BSNL landline customers face problem paying bills in GPO

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The customers of BSNL Landline are facing problem while paying their bill in General Post Office (GPO) in the city. These customers say that the GPO is unwilling to accept landline phone bills once the payment due dates expire. But in the bill it is clearly mentioned that if a bill due date is over then late fee shall be levied in the next bill @2% of the outstanding amount pending after pay by date and minimum late fee is Rs10.

Many customers said that they were asked by the GPO to clear their bill before the due date as they will not accept such bill if it is overdue. “There is an instruction from the top authority not to accept such bills from customers,” a customer was told by the counter clerk at GPO. Like her another customer said that the postal department is employing their own rules in order to avoid taking landline bills.

A government employee said that there is no instruction from the BSNL not to accept overdue bills from customers. “I have pursued the matter with the BSNL regarding this and came to know that there is no such instruction from their side. A customer will be charged late fee in the next bill if the bill is overdue,” said the customer as told by the BSNL official.

But it is not so in every post offices. A customer from Laban Sub Post Office said that she is paying her landline bill before or after due date without any problem. They said that there is no problem in other sub post offices in the city. “The GPO is on an anti-customer drive these days. None gets any satisfaction there,” lambasted a middle aged gentleman.

When contacted, a GPO source said that they have stopped accepting overdue bills since the customers’ face undue harassment. Citing a personal example when his bill was updated after a long time despite paying on time, he clarified that the postal department clears the bill collection to the BSNL on a daily basis but the BSNL takes weeks and months sometimes to update the customers account. “This has rather forced us to stop accepting overdue bills from customers,” he clarified.

The official also said that when the BSNL does not credit customers’ payment against their bill on time then customers hold the postal department responsible. Informing that the postal department earns Rs5 per bill but the difficulties that the department has to bear with following untimely update of customers’ details is beyond calculation.

Meanwhile, a BSNL source said that there is no such instruction from its side to the GPO regarding “bills will not be accepted after due date”.

Blaming the GPO for employing its own arbitrary rule on customers, the source said that these are policy matters and such decisions are taken by the higher authorities of the state owned firm.

“There is no instruction from the side of BSNL to reject overdue landline bills by post offices. A customer will be levied with a fine in his/her next bill in case of payment after due date,” clarified the BSNL source.