Nitin Gonsalves

Oct 162017
 

As I open my computer table drawer, I am simply not able to take stock of situation that going on inside. Corners of multiple phones protruding out of a tangled mess of charging cables, old and new, more useless than useful. As I reach my hand to pick up the old ipod box with the ipod still on it, a male jumper cable pokes my palm, reminding my neglect towards a “well planned” project on my Raspberry Pi. The yellowed charger cable for my Kindle 3G keyboard doesn’t turn anymore white than it was a month back. Below it, lies the remains of another Kindle with a broken screen. The Kindle was bought in that state, another home project, which was pushed aside on cost concerns. More cables and pins and stuff hint to a mess, long neglected, under the assumption that this mess would be needed one day or the another.

Right now, all I need to do is cleanup. And it would be a good scenario if i could #CleanUpCashOut .  A little cash against this mess wouldn’t hurt.

I had my opportunities to get rid of the situation. But you develop an affection towards these things which have been with you for long and you can’t part away. Some years back, I thought that my days with kindle were over as I had a respectable sized smartphone with kindle app on it. I could now access all my ebooks on my phone and carrying another gadget around seemed very yesteryearly. So I listed my beloved kindle for sale on an online portal with a high price. I was actually in two minds about selling so I listed a high price, thinking that it would not sell and I would just use it as an excuse to keep the kindle.

If you gave me a rupee for all my wishes which didn’t come true, I would have been a millionaire. The kindle sold quickly, as if it was the last piece of equipment on earth. So I finally decide to come to terms with this relation and packed the kindle in its original box, with all the original accessories(manual included, I am fair in that sense). I went to the post office and was shocked at the amount I would need to pay to get it across to the buyer. Between the postage and the commission for the portal, I would be giving it away at half the price for which I listed. My heart sank.

I excused myself from the post office and went back home thinking. I had to come up with something which would prevent the buyer from giving me a poor rating and I wouldn’t be penalised by the e-commerce portal. But I just couldn’t come up with anything believable.

At home, I unpacked the kindle and reached for the same drawer full of mess to keep it back in place. As I opened up, the drawer it gave me the solution to all my problems. I saw the kindle with the broken screen lying below a pile of cables. Guess what I did…!!

No. I am not some fraud. I might be a bit of a lair in this case but I wouldn’t cheat anyone off their money. Of course I didn’t send the broken kindle to the buyer. I sent a message to the buyer to either provide his phone number or call me on mine. He gave me his number and I explained to him the situation. I told him that while packing the kindle screen broke as I applied too much pressure. I didn’t want him to feel cheated so I didn’t sent the broken kindle to him. This would also prevent any escalation with the e-commerce portal. He was a reasonable guy(to whom I lied but didn’t defraud or do any harm) and he understood the situation based on what I told him.The kindle stays on with me and I have read many more books on it.

But now I feel it is really the time to part with it. My kids are too small to start reading and they will break it apart if I give it to them now. When they grow up, I will get them another one. Meanwhile this one can ‘kindle’ another person’s interest in reading.

Cashify

I found a website which deals in this stuff. Buying old stuff off your hands and also paying you for it. It’s https://www.cashify.in/ . I plan to sell my kindle to them along with my other accessories like the old iPodd Shuffle, two working mobile phones etc. Check out their video below. The famous dacoit, Gabbar selling his phone to cashify using his famous dialogue sequence is genius.

If you use the coupon code CLEANCASH on their website, they also provide rs. 250 additional for the sale that you make to them.

Cashify is also available as a mobile app. Download it here. Come on #CleanUpCashOut .

Oct 112017
 

I cannot foresee the implications of linking all my Bank a/cs, Phone numbers etc to Aadhar. But I linked most of them as soon as the government passed the mandate.

I have been very enthusiastic about this particular project UIDAI, since it’s launch during the UPA regime. More so because, I have seen how useful it can be to have a integrated system like this at such a massive scale, for example the way it has been implemented and used in USA. Of course, there is always a flip side to it, but perhaps, I would discuss it in another post.Now, coming to the “mandate” of linking all accounts/phone numbers etc. Let me share the most frustrating experience I had while dealing with the Mobile service providers.

Linking my PAN card was a breeze and so was linking my bank accounts. That’s because I could do it online without visiting the branch.

BUT(this is really a big BUT!), when it came to doing the same for mobile number linking, my experience has been nothing less than hell (a bit exaggeration, but what the heck?)

