Insurance
Telecom users can now approach consumer courts directly

For a long time, telecom consumers needed clarity on whether they would need to go in for the lengthy process of arbitration to settle a dispute with a service provider. However, a recent judgement delivered by a consumer court makes it clear that users can go to consumer forums to settle their grievances

Telephone users may no longer need to go through the lengthy process of arbitration to settle a problem with a service provider. They can now directly approach the consumer courts. A recent judgement given by the consumer disputes redressal forum in Mumbai has upheld the maintainability of telecom cases in consumer forums, while taking into consideration the issues arising out of a recent Supreme Court judgment. 

In a judgement dated 31 December 2009, SP Mahajan, president, consumer disputes redressal forum, central Mumbai district and SS Patil, member, ruled that complaints regarding telephone services can be filed before the consumer forum and need not be referred to arbitration.

“The order of the central Mumbai district forum comes as a major relief to telephone users all over the country and would help consumers to seek redress from consumer courts rather than be thrown to the mercy of arbitrators,” said Achintya Mukherjee, honorary joint secretary, Bombay Telephone Users’ Association. 
 
The forum heard a case filed by the Consumer Welfare Association (CWA) against Bharti Airtel Ltd for disconnecting the phone of the complainant and compelling him to make payment for a disputed bill.

The forum raised the point whether a telecom complaint was maintainable in the consumer courts in light of the Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of the general manager (telecom) versus M Krishnan. In this case, the court held that Section 7-B of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 provides a special remedy for a dispute between a telegraph authority and the user by an arbitrator appointed by the Union government. As such, the consumer forum would have no jurisdiction on such a dispute.

However, the forum concurred with the view of the complainant that the Indian Telegraph Act spoke of disputes between the ‘telegraph authority’ and subscribers.

“The current telecom service providers—whether government or private—are not covered under that definition and are not telegraph authorities, they are merely licensees,” said well-known consumer activist, Jehangir Gai.

Consumer advocacy groups (CAGs) all over the country have been agitated over the lack of clarity on the part of the Union government stand on whether consumer courts were barred from taking up telecom cases by the judgement of the Supreme Court.
 
BTUA on behalf of the CAGs had sought the stand of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the consumer affairs department and the Union government on the matter. BTUA has been told that the opinions of the Attorney General of India and the ministry of justice have been sought.

Telecom consumer cases include dropped calls, over-charging of customers, unwanted value-added charges and false calls. These cases involve mobile providers, internet service providers, broadband service providers, DTH operators, cable TV operators and landline service providers.
 

User

COMMENTS

Davidson D

3 years ago

This is a fairly old decision delivered by the full bench of State Commission of Maharashtra.This case also confirms the fact that the letter issued by Department of Telecommunications, bearing reference no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 clearly indicates that S. 7B does not have applicability to the cases between the private operators (termed as mere licensees) and subscribers. Thus such cases can be heard by the Consumer and need not be referred to arbitration.

Virendra Dubey

3 years ago

Hi, greetings for the day
Kindly take note that I was using idea mobile no 7309999116 since past 2 years and was deactivated without any prior information after that I approached idea cellular with request to activate the number again and a mail was marked to them dtd 7th april 2014.
Idea cellular promised to that mob no would be retained and not released to others
through a mail from idea appellate dtd 5th may 2014.
Sir on 8th may my wife approached to Idea gallery located at M..G. road, Civil lines., allahabad UP East, She was informed by CCE Bijendra tripathi that no. has already been released to somebody else.
Inspite of my 1st mail marked to idea cellular on 7th april and constant follow up no action has been taken and no released to other

Hemant

3 years ago

pl refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009. for non applicability of S. 7B of Indian Telegraph Act to counter Hon. SC decision.

Ramu

5 years ago

I also checked with District consumer forum (chennai-south). They are also not
accepting the complaints because of Supreme Court decision.Arbitrator appointed ( Is there any) by central Govt
is to be approached for any disconnection,bill disputes..etc.I gave Emails to TRAI & MOC & IT.No reply.

