Cellco fined 50 lakh for ‘pushing’ calls
Cellular service providers can no longer offer schemes exhorting subscribers to make ‘extra’ calls to be eligible for lucrative contests. Satya Prakash reports.india Updated: May 18, 2008 00:59 IST
Cellular service providers can no longer offer schemes exhorting subscribers to make ‘extra’ calls to be eligible for lucrative contests. Declaring it as a “deceptive and unfair trade practice” prohibited under the Consumer Protection Act, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 50 lakh on Vodafone Essar Mobile Services for its ‘Baaton se banaiye sona, bees minute mein’ scheme.
Under the scheme announced in July 2007, Vodafone pre-paid or post-paid subscribers whose talk-time was more than 20 minutes a day were eligible. Those eligible stood to win 10 gold coins a day and the ‘bumper prize’ of a Maruti SX4.
Directing Vodafone to “discontinue such a practice forthwith and not to repeat it”, the Commission, headed by Justice J.D. Kapoor said: “It is clear that the contest/lottery is being held not with a view to enrich the phone users, but merely to ensure that they make more calls and thereby generate more revenue and profits (for Vodafone).”