Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

24. Add On

During lunch hour yesterday, the Postman came to my workplace in search of me. He had an envelope in his hand. ‘You never meet at home’, he complained... it was more of an icebreaker (should we use this term in the context of looming global warming?) than a complaint. “Oh, you can always hand it over the parcels to my neighbors”, I tried to clarify. He did not pay any attention to my statement.

It was an envelope from BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited – telephone service provider under control of Government of India.). I pay my telephone bills (both landline and mobile) through ECS (Electronic Clearing System) – I get the bill every month and the amount is directly paid through my bank account. Therefore, I was wondering what this envelop might contain.

To my surprise, there was a letter with a SIM card. This ‘Add on’ SIM is free and there will be no monthly fixed charges. The letter explains briefly the benefits of this ‘Absolutely Free’ facility. The BSNL has spent millions of rupees on dispatch of these SIM cards to its customers.

The problem is I do not need any additional SIM, nor did I ever ask for it. Why the BSNL just could not check it with me in advance? They keep on sending me innumerable SMS regarding this ring tone, that song and that scheme. Why nobody at BSNL thought of confirming the need before spending? After all its public money, they are spending and so they need not bother about such simple aspects of work.

BSNL is not completely at fault though. In the consumerist atmosphere, hardly anybody says ‘no’ to free things. People keep on collecting unwanted things just because they get it free – that only means they do not have to pay direct costs. Why one should keep ‘adding on’ things in life at the wish of others – is the aspect, which I have hardly ever understood.

Normally, I would go to BSNL office and return the SIM card. However, I know, there would be complicated procedure. The idea again is ‘keeping the SIM should be easier’ (saving time, money, energy, mental peace…..) than ‘rejecting this ‘add on’ SIM facility’. This is ridiculous. This may be aggressive marketing but it is irritating enough.

I am neither going to follow BSNL nor will I try to ‘teach them how to work better’. I have decided not to add on anything in life just because some service provider wrongly anticipated my needs. I will add on things if I wish, no one can compel me to do so. Definitely, impersonal entity like BSNL cannot add on!

Not, when I do not wish.


  1. i would rather say what BSNL did was a hopeless "sarkari" expression of consumerism! ha!
    a genuine consumerist company would definitely ask you ten times in a very "call center accent" before giving a free sim. later they would ask for your feed back ten times!! And also create a huge ad-campaign concering this scheme!

  2. As it is our money rather our Govt is using our money without our permission we can use RTI (Right to information )and ask them expenditure details on these kind of undesirable events

  3. whether you call it agressive marketing or some other name, it is one of the ways by which the 'market' is kept expanding; and the gdp is kept growing. come to think of it, the add-on sim is as useless as the first one -- whoever thought that the first sim itself would be necessary -- say ten years ago. But now we accept the first sim as a necessary part of life -- so also one can accept the add-on as another part of life.

    The truth is that anything is necessary or indispensable -- or not -- depending on the attitude or attachment or dependence we may develop for it. So, as the Upanishads say, "enjoy with detachment" both the first as well as the add-on sim!!

  4. The consumerism that invades personal privacy, as you give an example
    of bsnl 'add-on', is indeed a nuisance.It leads one some times to
    reject a service itself and forego small conveniences.


  5. ya .. its true that its a waste of money if you are giving such sim to someone who is not needing it...
    but in my case, i would have accepted it happily.. i really need one bsnl sim...!!!!

  6. anu, u r right...BSNL needs to learn a lot about conducting business...

    ashlesha, it is a good idea... i will explore this and get back to you if i require more information

    Girish, i believe a lot has been said about limitations of gdp as an indicator to measure welfare of the people.... so, let us agree to disagree on this

    pkulkarni, the problem is almost all service providers are alike... you give up on and seek other and you end up at the same turn...

    not unique but surely original (what a good name you have chosen)... i would be happy to give you this 'add on' SIM ....but you will get tired of too much talking, so better write a blog!!


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