REPLY

Hemant

In Reply to Ramu 3 years ago

Pl. refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 issued by Min. of Telecommunications to counter Hon. SC decision.

krishna kumar

5 years ago

Hi, even after the judgement of the Supeme Court the District Courts are entertaining the telecom complaints. A survey was conducted by Akosha, it was crystal clear that only 33 % of the District Courts are rejecting the telecom complaints and others are still accepting it.You can find the full article at consumer complaints can be made through consumer forums. Do share your thoughts on the article.

eqbal

6 years ago

This is the bring into your notice that my prepaid number (9717865116) is not working since yesterday evening due to some paper problem.

Although I have submitted the paper at Nehru place branch on 15.03.2011, still the paper is lying with them, in the morning when I have approached them they said that one signature on the photo copy is missing, now when I have done the signature part they are saying it will take 3-4 days to start the service. Having no fault of mine I am unable to use the service, at least they should have informed me 24 hrs before disconnecting, this is highly objectionable from a reputed provider.

It gives me an impression that I need to switch to other provider or go for some legal procedure. This is giving me lots of pain which I cannot explain.



Please treat this matter as urgent and do the needful at the earliest. It also shows the negative side of the Nehru place, branch which is giving bad name to the company.



Hope the matter will be solved at the earliest.

ABDUL QADIR

6 years ago

I have got a message on 11.12.2010, 5:30 pm, "dear subscriber, you have been charged Rs 15 and voicechatpack subscription is activated on your mobile for 15 days". but i have never make call or message for above activted scheme. i talk to costumer care excutive many times they unable to give any information regarding this matter, they telling our server is not properly woking

Deepak Suri

6 years ago

Reminder 4: : 9311272181 Recharge benefit not received of rs 80/-
Reply |deepak - to rcomappellatea.
show details 2:22 PM (15 minutes ago)

fromdeepak -
[email protected]

dateFri, Sep 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM
subjectReminder 4: : 9311272181 Recharge benefit not received of rs 80/-
mailed-bykastudios.co.in

hide details 2:22 PM (15 minutes ago)

Dear Appellate Authority


Revert Awaited. Could you plz tell me any status of my case???


Thanks and Regards
Deepak
Admin
9311272181
9718316117

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: deepak -
Date: Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM
Subject: Fwd: Reminder 3 Fwd: : 9311272181 Recharge benefit not received of rs 80/-
To: [email protected]



Dear Authorities

No Resolution Yet.

Please take an action to resolve this issue.

Thanks and Regards
Deepak
Admin
9311272181
9718316117



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: deepak -
Date: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 12:42 PM
Subject: Re: Reminder 2 Fwd: : 9311272181 Recharge benefit not received of rs 80/-
To: [email protected]



Dear Authorities

Still no resolution . I don't expect such a reputed company like Reliance will delay to get this small issue resolved.
Please its a very humble request you do the needful at earliest. Kindly revert me in black and white with resolution

Regards
Deepak
Admin
9311272181

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: deepak -
Date: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM
Subject: Reminder 1 Fwd: : 9311272181 Recharge benefit not received of rs 80/-
To: [email protected], [email protected]



Dear Athorities


Kindly help into this matter as I have been deducted 80 rs still I did not receive any benefit while your customer care executive was saying will receive the benefit with in 48 hours. Please do the needful without any further delay.

Thanks and Regards
Deepak
Admin
9311272181

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: deepak -
Date: Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM
Subject: : 9311272181 Recharge benefit not received of rs 80/-
To: [email protected]





Dear Officer

I have recharged through net with denomination of rs 80 on 27 Aug. 11 :18 Am but I did not get any benefit and I 80 rs has been deducted from my bank account.
I called to customer care executive with Mr. Manoj on 27 Aug. 10 on 10:56 PM I talked with executive with 8 Min. , told me that with recharge of rs 80 you will get the benefit 200 local min. to any network. But still I did not get anything. However I recharged for the talk time not for the local min. but as per executive I should have been given 200 Local Min. so kindly do the needful as I want to the benefit of recharge with denominatoin of rs. 80/-

I look forward you satisfactory reply with resolution at the earliest.
My Mobile no. is 9311272181

Thanks and Regards
Deepak
Admin

Bharat R Verma

6 years ago

Dear Concerned,

Can consumer go directly to consumer court in case of DND witout involving TRAI as a party. I have a lodge a complaint agiast IDEA for DND as my service is stillnot activated (1 year passed) and they replied that case should be dismissed as TRAI is a mandate partry in this case and I (complainant) has not included the same. Request you kindly reply through mail if possible.

