Telecom Firms Penalized for Service Failures: Consumer Wins Compensation

Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea Directed to Pay Rs. 30,000 to Aggrieved Customer

In a significant ruling, the Additional District Consumer Grievance Redressal Commission has directed major telecom operators, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd, to compensate a customer with Rs. 30,000 for the deficiency in service. The ruling came in response to a complaint filed by Manmeetsingh Bawari, a resident of Queens Garden, who suffered persistent distress due to unsolicited calls despite availing the ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) service.

The complaint, filed on December 9, 2019, highlighted the ongoing harassment faced by Bawari, a bank cooperative employee, from unwanted marketing calls on his dual SIM smartphone. Despite activating the DND service on both Jio and Vodafone numbers, Bawari continued to receive such calls, causing significant psychological distress.

While Jio Infocomm denied any responsibility for the unsolicited calls, citing regulatory limitations, Vodafone Idea acknowledged making one marketing call post DND implementation. However, the commission rejected Jio’s stance, emphasizing that the receipt of marketing calls during DND operation constituted a clear case of service deficiency.

The ruling serves as a precedent, shedding light on the regulatory obligations of telecom operators and the importance of upholding consumer rights. Bawari’s lawyer, Swapnil Bhalerao, underscored the ruling’s significance in holding service providers accountable for lapses in customer service, particularly regarding telemarketing calls.

The commission’s decision highlights the need for telecom companies to implement robust measures to prevent the harassment of consumers through unsolicited calls. As consumers increasingly rely on telecommunications services for daily communication, ensuring the effective enforcement of regulations like DND becomes imperative to safeguard their interests and well-being.

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