So I have multiple phone numbers on Airtel and Vodafone. This is what happened at each of the gallery.

Seeing Red at Vodafone

It all started when I received messages from Vodafone which mentioned the mandate passed by the government about linking my number with Aadhar. The message further informed that if I didn’t do so, they would disconnect my number.

Also, at the same point of time, I started receiving another message about upgrading from 3G sim to 4G sim, else they would disconnect my number. This particular one I didn’t take seriously as I knew that they can’t do it. But since I needed to go to the gallery to link Aadhar, why not get it upgraded as well. When I went there, the response from the executive shocked me.

“Sir, you card is from another circle(Mumbai) and we are in Maharashtra circle, we can’t link your Aadhar here, you need to visit Vodafone gallery in Mumbai circle!”
*Face Palm*
So in this age of “Digital India” where everything and everyone is connected, they are disconnected from each other as far as infrastructure is concerned. The irony here is, they claim to connect us to the world. I didn’t face this at the banks. No visits to this branch or that. Just went online and linked it.
So I left it at that, because I was not going to travel to half a day just to link Aadhar to my phone! I stay on the outskirts of mumbai and decided that I will do it when I go there.
Meanwhile, the messages kept coming, but now they started clubbing the messages in one.

Sarkari nirdeshanusar aapka number Aadhar see jod de & 3G sim ko 4G sim per free upgrade kare, anyatha aapka number band ho jayega.”

This translates to “As per the government orders, link your number to Aadhar and upgrade to 4G sim, else your number will be disconnected”. So they restructured the sentence in such a way that it appeared that the government had also mandated to upgrade to 4G sim. These crooks go to any lengths to get their ways!

Anyway, I haven’t yet linked it. Will do it on the last day I guess.

Airtel Open Network was not open enough

Airtel’s messages weren’t so nasty. Just plain and simple link your Aadhar to phone number at your nearest gallery. So I thought, ok, fair enough, I will go do it. That way in Feb ’18 I would have at least one working number.

I thought that it would be a piece of cake and entered the Airtel gallery with high hopes. I thought I could do it in one go.

She: “Yes sir, how can I help you”
Me: “I have to link my Aadhar number to my phone”
She: “Can I have your number, please?”

Me: “123456789”

At this point, things got serious. She went through her laptop, punched my number and made a nervous looking face.

She: “Sir, is this number important to you? Do you use it daily?”

Me: “Of course! Why?”

She: “Sir, the thing is, to link your Aadhar, all your information should match, but your DOB is not matching. So we can’t link it. Perhaps you can apply for another number”

Me: “No, no, I need this number”(this was my mistake. I should have said, ok let me port my number to another provider, but her tactics had worked, I panicked!)

She: “Else another option you have is, you can fill up a form to convert this number to post paid. I will tell you a plan, use it for 4 months and then convert back to prepaid”

Me: “No, no, I don’t want to do that, as my usage is not very high,I would simply be paying high rent without usage”(what an idiot, she must have though. I should have simply told her that If she can update my details when I convert to post paid, why can’t she update my DOB right now?…but I panicked!)

She: “Sir this is the only option you have”
Me: “In that case, I will see what I can do”I walked out, took a deep breath, as if I hadn’t for a long time! Relieved that, I have time till Feb’18 to think over it.

But I am better off

By evening I had tweeted to the Airtel handle about my experience and in no time I received a call from their CC, saying, there is no need to convert. Infact he went on to say, she shouldn’t have communicated in such manner and should have updated the DOB there itself. He assured me that he would “personally update” my DOB. Couple of days later I got a call from same person, who informed me that he had updated the same along with all the necessary details! So I should visit the same gallery and link my Aadhar. “Same Gallery!” my thoughts revolved around this for some time, until that lady’s image came to my mind. But this time it was nasty as hell, as if she was a devil, who had told that person who called me “let him come, I will see what is to be done!”

Me in my mind “Hell no! I am not going there again!”

So till date, I haven’t been able to link my Aadhar to my phone numbers.

Laughing at my wife now. She has purchased her sim before our marriage and is still registered with her maiden name.Point I am trying to make here is, Aadhar is supposed to simplify our life. The process should be very simple but these providers have made it so very complicated. If you have purchased a Reliance Jio sim, you will understand how simple this process can be. I took my aadhar card along, scanned my finger and walked out with the sim.

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