A city consumer forum has slapped a fine of Rs 30,000 each on two telephone service providers for neglecting restoration of service to their respective customers.
Acting on two separate complaints, Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Mahanagar Telephone Nigal Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd to pay the amount of compensation within eight weeks, failing which the companies will have to shell out interest at the rate of 9% per annum.
In case of MTNL, Ramesh Panchal, a Malad (East) resident, had lodged the complaint alleging that the government undertaking had failed to restore service of his landline connection. He had approached the consumer forum alleging his telephone remained disconnected for five months — from June 2007 to November 2007 — although the service provider continued to charge monthly rental.
Panchal had sought aggregate compensation of Rs3.75 lakh alleging he had to suffer heavy losses because of the negligence on part the service provider.
MTNL, on the other hand, contended the consumer forum was barred from entertaining complaints against telecom service providers and complaints against them could only be entertained by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
The complaint against Bharti Airtel was lodged by Ajay Tyagi, a resident of Santacruz (West). In May 2009, he lost his mobile handset and had bought another SIM card from the company by paying due amount.
Tyagi alleged that though the company assured him that the new SIM would be activated within a few hours, it didn’t work for several months. The service provider contended that instructions were given to the customer for activating the SIM, but he failed to comply with those.