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[By Lalmalsawm Sungte]

Docomo mobile service has been in the news for months now, but the actual rolling out of the new GSM service in Karnataka and rest of India began only in recent weeks. In Bangalore, Docomo is selling like hot cakes. Yesterday (Sept 13, 2009), we went out to get one for a 'see-it-for-myself' testing. The first retailer we went to told us that there was no more SIM card!

Our next stop was at a small mobile repairing shop which was also registering Docomo customers. We had to literally make a queue to get the SIM form. It felt like those days when BSNL was the sole GSM mobile service provider in Shillong... we had to wait for months to get a SIM card and activation would take another 2-3 weeks.

When it was our turn, we filled up the form and handed over Rs 50 to the shady retailer ('shady retailer' because my instinct tells me right from the start that he was up to no good and was thinking of making the 'mullah' while the going was good). Instead of gladly taking the 50 rupees he asked for Rs 120, which we were not ready to pay him. The reason he gave me was that the SIM card costs Rs 49 (Out of this you get Rs 5 talktime) and Rs 70 for activation charges.(Mind it...There's no activation charge, that's what the company website says)

If we had not come prepared after visiting Docomo's website www.tatadocomo.com, we would have fallen into this greedy man's trap. To keep it short, we argued for a while and after someone intervened, they finally said, "Sir, You have to pay Rs 120 now and tomorrow after activation you'll get Rs 50 talktime..." We knew this was not the deal Docomo offered, but sensing the futility of arguing any further we paid Rs 120 for the connection plus for the recharge.

The next day, the Docomo number got activated, but it came with just Rs 5 talktime instead of Rs 50. We waited till evening. But the promised-Rs 50 never came. So, on my way to the office i went to inquire the retailer why we have not received the recharged amount. This man, i could tell from his face, was least expecting to see me again; but he did and after some 10 minutes or so he punched Rs 51 instead of Rs 70. I got Rs 51 talktime for that... Being the godly man i'm :) i have to forgive him for stealing my 20 rupees right under my nose.

Lessons learned: (0+3= 3)
0. Never buy things from small-crocked retailers of any items or goods. Go to authorized store.
1. Man is greedy by nature and will exploit any opportunity to get even what is not his.
2. It's sometimes better to stay away from greedy men or even women.
3. Consult company's websites or customer care about the goods before parting with your money. Once the money is in the hands of the retailer or even the authorised dealers they'll find thousand of ways to never return/refund your money.

Following are the reasons why we're trying out DOCOMO:
* 1p/second - Anywhere In India (This is true)
* No daily/monthly rental (No daily rental: True Monthly rental: we're just two days old)
* Savings Alert After every Outgoing call (Sometimes it comes, sometimes not)
* ISD calls on 1 second charging (No number to call up, so we haven't test this feature)
* Reasonable SMS rates (Good. In Karnataka you get Free 100 SMS-National& Local- after sending the first SMS)
* Pre activated STD, ISD and National Roaming without rental (Yet to try. Maybe during the next trip)
* Anywhere in India Recharge (Yet to try)
* Strong signal (We have verified this, it's good here in Bangalore. But, Airtel is still better by 10%)

SIM CARD (You pocket could be thinner by...)
Price of Pack (Rs.)============ Rs.49
Free Airtime on Pack (Rs.)====== Rs 5

Other Key Details
Incoming Calls (Rs.) Free while in home network
TATA DOCOMO---------- 1*
Tata CDMA--------------- 1*
Other GSM--------------- 1*

STD Rates
Tata CDMA----------2*
Other GSM----------2*

National----------- Rs 1.20*
International------ Rs.5.00*

*All in seconds.
**You can recharge any value from Rs 10-100000

To see more tariff details visit: Docomo

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