Telecom service provider fined for deficiency of service

The Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Tata Teleservices to pay a fine of ₹10,000 for its failure to inform a consumer that there will be no free calls on October 30, 2016 (Deepavali day).

Yusuf Hussain, a realtor from Kasaba Bengre, filed a complaint on February 6, 2017 with the forum that he recharged his prepaid mobile phone on October 17, 2016 with a special tariff voucher of ₹196. He received an SMS soon after stating that the voucher was valid for 30 days by which he was entitled for 35,000 seconds (583 minutes) of free local and STD calls.

Mr. Hussain said on October 30, 2016 he could not make any calls. When he checked his account he received an SMS that he had 287 minutes of free calls balance.

When Mr. Hussain called the customer care, the executive informed that the outgoing calls was barred as free calls on special tariff voucher was not available on October 30 as it was declared black day.

Contending that he had not been informed of the black day, Mr. Hussain sought compensation of ₹1 lakh for the loss of business for a day.

The Tata Teleservices contended that an SMS was sent on October 24, 2016 to Mr. Hussain informing him of the absence of free call facility on October 30.

In the affidavit, Safeer Ahmed, Deputy General Manager-Legal, Tata Teleservices, said a list of black out days and non-applicabliity of special tariff on these days is submitted every year to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

In the judgement dated May 30, Forum President Vishweshwara Bhat D. and Member Lavanya M. Rai said the SMS sent to Mr. Hussain on October 24 does not make a mention that the phone calls will be charged as per base rate. It only mentions of base rate for SMS.

Rejecting the contention that the customer was informed of absence of free calls on October 30, the forum said there was deficiency in service by the Tata Teleservices.

The Forum directed Tata Teleservices to pay Mr. Hussain ₹10,000 as compensation within the next 30 days. If the firm fails to pay the amount within the prescribed period, the telecom service provider has to pay pay 7% interest on the fine amount from the date of complaint till the date of payment.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 11:45:38 AM |

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