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May 10, 2009

Consumer forum slaps fine on cell phone firm


The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Coimbatore, has slapped fine on Vodofone cellular firm and Citibank credit cards for deficiency in service leading to mental agony for a cellular phone subscriber.M. Raja Paranthaman of Ram Nagar, a subscriber of Vodafone, had moved the consumer court with a complaint under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act holding Vodafone and Citibank Credit Cards as first and second respondents.

Bill amount

The complaint was that the first opposite party Vodafone had issued a tie-up with Citibank credit cards in April 2006 and started collecting the bill amount from the credit card account every month without the consent of the subscriber.Mr. Paranthaman stated that on the very first month on seeing the mobile phone statement and credit card statement in August 2006, he asked the cellular firm not to collect money from Citibank credit cards.

Request

Not withstanding the request, the cellular firm went ahead with the practice of billing the subscriber to his credit card account.In July 2008, Mr. Paranthaman received a letter asking him to appear before the Lok Adalat.It also asked him to pay Rs. 17,231.

The complainant marked all the documents as evidence. But both the respondents failed to turn up and the consumer forum issued orders ex-parte.It passed an order directing the first opposite party to pay Rs. 7,729 and directed both the opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs. 20,000 to the complainant for negligence in service.

The forum also asked the parties to pay Rs. 500 each towards the cost of the complainant within one month from May 1 failing which the complainant is at liberty to execute the orders under Sections 25 and 27.

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