Vi (erstwhile Vodafone Idea) has been ordered by the Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to a customer for disconnecting and blacklisting his number for allegedly using the number for telemarketing without registration. According to a report in Times of India, Vi said that the user was deemed to be disturbing other subscribers.
According to the report, a user named Nirmalkumar Mistry from Surat received a message from his telecom provider (Vi) in October 2014, saying that the company has received complaints about the user sending unregistered Telemarketing messages and calls. Due to this reason, the telecom provider disconnected Mistry’s number. Mistry later got a new SIM card from another store, but was not able to retrieve his phone number.
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Mistry sent a legal notice to the company. They said that the user was using the number for unregistered telemarketing activities, but was only able to furnish one number to establish that complaints have been submitted, the TOI report said.
He then approached the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Forum of Surat against the move. Mistry submitted that he is a software developer and does not work as a telemarketer. He said that when the number was blocked, he suffered a Rs 3,50,000 loss in his business and should be compensated. The forum, however, rejected this complaint in 2016 and accepted Vi’s defence that Mistry’s number was operated as an unregistered telemarketing service. The telecom provider also said that since Mistry was registered as a telemarketer, he can not be treated as a customer under the Consumer Protection Act.
Mistry then moved the State Commission, and his advocate pointed out that under TRAI regulations, a subscriber’s complaint has to be registered with the Provider Consumer Preference Register (PCPR), which had not been done in Mistry’s case. Further, the report points out that the customer who had complained about Mistry’s number did not have “Do Not Disturb” activated on his phone. Therefore, the lawyer said, the company had no reason to block his client’s number. This convinced the state commission who ordered Vi to pay Rs 50,000 compensation with a 7 percent interest to him.