Many of my readers will agree with the fact that today mobile services have revolutionized our lives significantly. It is impossible to think of a household not having at least one mobile phone connection, be it in rural or urban areas.
The advent of a spate of private and government based mobile service providers have eased our lives to a great extent, gave us varied choices, help us grow in personal relationships and professional set-ups, and, more importantly, stay connected 24*7.
But this development has given rise to a host of problems linked to the standards of services provided by these mobile service providers. Although, every telecom company claims it is consumer friendly. But reality is far from what’s stated!. At Power to Consumer, we get a regular feed of complaints linked to inefficient services of mobile companies.
Until recently, mobile companies were enjoying a protective status when it came to being a party to telecom disputes. This simply meant that no consumer could take a telecom company to the Consumer Court on charges of sub-optimal services. All issues were to be resolved only by the Department of Telecom. But with the passing of a special resolution by DoT dated February 4, 2014, consumer courts are ere empowered with special rights to pass judgement on disputes related to mobile service providers. We have already covered extensively the judgement and its affect on consumers in an old post last year.[Tweet “A Consumer Court is now a designated authority to pass judgement in case of telecom disputes.”] So if you now have the power to drag an inefficient mobile service provider to the court, how can you enjoy the benefit of this right? The very first thing is to know the situations under which you can sue a mobile service provider:
- Excessive billing exceeding your plan requirements
- Incorrect billing against unused services
- Deploying additional features on your number without your consent and charging for the same
- Levying service charges and billing for a disconnected service/number
The second important thing that a consumer can and should do is lodge a complaint against the telecom service provider through the redressal system available on Telecom Consumer Complaints Monitoring System (TCCMS). One can access the online complaint redressal portal of respective service provider, or use the online system at TCCMS to lodge an official complaint.
If the above step doesn’t yield any positive result, a consumer can prepare himself to approach the Consumer Court. In preparation of this step, a consumer needs to keep the following things in mind:
- Always have a written channel of communication with an authorized representative of the company. Many a times, complainants approach us without any written proof. A complaint sans proof doesn’t stand a chance in the courts
- Always keep a copy of invoices, receipts, work orders, estimates etc with yourself . These are important evidences when it comes to establishing a strong standing against the inefficient services of the mobile service provider. Safeguard them strongly
- Approach the Customer Service cell of the service provider and state your complaint first . Only when you don’t get a satisfying response, prepare yourself to approach the Consumer Court
- Approach online help forums like Power to Consumer and seek guidance of knowledgeable consumer right lawyers
We hope that the above points will keep you alert against getting cheated by telecom companies. Remember, as a consumer, it is your right to get compensated, but it is your duty to stay alert. So if you have been cheated by a telecom service provider, or know someone who has been taken for a ride by a telecom company, you can get in touch with Power to Consumer for support.
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