SEBI chairman has written to the Maharashtra government that it has a well-oiled system of handling complaints and it should be used instead of police action in cases of disputes involving securities and stock exchange. This is a laughable claim, given how faulty SEBI’s grievance handling mechanism is, as Moneylife has pointed out repeatedly.
Mr UK Sinha, chairman of The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has written to state chief secretary Jayant Banthia, that complaints were being lodged with the police against brokers without exploring SEBI’s complaint marvellous handling system. The SEBI chief mentioned that they have a “well-oiled grievance redressal mechanism in place, which aggrieved persons can access to settle disputes. But clients often approach police even before availing of the redressal mechanism, or when disputes are still being resolved at the stock exchange.” Mr Sinha’s claim about SEBI’s system called SCORES (SEBI Complaints Redressal System) is laughable. If it was indeed effective, aggrieved investors would have chosen it as the first and only route and SEBI would have had a long list of success stories to talk about.
Those who have filed complaints through SEBI’s grievance redressal system would know that the regulator rarely investigates the complaint and merely functions like a post office. It passes it on to the accused broker or company for their reply and resolution, functioning more like an 'in and out' mail system. With poor redressal of complaints, investors would have found it easier to approach the police.
Investors’ complaints filed with the market regulator either remain unheard, or are disposed off with vague replies. Moneylife has had a direct experience of this. What SEBI could not care less is that the grievance redressal mechanism is so poor and fraught with delays that the investor gets harassed even more in the bargain. The brokers get away scot-free or with a minor punishment, and it is not long before they get back to their malpractices. This is one of the main reasons why the investor population is dwindling. (Read: Does SEBI really pay any heed to investors’ complaints?)
Last year, we wrote about the harrowing tale of a 78-year old veteran from the Air Force, whose life savings was wiped out at Motilal Oswal Securities by using a forged power of attorney (PoA). SEBI, which is mandated by law to protect investors, made no attempt to contact senior citizen, but simply accepted the submissions made by Central Depository Services (CDSL) and Motilal Oswal Securities, without even looking at the correspondence exchanged between the 78-year old, despite knowing that he has a ruling from a District Consumer Redressal Forum against MOSL regarding the forged Power of Attorney (PoA). (Read: Wiped out by Motilal Oswal, shunned by a callous SEBI & ministry, the 78-year old's fight continues, Wiped out by Motilal Oswal, an aggrieved small investor won in consumer court but got shafted by SEBI)
Similarly, Moneylife has written in the past about how letters from retired Union Secretaries like EAS Sarma, specifically addressed to SEBI chairman UK Sinha, were dumped into the automated redressal system called SCORES leading to a similarly mindless response to him. Mr Sarma, in his letter to the SEBI chairman (Mr Sinha) had questioned about non-disclosures by Reliance Industries (RIL) regarding the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin reserves. Instead of a proper reply, SEBI sent an automated reply to the former secretary in a tome and language, which ensures that the market regulator could wash its hands off any responsibility of responding. In its response, SEBI said: “Please note that while the entity (RIL) is directly responsible for redressal of your complaint, SEBI initiates action against recalcitrant entities on the grounds of their unsatisfactory redressal of investor complaints as a whole”. (Read: What is wrong with SEBI's treatment of investors?, Does SEBI understand difference between a complaint and suggestion?)
Moneylife has been regularly writing about SEBI's hands-off approach on complaints and investors' grievances. (Read: 'Investor interest: SEBI's hands-off approach'.) SCORES is a "web-based centralised system for the speedy redressal of grievances" that was launched in the last few days of the tenure of former chairman CB Bhave. (Read: 'Complaints redressal: SEBI's high cost experiment'.) Its scores pretty low in investor’s experience. Mr Sinha would do well open his eyes and ears to what it happening on the ground before dashing off letters with tall claims.
Bharti Airtel buys out Qualcomm stake in JV for an undisclosed sum. However, a year ago, Bharti bought 49% stake at $165 million and increased its stake to 100% with this deal
Bharti Airtel Ltd (Bharti), India’s top telecommunications carrier, said that it had bought out Qualcomm Inc’s stake from a fourth-generation (4G) broadband joint venture in the country, taking full ownership of the business more than a year earlier than planned.
