In my recent visit to my home town (Chennai aka Madras in India), I was taken by pleasant surprise by the speed of service from BSNL.
To tell you why I need to tell you another story, Just a few months back one of my friend in London (South West), moved into a new rented house as he was getting married. He ordered for a new telephone BT line and was told
* it would take 7 - 10 working days for connection
* Engineer would visit only during working hours
* Engineer would give a call in the morning, 8-9 am (the time you would be either traveling by tube to office or getting ready to do so)
He atlast managed to find a time with this engineer on his second attempt on the 8th day and found to his bad luck that the line had some wiring problem and finally it all got done and he was linked on the 16th day(working day).
Eventhough it can be generalised that all the cases are handled by BT like this but thats just a sample showing such things do happen in with BT.
Now coming to Chennai, it is a semi state run org called BSNL. When I went to the office along with my friend for application of new connection, it looked more like any other Govt. Org in India. Then I happen to notice that it was Saturday afternoon and still staff at counter is brisk collecting forms and friendly in explaining to things to the customer.
It was our turn we asked a we questions which he happend to explain and finally accepted our application. We also found that we could apply for Broadband as well for about 500Rs., @ 256 Kbps 1 GB ( Now we also have plans like 900Rs. @ 256 kbps - Unlimited download).
Then on the Monday evening my friend called up saying that they a linked and a new physical connection has been given at around 7:00pm after my friend returned home. It was surpising they hardly took 1 working day, it was less than 1 working day elapsed.
To add to this surprise by Wednessday evening my friend was online, surfing the net. Its amazing how much things can improve in country like India, given a litle bit of competition and privatisation, where paying an electricity bill or phone bill and getting a connection is always tougher than building a house.
Hope this spreads to other areas like Electricity Boards, House Tax & Metro Water, any other Government / Semi Government Organisations.
Its a very good start indeed..