If you think your cellphone or electricity bill is inflated and the service provider is not redressing your grievance, go to the police.
This is what Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil, who also heads the home department, said on Monday.
Patil said the Mumbai police would now register cases if consumers felt cheated in billing, and the companies concerned forced them to pay the disputed bill amount before correcting errors, if any.
The provocation came from the “inflated electricity bills’’ sent to six police stations in Mumbai, which were listed as defaulters by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). “The BEST sent us wrong bills, but got them corrected when we approached them. We have paid the bills now,” Patil said.
“If companies insist on paying inflated/erroneous bills, the people who feel cheated should file police complaints. The police will then take action under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code,” he added.
Consumers have welcomed the decision. Thane resident Arindam Chatterjee, who has been fighting with his cellphone service provider over wrong billing for the last two months, said: “The company billed me for GPRS service, even when I didn’t use it. I will file a police complaint.”
Private sector telecom and power firms said they would comment after studying the order. “We are ready to cooperate with the decision,” said a Reliance official requesting anonymity.