LIVE Online Course on NDPS by Riva Pocha and Adv. Taraq Sayed. Starting from 24th May. Register Now!!
The Indian Constitution Courses

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

sai @ sairam (Principal)     15 December 2011

Can a telecom company charge bill ?

One year before I got an broad band internet connection from an Indian telecom co. One technician came to my house and gave bb connection. I paid one month rental charge in advance  by cheque in favour of the comapany. The technician took the cheque and told me if any complain, I may contact him, so he gave his mobile number.

 

After 15 days onwards I got problem to access the internet.  So I contacted the technician. He told me to wait for some more days if problems still persist, I can cancell the connection.  After 10 days I told him to disconnect the bb internet. He told ok. I have sh*ted my house to other place after two months of the incidents. No call from the company came to me. No bill came to me.  Now after 9 months over. A lawyer from the company called on my mobile that I have to pay totall 9 months rental plus legal charges to the company.

 

I want to know from the learned members .... during 11 months there is no usage of internet as I confirmed from the companys staff, he informed me that like me there are thousands of cases are pending. Company is not updating their records.  Since there is no usage of internet and no communication between customer and company during 11 months, I need not to pay any amount.  He also directed me to give a written complain to the company as I have not used their internet service.

 

But the lawyer of the company is telling me to deposit the total amount, otherwise legal action will be initiated against me.

 

Please advise soon what steps I should take?



Learning

 6 Replies

johnny (MD)     15 December 2011

You should immediately file a false advertisement and harassment suit at consumer court.

Kumar Doab (FIN)     17 December 2011

You have been lenient in dealing with this company.

While you agree to obtain a connection, company supplies you the necessary forms, collects ID/proofs from customer and after due verification and advance issues connection. Majority of the customer's do not ask/obtain the certified copy of the form signed by them, and detailed terms and conditions. Later company claims form was given. Similarly while lodging a complaint/cancelling the connection is expected to do so in writing. The lawyer is recovery agent of the company and shall have monetary gains in % if he succeeds in collecting the payment from you.

As you have come to know, about similar problem is being faced by many customers, hence you have become aware that company is not supplying any written communication to customers and taking the ill informed customers for a ride.

You may maintain that you had communicated your complaints/grievances to authorized representative of the company in person and have not been able to use the installed connection due to entire lapse at the end of the company., and demand refund of advance+ interest+ penalty ( as decided by you).

The company has to follow a process which includes telephonic reminder, reminder by letter, field visit by collection staff, notice by company, legal notice etc.

In your case nothing seems to have happened.

You may visit the local office of the company along with near and dear ones who may act as your witness, and note which other customer are harassed and make a noise, meet the BM, submit a written complaint under acknowledgment and follow up. Lodge a police complaint under acknowledgment, and ask the BM to confirm the address of recovery agent in writing. Make their life difficult. Cause some bad publicity.....etc, if you want a resolution and refund at local level.

Many of the customers who form a community adopt these tactics and solve their problems successfully, at the local level.

Those who do not form a community, end up facing harassment, from recovery agents, or at the max get relief from consumer forums.

kiran (student)     20 December 2011

 

If you are a telephone subscriber and have a dispute with the service provider over an inflated bill or disconnection, then you can no longer rush to the neighbourhood consumer court for quick and cheap redress of your grievance.

For, the Supreme Court ended the jurisdiction of consumer courts to entertain disputes relating to telecom services. It said from now on, these disputes would be resolved through arbitration provided under Section 7B of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.

Allowing an appeal filed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and agreeing with counsel Haris Beeran’s arguments, a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and A K Ganguly said as the Telegraph Act was a special law, its provisions would prevail over a general law like Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

“It is a settled law that general law must yield to special law,” said the Bench and noted that there was a remedy prescribed under Section 7B of the Telegraph Act for resolution of all disputes regarding telecom through arbitration. The Bench said since there was a specific statutory remedy prescribed, it would oust the jurisdiction of consumer courts

"THIS IS A EVIL JUDGMENT FOR CONSUMERS. BUT SURPRISINGLY NO CONSUMER WELFARE ORGANIZATION IN INDIA VOLUNTEERED TO TACKLE THIS ISSUE"
 
Arbitaration clause never will be a conumer friendly and also Hon'ble SC did not note about the additional remedy priniciple of Consumer law.

sai @ sairam (Principal)     20 December 2011

Thanks to all.

 

Since then I have visited the customer care personally several times.  On first visit the customer care checked the data online and told me that my connection is already disconnected after four months of my informing to disconnect. They have billed for four months. They have not collected the modem and telephone instrument which cost 2,500/- They have totally charged 2500+1366=3866. 

I told the staff that the matter is almost going to be 1 year over. They have not visited my house and not collected the instrument and it is their laps of duty. He requested me to find out the instrument and modem in my house if it is there. If I deposited the same then he would deduct Rs.2500 out of 3866. The remaining amount of 1366,  I need not to pay as I had not used their internet.

I came back to my house and checked and finally I found the modem and telephone instrument.  Next day I again visited the customer care and deposited the same .  He gave me a receipt for that.  He also told me not to pay the remaining amount..  But I informed him that the lawyer is calling me daily on my mobile number if I have deposited the amount or not. If not he would file a case against me.  The staff told me that the lawyer is an agent of the company who recovers pending amount and for that he gets commission.  The CC staff also told me not to attend the call from lawyer.

 

Please suggest me, is it right not to attend the call from lawyer?

And in view of the above what measures I should take? 

Thanks,

Kumar Doab (FIN)     20 December 2011

You could have visited them with a letter and on the copy you should have persuaded them to write that instrument has been received and receipt number...........dated...........has been issued and no more amounts is to be paid, it could have benefited you. You could have recorded each visit (audio/visual).

You may meet the BM with your witnesses, create some noise level, and they can arrange a waiver and in one or more installments they can nullify the bill. Some of the customers of Airtel have tried this successfully.

You need to be firm.

soundayan (AWM)     26 December 2014

Sir,

when the civil court gives conclusion as co owner  for A&B  for an ancestral property ,  if A  is entering a POA  with a DADA  for the entire  ancestral property  and creating problem for  B , then B files a criminal suit against DADA ,B could not provide witness because  DADA's influence in political / local authority,

can B ,apply for cancellation POA  given to DADA by A.

PLEASE REPLY

THANKS .


Leave a reply

Your are not logged in . Please login to post replies

Click here to Login / Register  



Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query