Monday, 17 June 2013

90 pc retailers say 'no' to selling SIMs - Source LT

Shop owners not happy with verification procedures and repercussions Prepaid card without verification
While issuing post-paid cards, companies send their staff to the customer's residence to check the proof, and then only the card is activated. But for pre-paid cards, a third party is appointed by the mobile companies which contacts customers on phone and verifies the documents which is a dangerous practice. Companies should verify the all pre-paid cards like post-paid as only then its use for terror activities can be curbed. Shop owners not happy with verification procedures and repercussions Prashant Telwadkar.

A change in the policy of verification by mobile service providers has made it necessary for shop owners to do a rethink before stocking SIM cards. Earlier SIM cards were available at every corner and nukkad kiosks but now only 10 per cent retailers are selling them as companies are insisting that the retailer should do the address verification of the customer. If the SIM was used for wrong purposes, then the police pursue the case with the retailer. If the SIM falls into the wrong hands, then for Rs 5 to Rs 10 commission, nobody would like to go to jail. Anxious retailers have stopped the sale of SIM cards resulting in several companies putting up kiosks on the road to sell the SIM cards.
Earlier, without asking for any proof, mobile companies were giving SIMs. During the terror attack on Taj Hotel in Mumbai, such type of cards were used for terrorist activities. After that, the police are in search of cards suppliers who are giving it on duplicate ID proofs. The central government had issued an order to the mobile companies on November 9, 2012 stating that all SIM cards can be activated after the verification process which took 3 to 7 days for activation. The service providers have asked the retailers to take responsibility of document verification. If anyone purchases a SIM with the help of duplicate documents, the retailer will be held responsible for it.
Aurangabad Telecom Association president Gulam Hakim said that a year ago, there were 503 retailers selling SIMs , but as soon as the responsibility of verification was passed on to the retailers, the number of retailers dwindled. The retailers were not ready to take on this responsibility as in such cases, police directly pursued the retailers. There are 50 retailers at present in the city, some at Paithan Gate, few at Connaught and TV Centre. Nearly 90 per cent retailers have stopped the sale of SIM cards because no one wanted police action against them. They are now doing business of mobile handsets, accessories and recharge cards.
The association vice president Dnyneshwar Khardeappa said that retailers get only Rs 5 as commission for one card. While issuing SIM card every customer will have to provide residence proof but no one can identify whether it is original or duplicate.

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