I have a scooter which needed the pollution to be checked to get the pollution certificate. Since it was not updated for a long time, the person who does the checking told us to go to the Motor Vehicle office to get it fixed as his system said that my scooter details were not updated, so he was not able to check it.
Generally, whenever you have to go to the government office to get things done, it is complicated to do, lots of processes, lots of running around different places, time-consuming. So the easy way out is to pay some agents to do the work for us.
So me and my cousin went to the office, we were told before this work did not cost us any fee. When we arrived at the entrance we were immediately surrounded by a few people who told us that they would do the work for us, we would just need to pay additionally 100Rs for their service. This sounded us to be a good deal( wrong), as we were not familiar with the process to do the task. If these people would do at that cost, it was well worth it. So I provided them with the Scooter Smart card, for them to find out the details of the case and how to fix it.
After some time, they came back with a list of issues with my scooter. They said that there were pending cases with the scooter so fine had to be paid, the scooter details were blocked in the system so they have to unblock it, they also had to update the system with the scooter details. Everything would cost us 6000+, we suspected they were making things up, as if there were cases against the scooter, we would have received a message for it. We argued for some time, then told them to just do the minimum necessary so we could get the pollution check done. They said it would need an update in the system, and it would cost 2000Rs, they would provide a receipt for it. So I thought this was reasonable( wrong again) and gave them the money.
After some more time, they came back and told me I had to go to one office, and provide the xerox of the smart card, and provide other information to the officer. One reason you pay these people is so that you do not have to stand in line for hours to eventually get the thing done. They should have internal contacts and thereby get it done without any hassle. I was told to stand in line, saying only 10 people in front of me, and it would be very quick. At this point, I had a feeling that these people were fooling me, as they did not seem to have done much. Anyway, I stood in line, found out there were more than 30 people in front. All of them came for the same reason but I was guessing they did not go through these people. I had to wait in line for 1 hour plus, already frustrated, then when I reach the end, the officer looked at my papers and said I had to get an additional certificate from the scooter maker(Honda), then come back again!
This got me upset as I wasted all my time in the queue, I would have to get back in it again. One reason you pay agent is, they would know the full process, know all papers required, so you would not need to run around to find out if you did it by yourself. I found these guys and again argued that they wasted my time and I would have to get back in the queue, and since the closing time was arriving the thing would not be done. They told me when I get back they would put me right in front of the queue so I did not have to wait( guess what wrong again).
I went to Honda and got the certificate and came back, these people took me in line and told me to go in front, I went in front but already knew none of the people who were in the line already for hours, would entertain the thought of me getting in front. The agent had already by now left. I did not argue much.
I went to the end of the line and waited for another one hour plus, hoping the office would not close and I would then need to come back another day to this all over again. Thankfully, the officer extended the office time, and I eventually got things done.
Later I found out from my cousin, as he talked to a few people who had done the same thing that there was no requirement of money. Of Course, by now I could not track any of the agents, they had all left for the day. I had been fooled.
My cousin commented “Bhai, what happened to your education”