Regards,
Bharat. R. Verma

MRK GANDHI

7 years ago

The recent judgments of apex court on consumer matters are confusing and appears to have been delivered without keeping in mind the objectives of enactment. Section 3 of CP Act clearly say that remedy under the Act is an additional remedy, at the choice of consumer. But the judgments say otherwise.

REPLY

Hemant

In Reply to MRK GANDHI 3 years ago

Pl. refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 issued by Min. of Telecommunications to counter Hon. SC decision.

Anandharaj

7 years ago

Thankyou for the informative write up. My consumer case against Airtel mobile services pending before madurai consumer dispute redressal forum was dismissed a couple of days back citing the SC's judgment dated Sept 09. Now I am collecting a lot of material in support of my case to prefer an appeal.

REPLY

Hemant

In Reply to Anandharaj 3 years ago

Pl. refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 issued by Min. of Telecommunications to counter Hon. SC decision.

vasan

In Reply to Anandharaj 6 years ago

pl contact me.i also dispute with r-com.my mobile no is 93631-14777

Hemant

In Reply to vasan 3 years ago

Pl. refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 issued by Min. of Telecommunications to counter Hon. SC decision.

swati

7 years ago

please state the citation

REPLY

Hemant

In Reply to swati 3 years ago

Pl. refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 issued by Min. of Telecommunications to counter Hon. SC decision.

m.p.bhaya

7 years ago

When a Consumer is wronged, the first question that bothers him, is to find-out as to which Forums could help him.Need of the day is one single organisation who could plead his case.

Borkar M.R.

7 years ago

Thank u. This has come at most appropriate time. My ISP has not bothered to replya my compaint n I am ready to approach TRAI n Con.Forum. In a day or tow I will send u my grievence fyi.

REPLY

Hemant

In Reply to Borkar M.R. 3 years ago

Pl. refer letter no. 07-32/2007-PHP (Pt) dated October 19, 2009 issued by Min. of Telecommunications to counter Hon. SC decision.

Newsviewer Exclusive
Is organised retail coming back with a bang?

Organized retail is just 5% of the total retail business in India compared to more than 20% in China and 80% in US of the overall market, pointing to a huge potential for growth

Is organised retail coming back with a bang? A quick check at some of the malls shows that footfalls have increased dramatically. According to a recent research report by Goldman Sachs, one of the most dominant themes of 2010 is that urbanisation will lead to rapid spread of organised retailing. Goldman estimates that 100 million people will move to cities in this decade, and a whopping 650 million may urbanise by 2050. Urban households are on the rise, especially in the middle-income category which is growing at 14%; the high income category recorded a 24.1% CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) between the years FY06-FY10. Organised retail is 5% of the retail business in India compared to more than 20% in China and 80% in the US of the overall market, pointing to a huge potential for growth.

An important factor for the revival in fortunes of malls is that rentals have come down after the financial crisis. Rentals formed 40% of total costs. Landlords are now more open to revenue-sharing in rental agreements, as reported by Moneylife Digital earlier (see here).

The macro picture is supported by micro details. Aditya Birla Retail Ltd (ABRL), India’s second biggest supermarket operator, is planning to start three additional megastores over the next three months at Mumbai, National Capital Region and Hyderabad.

“We are completely astounded by the footfalls in some of our hyper-markets in Bengaluru and Indore which have out-performed the competition. In the next three months, we have three more hyper-markets coming up at Thane, NCR (Rohini) and Hyderabad (Saroornagar),” Thomas Varghese, chief executive, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, told Moneylife

“We plan to put up 6-10 hyper-markets within this financial year and our aim is to put up 10-12 hyper-markets every year. Currently, we have five hyper markets,” he added. ABRL is planning to ramp up its total mall area to 10 million sq ft over the next five-six years.

