Consumers Finding Cable, TV Bills Going Up after New Tariff Rules; TRAI Says 'All Is Well'
The much touted about new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services industry from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is turning out to be a costly affair for most viewers of cable TV and direct to home (DTH) users.
 
While many consumer viewers are finding their monthly bills almost double, the regulator continues with its stance that the new framework may actually decrease TV bills, provided you watch only up to 40 channels.
 
Umasankar Brahma, one of the readers of Moneylife says, "Before TRAI's new framework, I was a happy cable TV viewer with a monthly bill of Rs350 for all channels including the high-definition (HD) ones. But now with this rule, viewing some of my favourite channels is costing me around Rs600." 
 
A Banerjee, another reader, says cost of viewing TV has, indeed, doubled after 1 February 2019. "On top of it, the TRAI authorities just do not care even to respond to the complaints mailed to the designated officer and the service provider clearly does not care about TRAI either. This is my sad experience," he says. 
 
Earlier in February, ratings agency CRISIL had also mentioned about an increase monthly bill of most subscribers of television channels. "Our analysis of the impact of the regulations indicates a varied impact on monthly TV bills. Based on current pricing, the monthly TV bill can go up by 25% from Rs230-Rs240 to about Rs300 per month for viewers who opt for the top-10 channels, but will come down for those who opt up to top five channels," Sachin Gupta, senior director, ratings at CRISIL had said. (Read: Cable TV and DTH Bills Will Go Up for Most Users)
 
CRISIL's analysis assumes a scenario where subscribers opt for the top-10 channels by viewership in addition to the free-to-air (FTA) ones. 
 
However, instead of addressing the concern raised by the rating agency, TRAI chairman Ram Sevak (RS) Sharma said that the CRISIL report was prepared on an 'inadequate understanding' of the TV distribution market and it was incorrect. 
 
In the report, ratings agency CRISIL had said, "The network capacity fee (NCF) and channel prices announced by broadcasters and distributors as per the TRAI's new guidelines could increase the monthly bill of most subscribers of television channels."
 
The regulator, in a statement, however, had claimed that its preliminary data analysis shows a reduction in TV bills. It says, "These are early days and detailed data-sets will be available only after a few weeks." Yet, the Authority has information from few large distribution platform owners (DPOs) and the preliminary data analysis reflects actual savings by subscribers to the tune 10% to 15% in metro towns and between 5% to 10% in non-metro (DAS3 and DAS4) areas. (Read: TRAI Refutes Reports of Rise in TV Bills after New Broadcast Norms; Consumers Disagree)
 
TRAI’s formula to bring down cost for consumer is based on low usage. In its frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, TRAI says, “80% subscriber as per the viewing pattern given by BARC, either view or flip 40 or less number of channels.
 
Further, if a consumer carefully chooses channels of its choice for complete requirement of a family, the amount payable by him may be even less than the present payments being made per month.”
 
The problem with TRAI’s calculations is that it assumes that the customer will stick with TV channels that are priced low or almost free. Most of the popular TV channels across the segment are priced at higher levels or at Rs19 per month. So even if a viewer decides to select only 10 popular TV channels, she needs to pay at least Rs190, in addition to the fixed Rs130, excluding taxes.

Manu Ashar, a reader of Moneylife feels that TRAI as regulator is least concerned about consumer viewers. "TRAI keep on talking about how 80% of customers view only few channels. The idea of the rules was actually to give the customers freedom to choose, which is not available due to their absurd working of 'best fit package' and indirectly endorsing packages of various service providers by publishing them on the TRAI website. This defeats the idea of free choice."

Moneylife’s calculations and analysis had also shown that consumers will eventually end up paying more than they do now, if they wish to have a variety of options such as — news, entertainment, kid channels, sports and infotainment—that too in multiple languages. Since many families have members across generations, they will have to subscribe to multiple bouquets, since they are priced far lower than a-la-carte options. But that too, restricts choice, since opting for a bouquet would mean, leaving out specific channels of other broadcasters. (Read: How Much You Will Have to Pay for Cable TV and DTH?)
 
