Telecom complaints mess – 33% of Indian consumer forums are rejecting telecom complaints
New Delhi: In a survey conducted by Akosha (www.akosha.com), a consumer help website, earlier this year, it was revealed that over 33% of the District Consumer Forum across India are not accepting consumer complaints against telecom companies.
PR9.NET October 12, 2011 - Complaints against telecom companies regarding prepaid connections, post-paid connections, value added services, Broadband services, DTH services, data cards were rejected by one-third of the consumer forums surveyed. Of the 36 representative forums, 12 forums including Kolkata (Alipore), New Delhi (Central) and Chennai (North) rejected all kinds of complaints against telecom companies.
Nearly half of the district forums do not have functional telephones or helpdesks
44% of the 65 surveyed forums did not have a functional telephone line or a helpdesk. This made it impossible to get any information. For example, none of the forums in Gujarat (Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar) were reachable. Similarly, only one out of six forums in Uttar Pradesh had a functional helpdesk.
o There are several contradictions within states as well. Consider Delhi and West Bengal. Some forums accepted such complaints while the remainder rejected them.
o A few forums accepted complaints regarding DTH services, data cards and Broadband services but rejected complaints regarding telephone connections.
o Some forums suggested arbitration to resolve the complaint. But they did not give any other details.
The Akosha Telecom Complaints Survey 2011included 65 of the busiest district consumer forums. The forums were chosen as representatives of different states because they have the highest number of cases in their respective states. Out of the 65 forums, only 36 were reachable. Each forum was contacted at least three times during the day. After three unsuccessful attempts, the forum was marked as non-functional. To access the full findings of the survey, please see - http://info.akosha.com/consumer-complaints/telecom/the-mess-of-telecom-complaints-in-india-a-comprehensive-review/.
Why the confusion?
In a Supreme Court judgment in 2009, the apex court held that when there is a special remedy provided regarding disputes in respect with telephone companies, then the remedy under the Consumer Protection Act is barred. Consumer forums did not have any jurisdiction over these complaints. What is unusual is that the courts generally consider the remedy under the Consumer Protection Act as an additional remedy. In this instance, the court held otherwise. In certain documents obtained by Akosha from an RTI activist, it was revealed that the Department of Telecom is also unhappy with the impracticality of the Supreme Court judgement and that it was likely that a revision petition will be filed against it. See the RTI papers here - http://info.akosha.com/consumer-complaints/telecom/revealed-department-of-telecom-dots-stand-on-sc-order-regarding-telecom-consumer-disputes/
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Akosha is a New Delhi based consumer help website which helps consumers and brands in resolving consumer complaints quickly. Akosha takes over the hassle of complaints from the customer and helps him get rid of the head ache. Akosha representatives reach out to the company officials and try to get the complaint resolved quickly. You can see its success stories at http://www.akosha.com/latesttestimonials.html.
More details are available at www.akosha.com
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