[Updated Sept 17th 2014]
One of the things that always surprised me was that even though online recharge of prepaid packs or bill payments for mobile phones is done online routinely, not a single telecom operator offered new connections online.
One of the reasons could have been because of KYC and other documents that consumer needs to submit at the time of the connection. But again, that issue could have been easily resolved by getting the paperwork at the time of delivery. There could have been other ways as well to solve that problem.
But for whatever reasons, none of the operators seem to have a facility to buy new connections online (though in 2010, Vodafone had announced such a facility, I don’t think they pursued with it). All of them just have a form available online that could be filled by interested party, and representatives get in touch with them offline.
Now Tata Docomo seems to have changed that. They have come up with full fledged online shop where consumers can buy pre-paid, post-paid and Photon connections from Docomo completely online. And the Sim card will then be delivered at buyers door-step within 3 days of placing the order.
Tata Docomo has come up with a complete microsite – Shop.tatadocomo.com – for this purpose. People interested in buying new connection can visit the site, choose what connection they want and select from host of Pre-paid and post paid plans available.
We went through the entire process of buying the simcard, and the experience was surprisingly smooth. What’s more, they have Cash on Delivery option available too, along with Credit Card, Debit Card, Cash card and net banking option.
However, there were two things that I thought were missing in the whole process. One is the availability of numbers to choose from and secondly, what if user wants to move under MNP facility? We tried finding information on the same, but could not find it anywhere. Even their terms and condition page did not mention anything.
We assume that once user buys the sim-card, all the paperwork is taken care at the time of delivery.
Along with post-paid and pre-paid connections, one can also buy Tata Photon Dongle online and it will be delivered to you at your doorstep.
It will be interesting to see how other telecom operators respond to this – I am sure they will follow suit soon enough!
[Disclaimer: Tata Docomo is an advertiser with Trak.in]