While extending the deadline for customers to select TV channels, TRAI had warned that those who fail to decide will be migrated to best fit plan. According to the regulator, the 'best fit plan' will be designed based on consumers' usage pattern and language spoken. "It should preferably be a blended combination of  various genres, while making 'best fit plan' for a subscriber, the distribution platform operators (DPOs) should ensure that payout per month of the 'best fit plan' generally does not exceed the payout per month of existing tariff plan of the subscriber," the regulator clarified.
 
After making several efforts, many consumer viewers have either selected the package offered by their cable operator or DTH service-provider. This, of course, costs more than what the users were paying. For example, a cable operator from Kalyan used to charge Rs300 for a bouquet of around 300 channels from all genres. However, after the new tariff regime, the same operator is providing a bouquet of less than 220 selected channels, including free-to-air channels, for Rs490 (including goods and service tax-GST) per month. 
 
 
Customers of DTH services, who have paid in advance, are also in lurch.       
 
"Earlier we were getting courteous service from DTH operators as they wanted our business. Our DTH call centre personnel now have been threatening to move our plan to best fit immediately if we do not opt for one without informing about the shifting of the end date to 31 March 2019,” says Vijaykumar Kilar, one of the Moneylife readers. 
 
He says, “They (customer service executives at DTH) are extremely curt when we ask for an email explaining various options or a brief about the choices available.
 
They had collected our money for validity up to September 2019 and hence could take a stand of take it or leave it on consumers. Their argument is that everything is in the newspaper, and I should go to their website or visit each channel’s website to know the monthly charges. Most consumers who have paid for the full pack are in the dark. I really do not know whether the consumer has been benefited or the service levels will go down drastically as no one cares to retain a customer with the new norms."
 
Since there is no free TV channel per se (since even for FTA channels, we are paying money), Antony Terry, a reader of Moneylife makes an interesting observation. He says, "If we pay for each channel, will channels and broadcasters reduce the number of advertisements they show and thus help the viewers save their time? That is hard, right? So we have to pay extra money and waste our time watching the ads you show."
 
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COMMENTS

Arun Adalja

2 months ago

i agree bill will go high and 6 months pack and 12 months pack not available and pack provided by dth fellow are costly and they skip zee channel or sony channel in their pack.trai must go back to old system.

Chetan Kadam

2 months ago

My DTH bill has come down from 399 to about 350 and also now I get a few English movie channels which were not there earlier

Subramanian MV

2 months ago

It is true we all have to pay more atleast double of the earlier payments. How do we represent to Government to restore the old system? Is there is a possibility of a PIL? I am willing to bear the cost for the benefit of local public.

Shiv Bharadwaj

2 months ago

View what is shown to you and listen to what is told to you; otherwise close your eyes and ears & stay put; or else train your mind to reduce your craving for even the minimum home entertainment like viewing the Television or listening to the Radio. Every guidance and channelization is for good 'cause the money thus saved may come in handy at times of need.

N Bala Krishna Rao

2 months ago

The local cable operator is asking to select the pack being give by them only. If we want
a single channel Under CNBC18, they are not agreeing.They insist for whole package of that channel group

Dhiraj Bhatia

2 months ago

I am Tata Sky user the new rules does not allow to go a la carte and the channels offered in package. Are not of my interest
HD channels are to expensive i do not get to choose Free to aur channels but imposed with regional channels of not my interest
The consumer is being taken for a ride again ...

Mrinal Kanti Ganguly

2 months ago

Most of us pay Rs.600 to 800 for DTH service, cable operators of course charge much less. Do we really watch more than 20 HD channels other than the free channel and almost free news channels. I think if we choose our channels judiciously , the cost will be reduced. Large families with varied interest may have to subscribe for more. Problem is , for example, selecting a sports channel, when I am interested only in cricket and we dont know in advance which channel to select. Can we change our package frequently or if not at what interval and will the charges will be on daily basis? If I am not watching TV for longer period when on long leave, can we reduce the channels and add paid channels on last 5 days(say) of a month, will I be charged accordingly or the higher amount for the entire month?

