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BMTC customer service...a new high

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BusPublic Transport

I had a peculiar experience on 1st Feb while travelling in a BMTC bus.

I bought a Volvo Gold Day Pass at Attibele on that day morning. However, the dates 8-11 were torn while tearing the pass from the bunch. Added to that,  on the month column, the conductor had ticked 1 and 2.

While returning back, the checking staff caught hold of the error. They were not in a mood to buy my version of the argument, and insisted that i pay the fine of Rs. 500/-. Their argument was, the pass could have been issued on 11th Jan, and I might have torn off the dates 8-11, and re-ticked on 2nd month. I did not want to create a scene, and obliged to pay the fine, though fellow passengers advised me to pay off "something" and get out of the mess.  Why to get into the trouble of moving from pillar to post, or losing 500 bucks, was their logic!!

I stuck to my logic, if anyone had paid any money without any fault, for the genuine pass bought, there should be an avenue to trace the pass and get the money back.

I took the photograph of the pass on my mobile, as they said that the pass has been confiscated and cannot be returned to me.

I drafted a letter giving the details of the entire episode, attached the photo of the pass and the fine receipt, and visited the CTM office at BMTC, Shantinagar. I handed over the letter at the CTM office, and was assured to me that they would sort out the issue within 15 days.

I was surprised, when I got a call today from the BMTC office, apologising for the inconvenience caused by the incident. The staff asked me to visit the office along with the original fine receipt and collect the money.

I will visit them (with a box of sweet, of course!!) tomorrow and post my experience here.

Glad that the BMTC has grown so high.

Cheers BMTC.

 

Comments

murali772's picture

any lessons learned, though?

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@ Mohan A  -  Good for you that you are happy with the BMTC having sorted out the matter. But, I very much doubt if BMTC has learned any lesson from the episode, and organised itself to prevent such instances repeating. Obviously, they can't because they are still in the DOS mode - check this

Muralidhar Rao
Vasanth's picture

Mistake by Conductors - Commuter has to bear

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 I think lesson learnt here is never agree to take a torn pass from conductor however he might convince you. 

BMTC should have taken the information from where the pass was purchased and should have asked for explanation by the conductor for the same. Passenger anyhow has paid the penalty promptly.

Why not ticket printing machine printed day passes and monthly passes having date and time. This will eliminate this confusion. Also, one can take monthly passes starting from any date  to anydate unlike the current situation where it is valid from 1st of one month to 1st of next month. This is being followed by Indian Railways. Montly passes are valid for 1 month from the date one purchases the pass.

mohan anekal's picture

Alas! My expectation was not so....

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 @ Murali, @Vasanth thanks for sharing your views. 

I had a different experience today. My logic would say that any amount collected as fine, and no corruption involved, the corporation would return the money.

Today, I visited the BMTC office, met Inspector Chetna. She had the money ready with her. She asked me to write an acknowledgement for the receipt of Rs. 500. On questioning her about an acknowledgement on a sheet of paper, she revealed that the money is being collected by the conductor and paid to me!!

I told her, in that case I would not accept. The corporation had collected the money through a fine receipt and I expect the corporation to return, not the conductor. I was honest in buying a genuine ticket, and conductor was honest by selling a genuine pass and accepting the error on it. I insisted her that the way to take it forward is to train the conductor/s to avoid such situations, or create a SOP in such cases  of pass being torn (which by any certainity would happen any time, as they are handling pieces of papers). 

I was taken aback when she told me that there is no provision to return the money so collected. She added that, going buy the rules, based on my complaint, disciplinary action had to be initiated against the conductor for being so callous, which could hurt the conductor in the long run. She gave an option that, if I  was not interested to take the money, I could collect the same and hand it over to the conductor!

Many things ran in my mind at that instance. The conductor had a chance to claim that the pass was in order when it was issued. She could have even told to the investigating authority that it was customer's mistake, etc.

I wanted to thank the conductor for her uprightness. I took the cell no. of the manager of the Depot 25, through him, collected her contact no..

When I called her, she was very apologetic for the embarrasing situation I might have faced in the bus. 

I appreciated her for being honest and accepting the errors on the pass. I will hand it over to her in my next meet.

The overall incident was a very good learning for me as well - to a very great extent.

I too am building a small company with about 25 people. I know now, very clearly, to demarcate the non deliberate errors. Most organisations can easily do so. 

If I put this clause of BMTC in my company, how could I motivate and retain the employees in the long run? is it not a perfect recipe to promote corruption, esp. when an individual is paid Rs. 2500-3000 a month and made to make a living in Bangalore? Rs. 500 is almost a week's salary!!

By the way, the box of sweet is still in my bag!! May be, I will share it with the conductor....

imran_huq17's picture

Employees Welfare.....

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I have always advocated that the employees welfare  needs attention along with the public convinience..check thishere

They employees especially the drivers , conductors ,mechanics ,cleaners definetly deserve better treatment by the management

Regards,

Imran.

 

murali772's picture

so, who's bothered?

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@ Mohan A  -  Your experience again brings out the fact of BMTC still continuing in the DOS mode, and any lesson learned will be by the conductor alone. There will be no systemic changes effected, and as such, the same thing can happen again. Well, when all of the feedbacks on the BusDays, for over a year, hasn't moved them much (check this), why would they bother with your experience, right? That's exactly what government service providers are all about, and particularly so when they are monopolies.

