Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting a replacement BSNL Postpaid SIM card

As it happens, my father in law lost his Nokia E61 mobile near Elnet. Even though it is supposedly a "decent people" zone, the phone was promptly switched OFF (the best part was the idiot picked up the phone call and then hung up) and it "vanished" into thin air. Since we hadnt noted down the IMEI number, we safely assumed that the phone has technically become the genie of another "self loathing" owner.

It was around 7PM when the mobile went jay walking. Since the SIM had ISD activated, we wanted to disable it as soon as possible, lest the new phone owner may intelligently find out its facility and decide to start his bidding live on the tri-series in Dhaka.

Now, it so happens that BSNL does have an easy and genuine way to disable a lost SIM card.

Call 94440 24365

Take a keen note of the 2nd half of the number. You may miss it (alrite, its obvious). It is supposed to mean "Available 24 hours 365 days". For us, the call connected immediately.

The person wanted the following details
1. Mobile number (obviously).
2. Mobile owner (under whose name it is registered)
3. Address to which it is linked (where the mobile bill goes)
4. The number to which the last outgoing call was made ( you better remember the numbers)
5. Either the second last outgoing call or any number in the last 5 outgoing calls.
6. Then, he asked us to hold on..

7. 5 minutes later,..... still holding on. During this time, an automated female voice angered us incessantly to buy 3G technology.
8. Then, he came back ON (thank all the comets), told us that outgoing is barred, but incoming will be active for another 24 hours after which that too will be barred.
9. And that was when we reached our destination to eat Bhai Kadai special - mutton briyani and bread halwa.

And so, the next day, I went to Perungudi exchange (the nearest to me) to apply for a replacement SIM. They said that all SIM replacement work is handled in Adyar customer care only. Also, the lady in CC told me that I need to have address proof (of where the mobile is linked with) and a Photo ID of me, along with a passport photo. The concept of multiple proofing is one of the biggest drab infecting our system. If only we had a single ID (like the american SSN) which can be used for anything and everything (I do hope our Nandan Nilakeni brings it out sooner).

Coming to the case in point, armed with all the required "proofs" that I am not linked with any red-flagged groups of the world, I approached the CC. After verifying all the documents, the CC officer signed the form (which I had filled there), then he stopped. He said "This SIM was no ordinary SIM. It had magical powers. This cannot be handled here. You need to have Aladdin's magic lamp....". Well, he actually said "This SIM has international roaming facilities enabled. So, this is handled only in R.K. Nagar exchange (mandaveli)". Fortunately, this time I did not have to carry any more documents. Only those that I was already carrying and the form which I had recently filled (and signed by the CC officer in Adyar).. So, off I went. At this point, I remembered a vivek comedy where he was going to an interview, he faced so many "take diversions" on the road that he ended up exactly on the opposite side of the city from where he wanted to go. I felt like an idiot.

Then again, I needed the SIM, and so I went to Mandaveli exchange. There, they checked the form, checked the xerox copies of proofs I gave, took the "special" SIM, and handed it over to me. Thats all. End of Journey. Done. I asked about the charges; for which the CC officer said it will come in the bill itself.

I came out of the CC office feeling a bit lost. After all this, it took about 1 minute to get the SIM back. But, the point is I GOT THE REPLACEMENT SIM.

And so folks, this is how you get your international roaming enabled, GPRS enabled, ISD activated postpaid BSNL SIM card. For other normal SIMs, Adyar exchange itself handles it. Or so, it seems. You won't know until you actually try out.