Bernie Barton

2 months ago

This a mirror of the history of pay-tv in the U.S. Continual package (bouquet) restructuring and rate increases and either refusal to offer ala-carte (single-channel) selection, or sky-high ala-carte rates. The only workable way to get desired channels is to either purchase multiple packages, or to subscribe to a high-priced "get it all" deal. This is now leading many subscribers to drop pay-tv altogether in favor of online streaming, if they receive fast internet service. My long-time idea has been to do a "metered" TV payment arrangement, where the actual consumption of TV is metered like electricity. A system to record total hours of viewing along with which channels are viewed- this would answer complaints that a subscription isn't "worth it" for a smaller number of use-hours, as well as entirely putting an end to the packaging racket.

Mohammad Alam

2 months ago

I shifted to online to watch the normal TV through their app like hotstar, zee5 etc.

Bhuveneshwar Gupta

2 months ago

It is a fact that if number of channels is kept the same as before TRAI order, total price goes up substantially. However, the value goes down if only those channels are selected, which are frequently tuned. Moreover, the service provider is not able to load desired channels even during last 2 months, probably due to large number of subscribers.

V Ramesh

2 months ago

My DTH bill has come down significantly under the new rules. It is only fair that who watch more channels pay more. It appears that so far people like me, who watch a limited number of channels, have been subsidizing those who watch several channels.

Anil Kumar

2 months ago

My initial experience was increase in cost. I continued the same ' all HD' pack of Airtel DTH - it went from 500 to 700 per month. The high cost forced me to evaluate which I really wanted - that brought the number of channels - all la carte- from 100 + to 40 - the cost then come down to 400+ . So I guess the new regime cuts out inefficiency in the system. People are forced to choose - more efficient use of resources. No wonder lot of la carte channels have priced themselves RS. 1 like news channels. Think it is early days. Will need to give time to see how it develops - Thali might be the most popular item in restaurant, but combined to overall orders, Thali is only a fraction. Bulk of people prefer individual items. Till date we only had the Thali option. Now individual items are in menu. 😊

Harshavardhan Peddapalyam

2 months ago

The customers are paying significantly higher bills in this new regime. Apart from that listening to the TRAI 's ridiculous claims that bill have come down is frustrating. They've gone nuts.

The Rajdhanis Create Delusion of Quality Service, Food
First of all, my favourite train between Goa and Delhi is the Sampark Kranti Express, the 12449/12450. However, as it has now been extended to start from and terminate at Chandigarh, the algorithms for reservations, especially in First AC, are skewed to favour passengers boarding at Chandigarh which, in turn, keeps the waiting list pending till four hours before the departure of the train from Chandigarh.
 
This is a game with all trains in India, the four-hour window when all 'quotas' are released, but it is worse in 1AC because allotment of lower berths is kept pending for these 'quotas', which are the bane of our passenger reservation system.
 
In addition, the 12449/12450 also operates only twice a week, which did not fit in with our travel plans this time. So, perforce, we booked ourselves on the costlier Trivandrum Rajdhani, the 12432, which appears to have not-so-good reviews online for catering and other services. One reason for this is that the same catering and support crew work non-stop on this train for a journey that is over 3,000 kilometres and almost 48 hours long. The other big reason is that this train appears to be over-staffed, with the usual passing the buck going on, and the NO FOOD option available on many other trains is not available here.
 
Why, for example, the catering staff cannot distribute and collect bedrolls is a valid question. But simple solutions fall afoul of an assortment of vertical silos and horizontal frictions with Indian Railways. 
 
Into all this, then, is lobbed our favourite, IRCTC, Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation who, it must be said, do a great job in many other aspects—as long as one doesn't depend on them for catering on the Rajdhani and Shatabdi class of trains. Some sort of weird legacy is at work here. Which, in turn, makes IRCTC treat passengers who are known as 'the public' as captive prisoners. But I get ahead of my story.
 
We reached Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station with about 30 minutes to spare for departure time and, for a change, there was no big traffic mess at the entry.
 
There was, as usual, the old parking scam at this railway station of trying to force cars and cabs into the parking lot, to exit from which one has to shell out Rs50.
 
