Unethical Business Practices of Grameen Phone (GP)


Grameen Phone (GP), the leading mobile phone operator of Bangladesh, charged Tk.7 (USD 0.11) per minutes for a phone call at the beginning and they are charging highest call rate (USD 0.04 per minute) compared to other operators exists in Bangladesh. But why are people subscribing GP till now? People are subscribing, because they have fallen in trap of GP.

At first time, GP comes in mobile business in Bangladesh. Usually people subscribe GP mobile number and everybody introduces the numbers to others as contacts. So, if they do not continue the GP subscription, then they will loss contact with people. So, the painful subscription of GP, people are continuing and GP is taking absolute opportunity from this weakness! Although, we are not able to change the number, so we are continuing the GP subscription!

Well! Let see now the cheating strategy of GP internet. GP also offers Mobile Broadband Services (Internet) under different package like P1, P2, P3, ………P7 etc. The dangerous package is P1. It describes `Package 1 (P1) is a pay as you go offer, it is available for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers. For every kilobyte (KB) of data browed, subscribers are charged Tk. 0.02 + VAT.

I have a bitter experience with GP-Internet! From beginning, I used P2 Package (Monthly Charge 977.50 including VAT). It said, it is a post-paid unlimited offer! But recently I faced trouble with GP-Internet frequently. I have asked solution from them through 121 (charged) and at their customer service centre. About 3 months, I am suffering and about every day I am paying for several minutes charge for calling in 121 and travelling at their customer service centre. Some e-mail correspondents here as example:

Date: Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 5:22 PM
Subject: Internet Problem 01730- XXXXXX
I have been using your Internet SIM (P2) since its inception. My Number is 01730-XXXXXX. Recently I have faced a very difficult problem with internet. Most of the time, the modem could not connect Internet. It says, `The connection with remote server could not be established. So, the port………………’. Sometimes I got the line. But no page is not downloaded. Sometimes it takes more and more time.
I have talked with specialised team of Grameen Phone several times. They have also taken a complain in day before yesterday. Today I have talked with Service Centre at Dhanmondi and I have not got any problems there. So, I sent you the complain to check the problem.
(Address of Home and Office). I have faced the problem in my residence and office.
Therefore, I would like to draw your kind attention to solve the problem. My communication number is 01713-XXXXXX.

On October 22, 2010 at 3:18 PM
To,
Chief Executive Officer
Grameen Phone

Dear Sir,
Regretfully I am informing you that I have been facing trouble with internet (01730-XXXXXX) for last few days. I have communicated several times with your customer services (121-1-5) and they just inform me that it takes only 3 hours to make a solution. I don’t know, how many days make only 3 hours! The problem exists till now.
Earlier, I faced another problem (The following mail sent as complain in that time). But your 121-1-5 or Customer serives at Dhanmondi could not able to find out the problem. I have lost about 2 weeks at that time. One of my friends said me that time to replace the SIM and I replaced it as per his advices. I got a result.
Recently I am informed that my P2 post paid package has been made pre-paid. I don’t know, what the definition of Post Paid? You are deciding as per your wish, never think about the customer. I think, it is totally ethical practice!
During the problem, I did not get any services from you and lost my communication. But You have charged! Is it business?
I am totally disappoiting with your services and unethical practices!

Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 11:44 AM (Response of GP)
Subject: RE: Fwd: Internet Problem 01730-XXXXXX
Greetings from Grameenphone Ltd!

Thank you for contacting Grameenphone Customer Service and bringing the issues to our attention. In accordance with your email, please be informed that as per our verbal conversation we have provided you necessary feedback for the concerned issues that you have escalated.
It is our pleasure to offer you the superior service you deserve and we are committed to provide the best of our services in future as well. Please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

Not getting solution from GP, I have converted my P2 Package to P6. P6 is for Prepaid/Postpaid subscribers. Subscribers can enjoy the service (24×7 monthly browsing ), but with 1 GB dara usage limit in a month and monthly charge is BDT 300 (excluding VAT, with VAT 345). After exhausting 1GB subscriber will be converted to pay as you go offer like P1.  But I have lost Tk. 360 which I have deposited at my older post-paid SIM.

May be they have offered a bonus (1GB) and the bonus has been merged with my existing package. The following message, the Grameen Phone sent me.

It means, P6 package users will hardly get the benefit for their bonus! Anyway, we are not interested on bonus. But problem is, after expiring the limit (1GB), P1 package will appy automatically without noticing us and we have to pay per KB for 0.02 Tk + VAT.

On 17-18th October 2010, the pre-paid SIM was started to make trouble! So, I changed the SIM and checked my post-paid SIM. Unfortunately, it started to work! On early of 19th I got a message, P6 will expire within 3 hours and it will charge as per P1 package if I continue!

Horrible, while I used post-paid package, then they charged pre-paid, and now I am using pre-paid package, but they reminded me for post-paid! GP is defining POST-PAID and PRE-PAID as per their wish!

