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Miffed by offer of National Anthem as ringtone, BSNL threatens to terminate pact with Rediff

26-August-2005
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Miffed by offer of National Anthem as ringtone, BSNL threatens to terminate pact with Rediff

National landline and mobile carrier Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has issued a notice to Rediff.com, threatening to terminate the agreement it has with the portal for providing the Indian National Anthem to BSNL subscribers as a ring tone, thus violating the terms and conditions of the agreement.

In a letter dated August 16, 2005, No 200-56/2004-NS, issued by ADG (New Services), BSNL to T N Prabhu/Krishna Kumar of Rediff (a copy of which is available with exchange4media), BSNL alleged that the National Anthem was made available to its subscribers on August 14 and 15 as a ringtone through Rediff’s SMS service 7333, which “amounts to violation of the terms and conditions of the Agreement.”

The letter added that the issue was raised with Prabhu, Vice-President, Subscription, Rediff, who in turn clarified that the service had been withdrawn. “However, the said confirmation turns out to be completely false, as even on August 16, it is possible to download the National Anthem based ringtones from 7333 by BSNL mobile subscribers,” the letter claimed.

The national landline and mobile carrier further alleges Rediff of charging its customers without delivering content, and for “not providing any charging information as required as per the Agreement.” BSNL has even provided examples of such transactions in which irregularities have been experienced.

Taking a very strong view of the breach of contract, the letter said, “BSNL has taken the above incidences seriously and accordingly requests explanation from your end as to why the agreement with BSNL shouldn’t be terminated for not complying with the terms and conditions of the same.”

Rediff has been asked to send an explanation by August 22, “failing which, an ex-party decision will be taken in the case,” the letter warned.

When contacted, both BSNL and Rediff pleaded ignorance about the letter. The legal department of Rediff, in fact, said that it had not received any such communication. Even more mysteriously, BSNL officials tried to avoid all questions on the issue.

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