Once we got around that, we disembarked at our favourite spot, near the Platform 1 entry from where the un-sign-posted elevator can be reached. 
 
Why are elevators not sign-posted at many railway stations? So that you look at the formidable steps and seek assistance for which there is a substantial fee. To be fair, the railway station area was very clean, though our platform number 4 and 5 was under repairs with all sorts of construction material lying around, obviously not barricaded or sign posted. 
 
What really intrigued me was the substantial fee demanded this time from me—a mind-boggling Rs850. For one mid-sized suitcase and two trolleys. I once again blame my brightly coloured socks for this; they were bright pink this time, and so we happily rolled our bags to the coach ourselves. Till the asking rate dropped down to a more reasonable Rs200 to our coach.
 
First AC on the Trivandrum Rajdhani is at the tail of the train when leaving North India. We departed dot on time at 10.55. And then picked up speed. And that's when the coupler fun started. I've encountered the sharp retort type LHB coupler issue many times on Indian Railways; but this was a totally different ball game, with both frequency and amplitude suggesting something totally amiss. The Nizamuddin to Kota non-stop section is a high-speed one demanding an average speed of 104kmph (kilometres per hour) so the train is often travelling at maximum speeds approaching 115-120kmph, and that's when the jerks really make life uncomfortable. It became better on the slower Kota to Vadodara section with an average speed of 77kmph, and with diesels on the much slower Vadodara to Madgaon section, the coupler jerks were almost absent—which could also have to do with the visible lack of maintenance on this rake.
 
Primary maintenance of most Rajdhani Express rakes is done in and around Delhi, and vests with Northern Railway, which appears to be over-worked. The Trivandrum Rajdhani has a rake sharing arrangement with the Secunderabad, Madgaon and Chennai Rajdhanis, and, as a result, unlike the dedicated rakes for Mumbai and Kolkata, appears to be nobody's baby. The Mumbai Rajdhani rakes, for example, operate only between Mumbai and Delhi, and primary maintenance is carried out in Mumbai, so there is obviously a lot of accountability.
 
Luckily, we carry a small cleaning kit with us when travelling, so cleaned the tables, berths, windows, crockery and cutlery provided on our own. The very good part for us was that we had four berths to ourselves all through—even though the train reservation had shown waiting list for over a month. And food on this train is not optional.
 
Which brings me to the worst part of the otherwise brilliant journey. From the time-table part, this train to the west coast of India from North India is ideal, though it could incorporate a few more stops en route in the catchment areas. But, for the rest, the catering crew onboard this train, who also form the largest and, therefore, dominant contingent on board, appear to have nil willingness to adhere to any forms of hygiene, sanitation, or safety.
 
You know what happens when one contingent is 20+ strong, and the rest are in 1s or 2s? Nobody takes on the fairly militant catering crew on these trains, least of all the variety of superintendents or managers onboard, and that's a simple fact. They run the train and everybody else keeps quiet. This extends to the way they treat passengers too. Aggression towards meek passengers is part of the course.
 
In this day and age, I video record such episodes and send it to safe accounts at home, and let them know I am doing this. Not meek.
 
 
I spotted -
 
# fire extinguishers removed from their securing points so that food trays could be stacked there.
 
# about 50% of the doors of the train blocked by food trays and garbage.
 
 
# used crockery and cutlery being washed in toilets and then dry-wiped with one cloth throughout the journey.
 
# plastic and other waste being collected and then vanishing in the middle of the night, probably thrown trackside.
 
# the less said about the excessive oil used in the all dishes, the better.  All food tastes the same.
 
# attitude. Instead of trying to resolve matters, the two catering managers onboard just appear to give up.
 
# the less said about the conditions in the pantry car the better. I'm not expecting ship galley perfection but something should be clean?
 
 
We resolved the expected food issues by carrying our own, though our ticket price included about Rs500 charged for three meals and two teas over a 26-hour journey, menu for which is also getting repetitive and not representative of anything except the lowest bid. In addition, using the same IRCTC's online service, we ordered a brunch for ourselves at Ratnagiri station on day 2 from a co-op outlet, paid for it online whilst the train was rolling, and received some excellent kolim + 3 jawar bhakris and sambar + 3 idlis with a delicious curd-based chutney representative of the best of Maharashtrian Konkan cuisine. For all of Rs118 delivered to us—the delivery person almost missed the train and ran to hand it to the guard from whose coach I then collected it.
 
