Amitabh Bachchan’s giving out a nine-digit cellphone number on air on ” Kaun Banega Crorepati” has led to a Patiala resident, Puneet Bansal (whose number has an added 0), and others with various combinations of that number, getting calls for Big B.
Bansal sent a legal notice to Big B and “KBC” on Friday. He claims he’s received around 10,000 calls from across the world, besides calls from India, and so have the others.
Puneet Bansal’s not the only one having a harrowing time following Big B’s disclosure of ‘his’ cell number on “Kaun Banega Crorepati 5″, there are more going through the same trauma. So much so that they plan to either change their numbers or go to the court.
Since Amitabh Bachchan gave a nine-digit number, it made his fans do a bit of hard work. They added one extra number to try their luck. So if Bansal got thousands of calls after a 0 was added, many more with their numbers ending with 1, 2, 3, 4… are also in a fix. When we tried calling each of them, the numbers ending with 1 to 7 were turned off. While the number ending with 8 and 9 belonged to Jalandhar- based Inder Preet Singh.
Singh’s ordeal started soon after the issue came to light. “I can’t tell you what I am going through,” said Singh, who’s a property dealer. However, Singh’s not planning to serve any notice to the channel or Big B, saying, “It doesn’t make any sense. The damage has been done.” Singh shot to fame in his area as well where his friends, relatives are constantly calling him. “A lot of people are calling me thinking that it’s Amitabh’s number.” Singh has bought another number as well because his work is being hampered due to such unwarranted calls. “I could not understand it initially, but the picture got clear soon after each caller said they want to talk to Big B.” Singh claimed there would be more than four thousand calls he answered in two days.
“I delete the call and it again rings. There’s an SMS every second. I feel like a mobile call centre,” he laughed. With the situation going out of control, Big B’s PA also called Singh up. “He called me on Saturday morning to apologise. He said they are trying to clear the confusion by running a special apology on KBC episode,” said Singh. Singh added, “I could have switched off this number as well, but all my contacts are on this and in the property business I can’t afford to switch my phone off.” The mobile operator too is helpless in such scenario. “How can we stop people from calling a particular mobile number?” said a senior official. However, they say the cell owner can file a complaint with the competent authority claiming harassment. “Do Not Disturb” (DND) – a facility to put an end to spam messages – will not work here, as it’s only to stop unsolicited promotional calls and text messages.