Woes over PTCL

Sir: Before privatisation, PTCL was something like what PIA is today. The complaint number (at that time 18) was almost always unattended and, in case of a dead telephone, one had to waste hours searching for a lineman. After privatisation, PTCL’s efficiency increased remarkably. Almost all telephones worked round-the-clock and, if ever one went out of order, it was easy to dial 1218 and register a complaint automatically. The linesmen suddenly became polite and what was once unthinkable became a fact of life: you did not have to give them money as a bribe after getting your phone working again. The broadband internet system worked perfectly and I would frequently tell foreigners that it was better than anywhere else in the world. I should have kept my mouth shut.

For a few months now, remarkable lethargy has affected all of PTCL’s employees. Telephones are dead for days on end, and those that are working are almost impossible to use due to static and noise. Internet use is now disrupted many times a day and it has become essential to use at least one other service provider’s broadband to ensure that your work does not suffer. Of the four telephones in my workplace, one has been dead for 15 days, another for seven days, and the two that are working are almost unusable owing to noise and static. It would of course be too much to expect any responsible executive in PTCL reading this to do something about the sufferings of its customers, but who knows? Miracles have been known to occur at times in this godforsaken country.

Printed in Daily Times, July 5, 2013