BSNL Chennai Telephones has asked banks and post offices to accept cheques from its subscribers for the current bill amount even if the bills generated by the newly-introduced Call Detail Record (CDR) system display a different total bill amount.
The move follows widespread complaints from subscribers that these payment outlets were refusing to accept cheques as the CDR-generated bills displayed the total amount along with the current amount even if the subscriber had paid the previous month's bill.
According to BSNL sources, the systemic flaw in the nationally-administered CDR package is likely to be resolved shortly. BSNL Chennai Telephones has already sounded out the IT Cell in Pune about the discrepancy and the issue could be sorted out before the next bill is due, an official said.
Meanwhile, as an interim solution, BSNL is rejigging the bill files generated from a central server in Hyderabad to display the current amount in the counterfoil from the bills of April. A note printed on the April bill also advises the subscriber to pay only the current bill amount if the previous bill amount had already been paid.
This situation has arisen because CDR billing follows the concept of a continuous account as in mobile and credit card billing and is not bill-specific, an official said. While subscribers paying their bills at customer care counters can pay any amount lesser or more than the bill amount and the difference is reflected in their next bill. Many subscribers have also complained of non-receipt of their April bills and it is likely that the BSNL would extend the grace time for payment as it has been doing so ever since it migrated to the CDR billing system.
The delay in despatch of the April bills was due to a combination of serial holidays mid-month and power cuts that hit the printing press, an official said. The other common complaints pertained to the inability to pay online. Officials said customer assistance was being provided to resolve subscriber issues, including help to reset the passwords to the new portal.