Telegram is a method of fast transmission of written messages. When the message is to be conveyed quickly and urgently, it can be sent by telegram. By sending a telegram, the full attention of the recipient is drawn and thereby quick action is achieved. Telegram may be written in plain language or in prescribed code of words or in combination of both.
Most of the business firms, which are in the receipt of telegrams regularly, may have “telegraphic address”. The telegraphic address is a code word instead of the name of the company.
Instead of writing the full address in the telegram, if telegraphic address is there, the code word with the name of the place is enough. When a telegram is received, the postman by looking up the code can find out the name of the company. Telegraphic address, reduced into a code word, reduces the cost of a telegram.
The following types of telegraphic services are available in our country:
(i) Ordinary telegram:
The post office will accept the telegrams and make delivery of them during office hours; from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. The minimum charge is Rs. 3.50 for minimum 10 words and each additional word costs Rs. 0.50.
(ii) Express telegram:
The rate for the telegram is double the rate of ordinary telegrams. Such type of telegrams is delivered at the other end, when the message is received. During night time also such telegrams are delivered to the addressees.
(iii) Local telegram:
This type is sent and received in the same city. The cost is the same as that for an ordinary telegram.
(iv) Greeting telegram:
These are in the nature of greeting messages or congratulatory messages. Generally such greetings have code numbers. One who wants to send out such a telegram selects the phrase and writes the appropriate code number on the telegraphic form.
When the form is filled in with the address of the addressees and the code number, the post office transmits it to the other end (place where the addressee lives) and the message receiving post office writes the full phrase and hands it over to the addressee. Since code number is there, the system is cheaper.
When the sender and the receiver have telephones, the sender by calling out the operator working at the telegraph department conveys the message to him, and the operator in his turn, sends the telegram. At the other end, when the telegram is received, the telegraph department calling the particular phone number conveys the message.
Thus the sender need not send anyone to the telegraph office in order to send the telegrams and at the same time the addressee also gets the message immediately on the phone. Later on the telegram is also received by the addressee on requisition by paying a prescribed fee.
Thus a lot of time can be saved by both the parties. The sender’s account is debited with the cost of telegram which will be paid along with the telephone bill.
(vi) Reply-paid telegram:
When the sender desires to pay in advance, for the reply from the receiver of the telegram, a prepayment should be made at the post office, for a minimum of words; i.e., rupees three.
If the number of words in the reply is more than those for which the charges were remitted by the sender, the receiver has to remit the excess amount.