 
Thing is, not that Indian Railways cannot deliver good healthy food to passengers. Food on some trains is legendary, brilliant. 
 
Thing is, that the attitude towards passengers especially of Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains where 'NO FOOD' is not an option is that we are 'the public' ( as in 'public toilet') as different from 'the Quota VVIPs/VIPs' (as in HO Quota etc). It took a few tweets for the size of the boiled eggs to become massive and decent crockery cutlery to arrive, while veg breakfast on offer changed from the usual triple fried cutlets to the brilliant upma-sheera transferred from the preceding 10,111 Konkan Kanya. (yes, I recognise the taste of the upma sheera from Ahuja Caterers on the 10111/10112 cum 10103/10104, and have my own sources too.)
 
All Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express and similar trains need to become NO FOOD optional trains as soon as possible. Delivery of hot freshly cooked meals onboard is very convenient and brings in a much needed healthier option that the tray of lowest bids served from the pantry/kitchen car. And, most of all, the attitude of the catering staff onboard, whether contractual or employed, will change. NO FOOD, from what I am told, is up to 30% on some trains and rising.
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COMMENTS

Veeresh Malik

2 months ago

Update - I took the Arunachal Express from Anand Vihar to Barauni, and am on the Vaishali Express back from Barauni to New Delhi. Both these trains are NO FOOD on ticket trains, and as a reason are much cleaner, simple as that.

Harish Kohli

2 months ago

I travel from Nizamuddin to Goa (Mudgaon) by Trivandrum Rajdhani frequently, in 1st AC. Most of the irritants experienced by Veeresh and readers are correct. Request clarification and relate my experiences.
1. Parking charges of Rs. 50 . I have never been required to pay this.
2. Rs. 850/200. Is it with reference to coolie charges. My experience at Delhi; Rs. 100 per bag, I cart the trolley myself. Goa is a problem. No coolie carries the baggage on the head. They have a cart in which baggage of three or four passengers is ferried. Max 100 rupees for one bag. Disembarkation is on platform No 1 , exit is less than 100 meters, I start walking myself. At times the coolie comes down to Rs. 50/bag. Have never paid more than Rs. 100/bag.
3. Major expense is on taxi. It's a mafia. I stay near the Dabolim airport, it costs Rs. 900 one way.
4. I travel by train only when I had heavy baggage. To get a confirmed ticket in 1st AC you need to book 2 months in advance and I get nearly 50% off as a senior senior citizen. If you book by air in advance, you would not have to pay much more. As an example I booked Delhi - Goa by Air Vistara on 18th January for travel on 11 April. Return fare, including meals, is Rs. 6238, less than the train fare if taxi / & coolie charges are added. All hotels have complementary transport.
By the way Veeresh I once travelled by non Rajdhani in 1st AC. No food charges but I got really fed up. Every few minutes hawkers were knocking at the door for tea (in paper cups), chocolates, vadas and even chains to secure your baggage. To be more comfortable, forget the Rs. 500 charged by Rahdhani and order the food from outside caterers. Considering the few stops, do check the hours at which the food will be served.

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Harish Kohli 2 months ago

1) The parking scam at Nizamuddin is by way of a moveable barrier which targets the unwary into entering the parking lot. I have avoided this in the past and written about it too but it continues. Most cabbies know how to avoid it by getting into the auto lane. The best lane closest to the portico is, obviously, blocked for VIP types. Buses are kept the furthest away when by rights they should be closest.
2) The coolie demand for 850/- at Nizamuddin astounded me too. Eventually brought down to 200/- for a mid-sized suitcase. When on my own I never take porters. At Madgaon, yes, pleasant uplifting walk to the taxi point.
3) Taxi, yes, it is costlier in Goa. We paid 950/- on Goa Miles to Dona Paula, near NIO Circle, on GoaMiles.
4) Railways are like a potion for me. Flights depend a lot on day of the week and holiday season. We have friends at Dabolim side too, but also live Porvorim side, so manage with borrowed cars. Self drive with black plates/yellow numbers sounds interesting now BUT drinking and driving is a problem so back to GoaMiles.

