SRINAGAR: As Kashmiris continue to celebrate the restoration of their post-paid mobile phones, service providers are having the last laugh with them charging the subscribers for the period when services were suspended in the valley.
Ironically, the recharge packs credited by the subscribers to their phones have also ‘exhausted’ even though no body ever used them during the clampdown period.
To add to the woes of ther subscribers, SMS services and internet facilities continue to remain suspended even on the post paid mobile phone whose services were restored in the Valley after 70 days on Monday.
“The worse part of the callousness of the service provider is that no vendor is able to accept rent or recharge packs in the Valley as their internet connections are also not working.
“The only places where you can pay your rent or get your phones recharged are the main offices of the service providers where hundreds of people are lined up,” said Manzoor Ahmed, a teacher in Srinagar who had to skip school to queue up for his mobile phone payment.
To add insult to the subscribers injury, recharges done by relatives and friends for the mobile phones are not accepted and the payers do not get refunded if these payments are made outside Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is the novel method of cyber loot. I asked a friend of mine in Delhi to pay for Rs 399 recharge pack for my mobile phone through his internet connection.
“He made the payment, but I did not get any credit and my call outgoing facility was not restored. I contacted a senior executive of the company in Srinagar and to my utter surprise he told me that rent and recharges made outside Jammu and Kashmir are not accepted and that the amount thus paid would not be refunded,” said Suhail Ahmed, an advocate.
Despite the callousness shown by the service providers, the fact remains that the locals are still celebrating the limited restoration of mobile phone services in the Valley.
“It is a service all of us pay for and yet we are behaving as if it is the largesse that the service providers are affording to us. Doesn’t the last laugh belong to the service provider even if we continue to chirp the moment our mobile phone rings,” said Parvez, a local journalist.