And, where did you get this figure of Rs 2,500 - 3,000 a month? According to the Minimum Wages Act, a conductor, who would very likely be classified as 'semi-skilled', would be getting nothing less than about Rs 7,000 a month, plus various benefits, except of course if he/ she is not a permanent employee. And, yes, though they cannot keep workers on temporary rolls for more than 6 months, they regularly do that by resorting to all kinds of subterfuge, in collusion with the union lot (the labour aristocracy - a term coined by none other than the fiery Marxist MP - Mr Gurudas Dasgupta), and these temporary workers are expolited to the hilt.

@ Imran  -  If the government enforces the Minimum Wages Act, which applies across the board to alll industry (except for those in the cottage sector), workers wouldn't be too badly off even in a costly city like Bangalore. But, enforcement is where the problem is, including in public sector undertakings.

 

Muralidhar Rao
mohan anekal's picture

HR in BMTC

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 @Murali - Agreed. I wonder if there is anything called HR in BMTC. The probationers are indeed paid so. And any conductor in their probation would certainly take the blame on them, in order to avoid the problems in future in the organisation, esp. regularisation, increments, etc. 

And, anyone would agree, that the training IS critical during the probation. If BMTC fails in the first stage, how could it bring in discipline into the organisation, after probation? 

A question to BMTC - Surprisingly, the Hand held terminals are fast disappearing in BMTC, while it is fast picking in KSRTC.  Even rural depots of KSRTC, NWKSRTC, NEKSRTC are using it without a problem. Any reason behind it?

Some conductors feel that HHTs are being taken back, as the "targets" given for the checking staff for collecting fines could not be achieved while HHTs were being used. Is it correct?

With so many daily passes being issued, the HHTs were certainly error free to a large extent. It also reduces the printing cost of the pass. 

Technology certainly brings in efficiency and helps reduce errors

 

Mohan

Neeyathi_hemmige's picture

Volvo - mixed reaction- bad expeerience

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Hi Folks,

I am not sure if this is the right place to put woes on my bad experience while travelling in a volvo recently.

I boarded a volvo ( 335E) was displayed on the board, but when i reached majestic i got to know that this was 333Z ( not sure of the route destination , my guess - mahalaxmi layout- via navarang/sujatha/majestic/ kadugodi?)

I actually hold a regular pass ( red board /black board) of Rs 660 and take volvo only if i am delayed either to or from office /home. ( which is very rare).

But last week i was forced to take this volvo and the conductor asked me the destination stop- i showed my 660 pass leaflet and paid him Rs 20. From the machine, he tore a 20 rupee ticket.

It wa when i reached majestic i got to know that this bus was aheading further, and i continued to sit thinking that i would get off at Sujatha theatre .rajajinagar stop

as the bus left the majestic stop, the conductor came to my seat and rudely asked me where have i bought the ticket to. and i told him i have a 20 rupee ticket and having a 660 pass i can travel and get off anywhere which happens to be a minmal fare. he refused to buy my arguement, and forced me to get off at the railway station signal if not i should buy the fare.

i knew i was right, with Rs 20 ticket and if you have a regular 660 pass, you can travel to any destination in a volvo. please correct me if i am wrong.

i want to complian about this conductor, whom to approach? any one who is reading this post, please give a helpline number. thank you

i want this conductor to be penalised, but how would i approach/

another thing i find with this young conductors of volvo, they are rude, and adamant. if the bus conductors and drivers of regular buses are uneducated, volvos conductors are no better.

you just feel good travelling in volvo, because you travel in an elite group of techies::-), lest the customer services offered by a volvo conductor is poor, my expereince.

Live and Let Live

Vasanth's picture

Please Send mail to CTMO

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 Hi Neeyathi, send email to traffic manager ctmobmtc@gmail.com and grahakshakti@gmail.com by noting down the bus number (Registration number) and the time of occurance of the incident.

I agree, with increased number of Volvos (almost 450), they have all sorts of conductors and drivers now. 

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

BMTC Helpline:1800-425-1663

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 Many times it worked for me, not to get solution but to get response at least :)

They will ask for route number, bus number ,depot number(which anyone hardly notes down) and of course date and time.

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
silkboard's picture

Hand helds "going away"

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Thanks Mohan for reporting your positive experience. It is worth highlighting the good whenever possible as the whole reporting/blogging/media system is setup for relentless and pointless bashing.

But your observation about hand help terminals going away is right. I notice that even in Vajras, the terminals are less and less visible? "Corruption" has to be the reason here.

And we are expecting BMTC to implement smart cards. We will see.

murali772's picture

good pay-master

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Here's an excerpt from a report in the Business Today (for the full report, click here), corroborating more or less what I had stated here
    
It had improved employee relations with a mix of firmness and good pay packages. Senior drivers now draw a monthly salary of Rs 30,000-35,000. Every driver and conductor gets 1.5 per cent of the collection of their bus.

So, BMTC is after all a good pay master. But, that's for those on their rolls. While nobody need grudge those that get these levels of pay, the question is of those that are almost permanently on their 'temporary' rolls, and who do most of the job. And, this is quite the standard situation in most PSU's.
   

Muralidhar Rao

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