Cell phone stories – Part 1 of 3: Ring-back Tones

2 02 2006

Can somebody explain to me what’s the purpose of ring-back tones? For the record, ring-back tones are known as Hello Tunes/Caller Tunes/Dialer Tunes in Airtel/Hutch/!dea slang. But I don’t really understand their purpose. What pleasure am I deriving by setting up a song for my callers to listen to, when I am not able to hear it myself? The only plausible reason for this service could be that the phone companies can rake in all the moolah by providing a useless service to its customers. Sample this – they charge INR 30 per month to activate the ring-back tones, INR 10 to set a new one, and INR 6 per minute to select a tune of your choice from their menu by dialling their premium number.

I too had set a ring-back tone some months back just to try out this new service for a month or so. Well, I realized that it was not giving me any pleasure except that I was getting some nice compliments from people I know. But there was one incident that was worth more than a smile. Here I am to write about it.

In the middle of something important, I was interrupted by a phone call. A look at the number on the screen told me that it must be one of those pesky sales phone calls. My immediate reaction was to cancel it and divert it to my voicemail. But don’t know why, I decided to take the call. Here goes my conversation:

Me: Hello!

She: Good afternoon sir, I am Vaishali calling from Idea Cellular.

Me: Yes?

She: Sir please don’t mind it but I have to say something to you.

Me: (thinking – what now?) Yea, what?

She: Sir, your dialer tune is so sweet!

(It turns out that she had listened to my ring-back tone that I had set in those days to the title track of the film Hum Tum)

Me: Why thank you!

She: (now coming to the point) Sir, are you interested in a new phone connection?

Me: No thank you ma’am.

She: (realizing that she’s done) Okay sir, have a nice day. Sir, I will call you again but please don’t take my call.

Me: Why?

She: I want to hear your dialer-tune again sir.

Me: Okay, I will not take your call.

The way she wanted to hear my ring-back tone at the expense of my peace pissed me off. The next thing I did was to turn off my cell phone for a while. 10 minutes later, I switched it on and immediately got a text message alerting me of a new voice mail. I promptly called up my voice mail and heard her voice again. She was like, taken by surprise at the sudden call divert. Apparently, she called me hoping to hear the title track of Hum Tum again but was visibly shocked to see her call being diverted to my voice mail. And I heard her shocked expressions go something like, “Sir, I am Vaishali, remember sir I had talked to you some time back? Sir, I want to hear your dialer tune again. Sir please suna do, please suna do please please please please!” Oh god! It was hilarious. I mean, the tone of her voice was so funny that I laughed my guts out.

That indeed made my day. I decided to mess around with these sales people who call me up sometimes even at odd hours. One such incident will come up in my next post.


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11 responses

18 04 2009
vijay

the service is shit.!!!!!!!!!! i been trying to set different hello tunes via voice and sms…but i didnt ve ay luck.. even pressing correct options it takes to different song list…i think airtel hellotune service is mucj better than of idea…nw i dont know where this’votefor idea’ stinking thing is stuck on my dialler tune..but still hoping for the best…
and i ve wasted a ot of money ringing these numbers…which disconnet automatically even after saying/pressing the correct words/option….@#$%@@….the hello tune is not even activated after getting the message…i think i better switch providers..that the best option for me…this is absolutely insane…it would be good if idea only has option of pressing numers for a song like 678 sevice in airtel..
i ll never stop cursing the service till i get what i want

18 04 2009
vijay

the service is shit.!!!!!!!!!! i been trying to set different hello tunes via voice and sms…but i didnt ve ay luck.. even pressing correct options it takes to different song list…i think airtel hellotune service is mucj better than of idea…nw i dont know where this’votefor idea’ stinking thing is stuck on my dialler tune..but still hoping for the best…

23 05 2007
sun

ring backtones

10 02 2006
Crime Master Gogo

iaaby Chandy Shandy Dandy Candy…

Tring-tring trrrring trrrring trrrriiing trrrriiing trrrriiinnnggg ttttrrrriiinnnggg

😛

10 02 2006
Chandy Shandy Dandy Candy

ting ting ding ding ring ring ting

9 02 2006
Crime Master Gogo

Nah, that 30p.m. is not reasonable for me considering that my monthly bill almost all the time is in the range of 600-700😦 And I never use their premium number to use any service. So, I save on those 6 per min calls too.

Cheers,
Anuj

9 02 2006
Bluffmaster!

Haah !

This was funny man, something great. I had caller tunes in the past, but some got pissed off by Mangal mangal… ho! Others didn’t find acceptance with Qatra Qatra. Moreover, even though 30/pm is reasonable, you take atleast 5-6 mins to subscribe to the service. The lady with the sweetest voice on earth gives all sorts of introduction before coming to the song. Too bad!

Leak out…™
aLi.

6 02 2006
Crime Master Gogo

Baby Chandra,

Umm… I dont think I have heard that karma song but yes I have heard abt that phone. And I wonder what fun it would be to jive to a chameleon tune hehe.

But serouzly, it kinda hurts your ears when u hear someone running the My dil goes hmmmmmmmmmm tune when you are in love with Mohe rang de basanti yaaara! And guess what, I have a friend who still has been running the Ashiq Banaya tune for the last 4 or 5 months! Maine usse poocha ki why don’t u change the tune and he said that the charges for changing the tune are soooooo high that he prefers to keep it the same🙂 And thats what I wanted to write about, the charges for their premium number are soooo high that we prefer not to call them up and change the tunes.

My latezt fav is Rang De Basanti yaaraa…

Thanks for the comment Chady Shandy😛

Cheers,
Anuj

6 02 2006
Anonymous

hehehe…OMG…ders dis advert advertising (duhh) fones…and hav u herd dat song karma karma karma karma karma chameleon, red gold n green…well dat fone was chameleon shaped and it plays that tune wen it rings! (btw dis wasnt a mobile..it was a landlyn)…so the owners keep askin ppl 2 fone their landlyn so they can see the chameleon jive and hear that tune…i am actuali in luv wiv dat ad!🙂

ur blog reminded me of dat…cept obviously it was de ova way round! But cmon anuj…wud u prefer 2 wait 4 2 mins listenin 2 “treeeeng treeeeeeeng” or 4 a change “my dil goes hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm” (if i had dat option…i wud make all my friends listen 2 it :P)

YAY! i luv angel eyes…but i so prefer teri baaton (the original)…its a gorjus tune!🙂

neways cya laterz Anuj!🙂

Baby Chandra

3 02 2006
Crime Master Gogo

😀😀

And you should also notice the amount of time it takes to unsubscribe. First you have to call up their helpline asking for instructions on how to unsubscribe, then call up 123/456/678 (Hutch/Idea/Airtel), pay 6-7 rupees per min and use up at least 5 mins to actually get there. Thankfully, I unsubscribed from it within a month. Ab paisa kharch nahi karta hoon main🙂

BTW, I had enabled comment moderation on the blog thats why it did not appear as soon as you posted. Ab thik hai, I have removed moderation.

Cheers,
Anuj

3 02 2006
No Einstine HuH

😀😀

Hehe…bilkul sahi observation sirjee….about the Dialer tunes. Have you noticed the amount of time it takes to actually select a call back tune..aur 7 rupaye per minute baaapre. Waise my current ring back tone is Angel Eyes.

Shatter more keys…™
Pras

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