The venture, which holds 4G airwaves in four of India’s 22 telecommunications zones, has yet to start commercial services.
Bharti did not say how much it paid for increasing its stake to 100% from 51% in Wireless Business Services Pvt Ltd, a venture founded by Qualcomm. Bharti paid $165 million for a 49% stake last year, and bought 2% more earlier this year. Bharti was to increase its stake to 100% by end of 2014.
Qualcomm paid nearly $1 billion in a 2010 auction for the airwaves that facilitate high-speed wireless Internet.
However, Bharti separately holds 4G airwaves in four other zones and has started services in some cities.
Bharti trded 2.21% up at Rs356 on BSE while benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was 465 points up at 20,880.
Why would anyone offer Rs15,500 ($256) a day to do basic typing work? Well, it appears to be a straight scam, without even pretending to run a business or create a pyramid. It simply asks people to register FREE, seeks credit card details, ostensibly as age-proof and begins by siphoning off money from members’ accounts.
An email scam called ‘Web Profits From Home’ has apparently managed to ensnare hundreds of Indians with the promise of extraordinary returns form some simple typing work. In fact, it offers a whopping $257(Rs15,500) per day for typing work. The catch is that although it offers a free registration on its website homewebprofit.com as a limited period offer which would otherwise cost $99 (approximately Rs6,200 today). However, it requires potential members to provide credit card details, ostensibly for age-proof and there are innumerable complaints that the company has immediately deducted anywhere between $99 to $119(Rs7,000) on these credit cards.
The online company homewebprofit.com is based in the US and claims to provide basic typing work to be done online. It further lures people by saying that the work does not require any special technical skills, intelligence and mastery and is persons across the world who are looking for easy income opportunities by working from home.
Apart from the extraordinary returns, another give-away for even slightly sensible investors should be the hard-selling tone of typical MLM’s & Get-Rich-Quick Schemes -- “Try it today, be your own boss, set your own hours! Join the thousands who already made Money using this system! Don’t miss the opportunity”. Had it indeed been such a mega opportunity, the company would have been flooded with more applicants than it could ever handle.
Naturally complaints are already piling up from Indians. These include young, unemployed and retired persons and housewives. The website scambook.com (http://www.scambook.com/search?search=home+web+profit&sort=date) shows 379 complaints filed so far, claiming losses of $1,36,382(Rs84,50,000) caused by homewebprofit.com
Balvinder shared how she got trapped by homewebprofit.com saying, “I received an email message to make Rs3,87,000 to Rs4,40,000 a month from home. I click on it and there is a pop up showing that it is free of cost. But the webisite asked my credit card details saying these were only required for age proof. When I filled details they deducted Rs1,254 from my account on 26 September 2013. I mailed them my complaint. Their site shows invalid numbers. On 29 September 2013, I got shocked after receiving message on my cell that Rs6,189 has been deducted by same company with different name Anchorage at Applied Training Online. I have no idea why this happened with me. I am very poor widow and the earning hand in my family”
Another member complains that $119 was deducted from his account although the company claims not to have deducted the money.
Interestingly, US based website is taking care not to dupe citizens of US and Canada. The website clearly states that “Sorry this offer is not available in US or Canada” . Yet, the website touts big American media names in a gimmicky fashion – it claims to have advertised on CNN, USAToday, ABC & MSNBC in order fool the very gullible.
It also has an Indian site ‘newsonlineweekly.com’ which published “success stories” to entrap people to join this site. One such story is about an Indian mother who reportedly managed to earn Rs4,09,386 per month after joining this site. The story has an image of the lady and her daughter with their first cheque of Rs8,795. Tellingly, it does not allow comment and the section is closed with a message: “Comments have been closed due to spam. Please check back later” . This website follows the same gimmick of touting its own advertisements on Lokmat, Dainik jagran as a credibility booster.
Moneylife has frequently warned that "If it looks too good to be true, it usually is." This is clearly another in the same category. To know more about such online scams read our other articles: