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Tamil Nadu tops in complaints over call drops

Mobile subscribers in Tamil Nadu seem to be the most harassed telecom customers in the country, mainly affected by call drops and poor network coverage.

Details furnished by the Union ministry of communications in Lok Sabha on Monday show that in 2019 Tamil Nadu had registered the most number of complaints regarding call drops and improper network coverage reported through the Centralised Public Grievance Redressal and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) to the department of telecommunications. The state’s 183 complaints in 2019 were 15% of complaints in the country, an increase of 110 complaints from 2018.

This year, till September 15, just 162 complaints were registered through CPGPRAMS, with Maharashtra accounting for 19, the highest, and Tamil Nadu. This apart, till August this year, there were 17 complaints over call drops in Chennai and Tamil Nadu telecom circles to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). During the whole of 2018, the telecom regulator received 18 such complaints from subscribers in the two circles.

R Ramesh Sundar, a Chennai-based medical sales representative, said that he had been experiencing frequent call drops during long chats through voice calls. “During a 30-minute chat, the call gets disconnected at a frequency of every 8-10 minutes and I need to call again. Such inconveniences have increased in 2020,” he said. He wondered why such problems were happening when a majority of the plans offered included unlimited voice calls.

Several residents of the city’s western suburbs beyond Avadi have been complaining about frequent call drops. T Sadagopan, president of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Consumer Centre at Pattabiram, charged that inadequate mobile towers and poor maintenance by public and private telecom operators was the major reason for such problems. “In the western suburbs, the number of call drops is relatively high during the weekends,” he said.

S Saroja of Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group, who is also an advisory committee member of appellate desk of three telecom operators, said complaints over call drops and poor network connectivity were being increasingly reported from the rural pockets of the state outside Chennai. “We have come across several such complaints from customers residing away from the district headquarters during our customer outreach meetings. While we write to the respective telecom operators to address the issues, some large complaints are also brought to the notice of TRAI,” she said. TOI

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