Meanwhile, Shopper’s Stop plans to add six-eight new stores in 2010, adding 400,000 sq ft, for Rs100 crore. It plans to add up 15 new supermarkets in the next three years. Currently, it has 28 stores spanning across 1.8 million sq ft. The Future Group is also planning to add 10-12 new stores for Rs400 crore with an addition of 30 million sq ft compared to 13 million sq ft currently. Spencer’s Retail is hoping to add at least 12 large-sized formats in 2010 for Rs100 crore. The Wal-Mart and Bharti Retail joint venture has plans to open 10-15 hypermarkets by 2015. It launched its first store in May 2009.

According to Goldman Sachs, urban consumers are moving from basic necessities to more discretionary goods like durables, education, fuel, medical and clothing in the year recording a growth of 14% on a CAGR basis between the years FY00-FY07. The report predicts that wage growth in 2010 is likely to be one of the highest in India, supporting consumption demand which has increased from 6% in 2009 to more than 9% in 2010 compared to just 3% y-o-y (year on year) growth in Singapore.
 

User

COMMENTS

eindia

7 years ago

Temple of Indian retail

‘We will have more power projects coming up for disbursements’

Rural Electrification Corp Ltd (REC) is planning a follow-on public issue to raise funds. P Uma Shankar, CMD, REC, speaks to Moneylife’s Amritha Pillay about the company’s quarterly results and future plans

Amritha Pillay (ML): During the third quarter, your net profit rose by 49% to Rs474 crore. What were the factors responsible for this performance?
P Uma Shankar (PUS):
The results have been good for two reasons—our disbursements have been really good and we also managed to keep borrowing costs down. During the third quarter, disbursements have gone up by 20% from the corresponding period last year. Therefore, good volumes and spread were the reasons for this performance.

ML: You mentioned that disbursements have gone up by 20%, resulting in good volumes. Since REC is a state-run entity, do you think it would have helped you in winning more projects from the government as private players were less privileged?
PUS:
No, our being a state-run company didn’t figure in our winning more projects. In fact, there are more state-run power entities than private players. Over the past two years, we have been winning power projects that were sanctioned later. These power projects help us to boost our project pipeline and now it is maturing resulting in good volumes. Also, since we have been funding power projects for a long time, the experience and expertise we gained is no match for other players in the industry. Based on the projects in the pipeline, we will have more power projects coming up for disbursements over the next few quarters.

ML: REC is planning to buy stakes in coal mines and also in merchant power plants. But your main business has been transmission and distribution (T&D) and power finance. So what is the reason for this diversification?
PUS: No doubt, T&D is still our main business but since the past six to seven years, we started taking interest in large-scale power generation projects. In June 2002, REC’s mandate was expanded to all generation projects without limit on size or location from 25MW capacity. After studying T&D and power generation, we found out that you need to have a good recovery mechanism in place before financing such projects in order to minimise the risks.

Also, since we are soon coming out with a follow-on-public offer, I will not comment on the stake buying issue. 

ML: What are the new, emerging trends in the power business? What does the future hold for this business in India?
PUS:
So far, state-run utilities have been installing transmission lines, but I expect more private companies entering into this segment. Recently, the Indian government had asked REC to identify private bidders for constructing two transmission projects, and we did the job. We expect an increase in this kind of activity in the future. This type of arrangement also gives us another stream of revenue. Apart from recovering the project cost, we can also levy a success fee.

The kind of momentum we are witnessing in the power sector will help us to grow further. In addition, our two subsidiaries in the T&D segment will also help us to collect other fee-based revenues.
 

User

COMMENTS

Anantha K Ramdas

7 years ago

It is nice to know that REC is coming out with an FPO. Will mr Uma Shankar ensure that shareholders of REC are given a portion of FPO in the form of "Rights"? This important issue is conveniently neglected by all the corporate bodies who talk about and come with FPOs? Why should this be so?

Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

Sorry being intrusive and maaybe negative but the article or interview does not tell how much power has been generated and how many villages had been provide such power. After 62 years of promises , the article only talks of disbursement of funds and not power.
Being a PSU what is the rate of transmission and how much is lost and stolen.
Why has India failed to even have power for the cities and why has rural areas been neglected so far?

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