. This type of behavior is a normal routine in such offices i.e PTCL, WAPDA and SNGPL. This condition is pretty miserable in rural areas.

    So hope and pray to GOD to change this situation in our country, but the poor administration is responsible for all of this situation.

  • These friggin’ PTCL people, they’ll never change. A couple of years ago, I applied for a new telephone line, they said it can’t be installed. There are no extra lines. The Lineman told me that he can help me buy a number which is disconnected. I turned down his offer. I tried again and again but couldn’t get the connection because I wasn’t ready to give “Chaye, Pani” (bribery). Then, I tried, again this year. I applied online at PTCL’s website at around 12AM. A lady from PTCL called me around 10AM and told me that new connection will be installed within next 7 working days. I was happy. I went to exchange after 10 days and told them that phone was to be installed in 7 working days, what happened? They said they’ll see what they can do, lineman will visit and confirm if it can be done or not. I lost hope and thought not to get the connection. After 2 months, a telephone bill for 1050 Rs. was sent to my home for the telephone I never had. Next day, I took the bill to the SDO and asked him WTF? Why should they sent me bill for a phone that doesn’t exist? There’s no connection, no wire, no friggin’ telephone, but sent me the bill. He apologized, called another person from exchange, and told him to get the connection installed ASAP. And next day, on Sunday, I got the connection, early in the morning.

  • we wr in desperate need of PTCL landline so we drop down a request for connection but after 6 months nothing happened sorry to say we paid 2,500 rs for the connection .

  • Hi,

    I recently had a bad experience with PTCL. I had to get a connection at my flat in central and very populated area of Lahore ( Whadat Road ). I registered my application and follow up by visiting and/or claling many time and I was given many complaint numbers and promises of sending someone over.

    But finally someone told me to contact a line personally, so I did that he asked me about my address and some basic information. Then the very next day he came over and installed my line with in some hours with a new application that he registered himself as he said ‘Sab kuch muj per chor do tusi fikar na kero’.

    I was told to give him some money for his services ( kharcha pani ) so I asked about it and he said as He charge 3000 to his clients but due to my good behavior and nature ( I serve him with tea, cookies and stuff and discuss different things with him for sometime) he will charge me half 1500.

    So I guess this is also another reason for such delays these line mens don’t want PTCL to install connection within time without there interaction as that will dissolve there extra earning chances.


      • yea it is and notice there isn’t any organizational or bureaucratic glitches in there, if they want they can do it in a single working day if not in hours.

        Thats is irony for us and our whole organizational structure and culture.

  • I canceled my connection in 2002. But 3 day before i got new ptcl connection by only one call. PTCL has very bad landline phone structure, always dead. In my area nobody use landline phone, everyone uses mobile now. But i need it for broadband so this compulsion.

    Lets hope and pray, to see qualified people in exchange.

    Anyways, this was funny :D
    “app ta lam kia hay aur app ka dhar kieder hay”

  • Step by step procedure for new ptcl conection, (only for duffers,mummy daddy log).

    1 Ap xchange jaein.
    2 pata karte line man kon he.
    3 us ka hath pakar k side par lay jaein.
    4 us say kehein, bat karo kya laina he.
    5 agle din ap k ghar/office mein aik chor dus line lage hon gee.
    6 ab line man ko tay shuda chaye pani dein.
    7 us ke life be cool aur ap ke be.
    Additional Support:
    Ainda jab b line kharab ho, xchange jane k zarorat nahin, line man ko call karein, wo dum halata aaye ga aur ap ka kaam kar de ga. 100 rupe us ke pocket mein dalein, dono khush.

    • wese han ye good approach hai main 4 saal se try kar raha hun connection lagwane ki main rishwat dene se bachne ke lie kahan kahan complain nahe ki par koi faida nahe hua lagta hai isi tarah line lage gi allah kare ke agar isi tarah log rishwat lete rahe jaiz kam ke lie to ye mulk kabhi tarakeh na kare ameeeen:-(

  • I think we should mention the application number that PTCL gives for new orders. i applied for ptcl connection on 0800 8 0800 and my fone was installed within 7 days.

    My friend applied for telephone connections for his office by ordering online through ptcl’s website and he got the connections installed within 2 weeks.

    yes they are slow and not present every where but my impression is a changing organization and unfortunately they are the only one offering landline service and most affordable boadband dsl

  • I think the PTCL has changed a lot.You can get the services within minimum timing & follow up by the department.The old experiences should be shared but can’t quote as a refrence.

  • I want ptcl but in past the owner of my house not paid ptcl bill that was 60000, now i want to get new line inspite of to pay this bill. Pls adivz

  • Believe me Lineman is the KEY. He can do miracles. i had the same problem went down the exchange several time but they didnt respond. Finaly i talked to the lineman… tho i had to come to his level while talking i mean frankly i asked him…i m sorry but i gave him 500 advance and 500 the next day when i got the connection…

  • i applyfor ten new conction ie 21-5-2012and therty conction wakent near my 500 meter
    you give me ptcl conction

    03363533122 CALL OR SMS

  • I’ve been trying to get PTCL connection myself. I live in Islamabad and same thing is happening to me. pathetic.

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