On 13th March 2011, Telenor in a newspaper advertisement type of notification publicly announced that all calls to helpline will be charged at Rs.2+tax if the customer talks to the customer service representative officer (CSR). It means that they are already charging 25paisa+tax on the IVR number and when you select the option ZERO to talk to the customer services representative you will be charged Rs.2+tax extra.
IVR Call to 345 charges are 25paisa+3paisa (tax) = 28paisa
IVR Call to 345 + Talk to CSR will be charged 28paisa (for IVR) + Rs.2+ (38paisa) tax = Rs.2.79
The above mentioned charges will be applicable from 9th April 2011. These charges apply for djuice and Telenor talkshawk customers.
Not to forget that Mobilink is already charging Rs.2.42 for calls to helpline since November 2010. Call to helpline numbers used to be free couple of years back, but later were charged to stop all the prank callers who used to disturb CSRs and effect their internal ranking. The initial charges which started on the helplines were 50paisa+tax and later were increased to Rs.1+tax. So almost every year this rate is revised saying that it is increased so that the company can put in more CSRs to help the customers. Rather I think, the companies are not able to afford the CSRs anymore as all of them has started downsizing and started hiring on contract basis or some have outsourced. I hope the next year these charges don’t hike up to Rs.5+tax and becomes the only powerful source of the cellular companies to earn profit from helpline calls where no airtime charges apply and the money charged to the customer goes directly into the pocket of the company.