Metrolife: Hello Bescom? Anyone there?

In this season of power outages, many people who try helpline 1912 wait endlessly

Power goes off and you can’t get through to anyone on the Bescom helpline 1912? You’re not alone.

Many across the city are unhappy they get no response when they call.

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company receives 300 to 400 calls a day. In the monsoon months, the number goes up to 600.

With 30 lines, the helpline is not geared up to deal with the volume of complaints.

“We have trained our staff to respond to all calls,” claims N Jayanti, general manager, customer relations, Bescom. “And all calls are answered.”

She says 15 lines will be added soon.

Executives say they can’t disconnect any call on the 1912 helpline.

“The call goes through in the first ring itself. The systems puts the callers in a queue,” says a call executive.

Each of the 30 helplines is manned by an executive. “We work in three shifts round the clock, with the first shift beginning at 6 am,” he says. Most calls after 6 pm are related to power failure.

The helpline also gets calls about voltage fluctuations, meter faults and online payment.

The busiest months for the helpline are June and July, the executive says.

 Reality check

Metrolife called the Bescom helpline 1912 on Sunday twice: at 9.30 am and again at 11.30 am. As soon we dialled, the calls went through, but no live executive picked up the phone. We were told by an automated voice that we were in a queue. It also suggested we send an SMS to 58888. Metrolife had earlier called the helpline at 3.30 pm on Friday. We got no live response.

Ashwathy Kumar, a resident of Banaswadi, says: “We have power cuts for five hours almost every day. I have tried calling the Bescom helpline but have never got through.”

Ashish Jain, a resident of Hebbal, says: “I regularly post complaints on the Bescom Facebook page and get an instant response. But when I try calling the helpline, I never get through.”

Priya Mendenz, a resident of Fraser Town, says, “The whole purpose of having a helpline is lost if citizens can’t get through. I don’t call the helpline anymore.”   

On social media

Bescom also uses Facebook and Twitter to connect with customers.

“Our staff monitor the complaints on our social media pages. We get 40 to 50 a day. When it rains, the number doubles,” a call executive says.

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