Non Rajdhani in 1AC non-LHB coaches are much smoother in terms of the LHB Coupler jerks. I usually paste a small DND on the door and am left alone. And yes, eCatering by IRCTC is the best solution - getting bhakri (jawar) with dried fish at RatnaGiri through eCatering by IRCTC was the best part of our journey.

I am likely (subject re-confirmation on 1AC, because "quotas" are released only 4 hours before) towards the North East by train soon and am very happy to note that eCatering is available in small railway stations en route too - with idli-sambar being like a generic.

When solo, I prefer 2nd Sleeper non-AC on the Sampark Kranti Class trains, as they have fewer commercial stoppages. Maintenance also appears to be better on these non-LHB rakes plus no noise/pollution from EOG cars on both sides of the train.

Ralph Rau

2 months ago

Is flying not safer and more comfortable compared to Indian Rail ?

What is the fatality rate per 100,000 ? Isnt the fatality rate rising?

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/death-on-the-rails-indias-track-record/article20551287.ece

The unhygienic conditions are just another X factor.

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Ralph Rau 2 months ago

Apart from the fact that I enjoy trains (I am onboard another tomorrow) I also believe that the Indian Railways provide a fair deal to customers, pax and cargo. The big problem is with trains where food is "compulsory".

AAR

2 months ago

Most of the Central Government jobs including Railways are given to people from Hindiland - Biharis and UPwallahs.
Biharis and UPwallahs convert their Organization into their home state Bihar and UP.

RV M

2 months ago

We suffer our travel because perhaps our horrible experiences just never reach the top.
Granted Secretaries and Ministers cannot waste time in train travels and if railway officers travel the service they get is of course the best. Dynamic ministers like Mr Goyal should be invited to a session at MONEYLIFE and let him come with a few Board members. Your hall will be overflowing with audience guaranteed even if you move to Y B V]=Chavan Hall. If our minister is serious about changing the condition & ordeals we suffer in train travels let us help him set up voluntary monitoring groups who help him get unfiltered feedback. If the PM can drive our Swacha Bharat drive why can our railway minister not initiate a Better Indian Railway movement across India. Mr Prabhu has made some progress with cleaner railway platforms. We have made progress in Cleaner Cities with rankings for Clean Cities and seen the change. We have a few thousand retired above 65 years IIT & IIM graduates very sharp minds and capabilities they can help railway services improve & accountability as voluntary teams North, South, East, West & Central India that can receive complaints and tabulate them every month and monitor action taken charts.Worth a try for Mera Bharat Mahan.

Vivek Rana

2 months ago

This train and train staff both are disgusting. I had a high fiver, I was in a AC 2, in the month of October , I asked to to please give me one extra blanket as I was traveling alone. First they refused to give me the extra blankets, I told them I will pay extra, first they ask money and then I paid 100 rupess extra for the blanket. And then that staff got vanished for more then 2 hours. I keep on telling this to bother staff, but no one was well-behaved to answer me properly.
, half of the train was empty, food was very bad... Chapati was I think prepared atleast 3 hours before serving to the passengers. I had a picture of Food , later I Deleted, as I'm not gonna travel again by Goa-delhi this train. Flight is okay

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Vivek Rana 2 months ago

Food and bedroll should be optional extras on all Rajdhani & Shatabdi Class trains as soon as possible.

SURAJIT SOM

2 months ago

I travelled in the same train just two weeks ago. My priority was to reach the destination with as less suffering as possible( in addition to old age, diseases, death ,we should also add suffering in train journey !!!). Malikji talks about legendary food and then confirmation before 4hours !!!! Pantry, food in ANY train should be kept to minimum: tea,coffee, milk ,sandwishes etc. Food should be ordered and then collected from stations en route. So much space will be freed including an entire coach !!! With beggars having mobile ,that should not be a problem. Then –well,yes-we so clean Indians at home- TOILETS !!! There should pay-for-toilet(and sink ,may be) manned 24 hours: say 5 Rs for urinal and 10 ….All money should go to the attendant . Salary/tips etc will be extra. Any takers ? By the way, there still remains problems: dacoits, train accident ,…….!!!!

