The Maharashtra state consumer commission on Friday held that if a mobile service provider failed to act on a complaint lodged by its customer that he/she is being disturbed by unsolicited commercial calls despite being registered on National Do Not Call (NDNC) Registry, it amounts to deficiency in service.
“No further action is taken by the appellant Vodafone India as contemplated under regulation 16(2)(c) by forwarding the complaint including the call details record and other information,” the state commission noted while rejecting an appeal filed by the mobile service provider company.
The company had approached the state commission challenging an October 2011 order of the Mumbai suburban district consumer forum holding it guilty of deficiency in service for failing to ensure a medical practitioner, Dr AM Gala, did not receive any unsolicited commercial call after he got himself registered on NDNC Registry.
The state commission concluded that the company failed to discharge its obligation under the regulations, and thus, deficiency in service is well established as against it.
Clause 16(2)(c) of the Telecom and Unsolicited Communication Regulations, 2007 mandates the mobile service provider to forward, within seven days of receipt, details of a complaint of breach of NDNC to the service provider from whose network the unsolicited commercial call is generated.
The state commission found that Dr Gala had given eight instances of breach of NDNC, but Vodafone India did not forward those details to the service provider from whose network the calls had been generated.
It also discarded the contention of the company that Dr Gala did not lodge complaint of breach of NDNC within the stipulated 15 days. According to the company, he had lodged a complaint on August 30, 2008 in respect of three unsolicited calls of July 31, 2007, August 2, 2007 and February 19, 2008 and since the complaint was made much beyond the stipulated period no obligation was cast upon them to stop the calls.
The commission held that the 15-day period is provided by way of explanation to the clause and not incorporated in the regulations and therefore it cannot be used as an excuse to escape the liability to take action.