Service Providers and Crappy machines

The automatic machines for paying bills are installed at the BESCOM (Bangalore Electric Company) to save money (government) and time (for the consumers). Now the interesting thing is that they have actually employed a person to accept cash and deposit it to the machine. Strange? No ! when I saw him for the first time, I thought the machine was at fault, But this guy was there accepting our cash and feeding it to the machine everytime I went to pay my power bills! Now what’s the need of a machine then??????

 

In ‘Silicon valley of India’ we have such machines at the railway station too. This one is quite different from the one I have seen at other railway stations (other ones had old Telephone like buttons and was crappy looking). This machine was state of the art, had good displays and would accept 1Re, 5Rs coins to issue platform tickets. Recently I went to pick my wife and her mom (the usage mother in law is a bit harsh for her). Considering the queue at the ticket counter I thought of giving this machine a try. <<Also my last experience at the ticket counter was horrible. The guy at the counter was rude and did not issue a ticket until I gave him change for 3 Rs. He did not accept a 5 Rupee coin!. My wife had to vandalize her purse to get the change.>>

 

So here I am at the state of the art ticket vending machine. Wait a minute the first one is not working, so I proceeded to the second machine, wow they have machines everywhere I thought. I found this little guy who was protecting the machine with his both hands. People were giving him the money and he in turn put the coins in the slot and gave the ticket to them.

Oh so they have employed one person here too. I thought.

 

I gave him the coins. He put them in the slot, the machine grumbled and he handed over the ticket to me.

One rupee. He said.

WHAT?. I asked

One rupee sir. He repeated.

That’s when it struck me; he was making money out of it. J I handed over 1 Re to him.

 

Apparently he is a freelancer.

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15 comments

  1. oh well guess all stations across India do not accept any amount except the amount of ticket…i have seen machines around chennai,that don’t work 🙂

    oh! well ta least the poor guy was making money 🙂

  2. I wonder if they do it because they feel that people can’t use the machine properly? I mean those who are not tech savvy. I know people who get confused even while operating a microwave! 🙂 And ofcourse a guy makes money!
    I think they should have an attendant in every public toilet in India to flush the toilet! I don’t mind paying one rupee, but only if the toilet is flushed before I enter it!

  3. Are you sure the guy was with the railway authorities? Maybe he was just some clever fella who thought about this nice plan to make money out of this because operating the machine sounds simple enough, much like those PCO telephones, no?

  4. OMG……… can’t believe it man.. I was @ Blore railway station last week.. hmm I will have to check this one next time………. this is unbelievable !!

    For our governments, computerization means buying some computers and fixing them on each table.. files are replaced by word docs or excel sheets may be.. everything else remains the same……

  5. vishesh,
    yea the poor guy was making money, so i gave him for the work he did.
    🙂
    Nita,
    at the bescom yes, that guy is an employee…. i know, for us, its just a touch of a button. for the people who are not tech savy i guess like the ATMs they will get used to it.

    When the ATMs were introduced, ppl were very prejudiced that they wont be able to operate it, but it changed.
    I think this would as well. microwave? even I get confused with the varrious options and our tupperware burned after I pressed the wrong button (i pressed grill) 😀
    ish,
    hahah yeah he is just smart.
    dinu,
    u shud check him out. he wont let u put money by urself.

  6. So people are not allowed to use the machine by themselves even if they are able? Strange. I think I when I will get there I will force him aside. Sam Dam Dand Bhed 😀

  7. 1/- is ok right?

  8. Suda,
    yea…he is ‘protecting’ it..
    Ankur,
    re 1 is okay, for that service, but we can do it ourselves right? he wont let us do that. 🙂

  9. wasshappening · · Reply

    If he is employed by railway authorities he will be paid his salary right?Then why take extra cash from passengers.

    How much does he make in a day then?

  10. @wasshappening,
    no, he is just a freelancer, a service provider !

  11. Much the like the self-appointed parking wardens heh! Such people can be found all around the city and well they even talk as if they were appointed by an official body.. but thats never the case is it?

  12. Balu,
    Oh how could I forget those guys. The ones at commercial street !!! they charge you for parking on the road !

  13. I know.. There are vodafone machines at our company premises and a guy to take care of them. Now what do you say about this, employees of an IT company do not know how to use machines to pay bills? .. I like the idea of charging 1 rupee for each transaction. 🙂

  14. harsha,
    haha, even vodafone? i thought this was restricted to govt services.

  15. But how can he “not let” so many people (who r tech savvy) use the machine? why dont the ppl protest? I agree with Suda ..if i m there i m going to use it…anyhow. Its not a matter of 1 rs….(btw think of how much he is earning daily!) its a matter of right n wrong..when he is not an employee then the ppl r just encouraging this sort of illegal activities by giving him money to do such a silly thing. and then they raise hue n cry India is going to dogs..huh!

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