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to SURAJIT SOM 2 months ago

This is a workable solution but then the upwards distribution of wet income will be distributed. As for garbage, it is almost as though IR wants to distribute garbage all-India. A 1/- per 100ml/100 grams refundable surcharge on all plastic type packaging would soon fix this problem. But who wants to fix this problem?

SURAJIT SOM

In Reply to Veeresh Malik 2 months ago

Can you elaborate your first line ? Plastic should be banned completely , simple. Our forefathers lived without it ,right ?

Ayman sharma

2 months ago

I had near death experience after i travelled in delhi Sealdah rajdhani 12314, i was in AC2 and served with bad vegetarian food next day when I reached home. My health condition started deteriorating from that day I stay alert and use home food

Amey Badle

2 months ago

Even my experience of MUMBAI RAJDHANI is kind of similar one. I have travelled many a times from Delhi to Mumbai from 12952 Rajdhani and every time I have found that on board food is pathetic and can't be eaten. During one trip, they served uncooked rice. I had made 2 complaints about the incidences to Railways. However, they simply replied stating that the complaint has been forwarded to IRCTC for further action. I have not got any action report on the same till date.

AAR

2 months ago

One way to avoid disgusting photos is cover it up with a warning for viewers to proceed by clicking a reveal button aka Content Warnings.

When a TV Buyer Was Sold Insurance Policy as Extended Warranty!
Vinayak Gupta (name changed) bought a Vu brand television (TV) in May 2016 from Chembur-based Kohinoor Televideo Pvt Ltd, with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer. While buying the TV, the dealer told Mr Gupta that he could get an extended warranty for the television just by paying Rs4,523 as onetime payment. Mr Gupta bought the TV with the extended warranty, but shortly after, he realised that the so-called warranty was, in fact, an insurance cover to pay for any claims during the warranty period.  
 
He says, "We were surprised to see the name of Bajaj Allianz on the final invoice received from Kohinoor but we were assured that this was the normal procedure and any problem in the TV would be taken care of during the period of four years or up to May 2020. We paid for a three year extended warranty (EW) for a sum insured of Rs32,990, applicable from 2 May 2017 till 1 May 2020.”  As it happens, Mr Gupta did need to make a claim, but more about that later.
 
 
An extended warranty is coverage for electrical or mechanical breakdown. It may or may not cover peripheral items, wear & tear. The indemnity is to cover the cost of repair and may include replacement if deemed uneconomic to repair. However, it is important for consumers to read and understand the terms & conditions offered at the point of sale. In retail consumer electronics, extended warranties cost 20% to 30% of the price, and give sales associates up to 15% commission at some retailers, says a report from WarrantyWeek.com.
 
Talking about its extended warranty policy, Bajaj Allianz says, “Any product that you buy comes with a manufacturer's warranty of one or two years, which covers you for any manufacturing defects of that product. Bajaj Allianz's extended warranty insurance policy lets you cover the expenses of repair or replacement of your product even after the expiration of manufacturer's warranty.” 
 
Coming back to the Guptas, the TV worked fine till January 2019 when its screen went blank. Mr Gupta registered a complaint on the number provided by Bajaj Allianz on the policy document. He was assured that his TV would be repaired within three days and, in case it could not be repaired, then Mr Gupta would get a new TV as replacement. 
 
The next day, someone called Sarfaraz visited Mr Gupta's home. "This person claiming to be an technician from Bajaj Allianz did not show any ID. He checked the TV, and took some photos with his mobile. He left our house without giving us any copy of his report or even an acknowledgement. When asked later, Sarfraz told that he had prepared a job sheet and sent it to the insurer," Mr Gupta says.
 