Anyway, I stopped use of Internet getting the message and re-charged Tk.360 (P6 package needs Tk.345) and sent request to GP to activate P6 package again. A message I got; it said, your P6 package will activate within 27 hours. I started to wait for their next message. But it is not coming! Just for try, I sign in GP-Internet and found,  it is working! So, I checked my mails and worked 2 hours! After 1.5 hours, I got the activation message. It means, I have used GP-Internet only 1.5 hours before getting the activation message.

The following day, on 20 October 2010, I do not get internet services from GP. I tried to reach 121-1-5 about more than 100 times, but getting no response. It said, all line are busy, so stay a while! Count, how many minutes, I have waited without getting response? But I am charged!

I re-charged again Tk.100 and it reached at Tk.460. But I did not get access to internet. Fortunately, yesterday I got them and asked the problem! They said, I have due more Tk.335. After re-charging Tk.335, I will get access!

How funny! I am charged Tk.1130 (about USD 13) for using 1.5 hours before getting P6 activation message from GP?  

Question is, we have taken P6 Package, not P1. Who have given authority to Grameen Phone to convert the customer’s choice (to P1)? GP has consciously formulated this package to cheat the customer!   

It is totally unethical business practices which GP is continuing! We must act to stop these unethical practices!

Not getting solution from GP, I have converted my P2 Package to P6. P6 is for Prepaid/Postpaid subscribers. Subscribers can enjoy the service (24×7 monthly browsing ), but with 1 GB dara usage limit in a month and monthly charge is BDT 300 (excluding VAT, with VAT 345). After exhausting 1GB subscriber will be converted to pay as you go offer like P1.  But I have lost Tk. 360 which I have deposited at my older post-paid SIM.

May be they have offered a bonus (1GB) and the bonus has been merged with my existing package. The following message, the Grameen Phone sent me.

1GB free data (30 days validity) is being merged with your existing package. To check bonus volume type *566*10#.After expiration P1 (0.02 Tk/KB+VAT) will applyTime: 26/10/2010 19:26:54

It means, P6 package users will hardly get the benefit for their bonus! Anyway, we are not interested on bonus. But problem is, after expiring the limit (1GB), P1 package will appy automatically without noticing us and we have to pay per KB for 0.02 Tk + VAT.

On 17-18th October 2010, the pre-paid SIM was started to make trouble! So, I changed the SIM and checked my post-paid SIM. Unfortunately, it started to work! On early of 19th I got a message, P6 will expire within 3 hours and it will charge as per P1 package if I continue!

Horrible, while I used post-paid package, then they charged pre-paid, and now I am using pre-paid package, but they reminded me for post-paid! GP is defining POST-PAID and PRE-PAID as per their wish!

Anyway, I stopped use of Internet getting the message and re-charged Tk.360 (P6 package needs Tk.345) and sent request to GP to activate P6 package again. A message I got; it said, your P6 package will activate within 27 hours. I started to wait for their next message. But it is not coming! Just for try, I sign in GP-Internet and found,  it is working! So, I checked my mails and worked 2 hours! After 1.5 hours, I got the activation message. It means, I have used GP-Internet only 1.5 hours before getting the activation message.

The following day, on 20 October 2010, I do not get internet services from GP. I tried to reach 121-1-5 about more than 100 times, but getting no response. It said, all line are busy, so stay a while! Count, how many minutes, I have waited without getting response? But I am charged!

I re-charged again Tk.100 and it reached at Tk.460. But I did not get access to internet. Fortunately, yesterday I got them and asked the problem! They said, I have due more Tk.335. After re-charging Tk.335, I will get access!

How funny! I am charged Tk.1130 (about USD 13) for using 1.5 hours before getting P6 activation message from GP?  

Question is, we have taken P6 Package, not P1. Who have given authority to Grameen Phone to convert the customer’s choice (to P1)? GP has consciously formulated this package to cheat the customer!   

It is totally unethical business practices which GP is continuing! We must act to stop these unethical practices!

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3 Comments

  1. bhai ami bozlam na eta kon jater unlimited offer jeita 5 gb te limited.
    i m using p2 and i m facing the same probs.
    they are costing my time without solution,a totally unethical business.
    i need to download a lot that’s why i took p2 unlimited,but now look at the situation one of the leading mobile phone operating company of Bangladesh are forcing their unlimited users to a limit.

    ekhon ami ki korte pari,
    plz keo ei digital bangladesher nagorik ke ki kono upai bolte parbe.

  2. Brother for your kind information GP works on your (Customers) feedback. GP has changed there auto migration to P1 policy and implemented auto renewal option ( With confirmation from the customer).

    P2 is limited with 5 GB as the BTRC has set this Fair usage policy along with the Tk. 0.02/KB.

    All mobile operators must obey this rules. Only Teletalk Ltd charges .018/KB.

    Hope you understand.

    1. Thanks for the information. The article has been written on the bitter experiences with Grammen Phone when GP migrated P2 package to P1 without informing the customer. It is great news, you have changed your policy at last. It proved that you did unethical business for a long time! You can read the international standard of business (Code of Conduct) for increasing your understanding about business!

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