On the very next day, Mr Gupta received three calls from the same mobile number informing him that his complaint was forwarded to Vu. The callers who identified themselves as Nilesh, Sagar and Sonali, told Mr Gupta not to inform the TV company about the EW from Bajaj Allianz else they will not repair the TV. They also told him to pay visiting charges for the Vu technician, if asked that would be reimbursed.
 
The same day, one Vinod from Vu TV visited Mr Gupta's home and checked the TV set. "He told us that he will inform his seniors and Bajaj Allianz and that he will come with some part to be replaced the next day. On 24 January 2019, he came with an electronic board. He opened the TV, replaced the board and switched it on. However the TV still did not work. He told us that he will inform his seniors and Bajaj Allianz by mail. He, however, did not give any concrete line of action or the next steps," Mr Gupta says.
 
When Mr Gupta called, he was told by Sonali that they have spoken with someone in Vu and the TV manufacturer is arranging for some parts to be replaced and would send a quotation. But nothing much was happening either with the insurer or the TV-maker. 
 
On 29 January 2019, Mr Gupta managed to speak with one Anil from Bajaj Allianz and Nilesh. He says, "In the afternoon, we were informed that a quotation of Rs38,000 given by Vu for the panel is very high and they can neither get the TV repaired nor they can replace it. He offered to give us Rs22,000 against the EW policy. He was not willing to give any concrete answer as to why Bajaj Allianz was unwilling to reimburse the entire insured amount. Meanwhile, Vu did not take any responsibility to get the TV in working condition."
 
 
Mr Gupta also received a claim summary-cum-claim form and a consent letter from Bajaj Allianz for settlement of his 'extended warranty' insurance policy. "The claim summary is filled partially and the consent letter is a completely one-sided document asking us to forgo all our rights and cancel the policy from the date of loss. The document offers a meagre amount of Rs22,267 as full and final settlement, which included the value of scrap value of the TV and close the issue forever. This would be the depreciated value of the TV," Mr Gupta says. 
 
 
In a statement Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, says, "As per the policy and the indemnity clause, a 10% depreciation has been considered for each year i.e. depreciation of 30% for three years for providing the compensation of Rs22,267 to the customer. The compensation was made within 48 hours of receipt of documentation and subsequent confirmation from the customer."
 
Mr Gupta wanted to file a case in district consumer forum against Vu TV, the dealer who sold him the extended warranty policy and Bajaj Allianz. He along with his wife visited Moneylife Foundation's daily free guidance clinic for guidance
 
After discussion, Mr Gupta was given two choices: file a case in consumer forum or accept the offer from the insurer. Filing case in a consumer forum has become a time-consuming issue as the first hearing may not take place for about three months and how many days it will take for final judgement. In addition, there is no guarantee that Mr Gupta would have received his entire claim amount of Rs32,990. There is also a cost for filing complaint in consumer forum, like drafting complaint, affidavits, attaching all proof and then making multiple sets of this complaint. 
 
Since Mr Gupta had used the TV for about two years, and with prices of new sets falling day by day, it was suggested to him that in this exceptional situation, it may make better sense to use the proceeds received from Bajaj Allianz to buy a new TV from reputed company instead. 
 
"We discussed your suggestion among our family members and found it was practical solution that would give us peace of mind. So we agreed to the claim settlement. Bajaj Allianz collected our non-working TV set and within three days paid Rs22,267 as agreed. We will be buying a new TV set and this time would check if the extended warranty is indeed provided by the manufacturer and not an insurance company," Mr Gupta concluded.
 
While Mr Gupta has got away with minimal damage from a bad deal, this may not necessarily be the case with other products, which do not depreciate as rapidly or where technology improvements do not lead to better products being available a lower rates every years. 
 
Yet, most consumers who can afford it, happily pay up for an EW, which may often be hard-sold by an insurance company whose way of evaluating a claim is completely different from what should happen in a straight-forward EW purchase. 
 
Matters like these ought to be adjudicated upon by court or have clear rules prescribed by the ministry of consumer affairs. But that will be another battle for someone else to take up.
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COMMENTS

VIVEK SHAH

2 months ago

I just realised after reading this that even I have been issued a insurance policy camouflaged as a extended warranty when I bought a Philips TV from a dealer in Surat. This is truly an eye opener.

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