Mangaluru: Activate promised number or pay Rs 50,000, Consumer Forum tells Airtel


Mangaluru, Feb 3: In a clear victory for an aggrieved consumer, Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has decreed that mobile service provider Airtel is guilty of deficiency in service and ordered the company to pay compensatory amounts to the complainant.

In the year 2013, Abdullah A Rehman, a city-based youth had placed a confirmed order with Airtel Relationship Centre near AB Shetty Circle here for a SIM card with a specific cellphone number and paid Rs 1,750 towards the purchase. After some time, the company contacted Rehman and informed him that the number paid for is a fancy number and demanded a premium of Rs 25,000 from him. When Abdullah Rehman refused to pay the extra amount and insisted that they activate the number already paid for, Airtel went ahead and sold the number to some other customer in Delhi for Rs 25,000.

Hence, Rehman decided to seek legal remedy and Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum accepted his complaint on April 4, 2013. After listening to both parties, additional bench of the Forum presided by Vishweshwara Bhat D with T C Rajashekar as member found that the service provider was at fault. In its order dated December 3, the bench decreed Airtel company to either re-allot and activate the number paid for, or alternatively pay Rs 25,000 with 9% interest from the date of complaint. It also ordered payment of Rs 20,000 as compensation for mental agony and hardship and Rs 5,000 towards litigation costs within 30 days of the receiving the order.

Rehman who received his copy of the order days only a few back is jubilant about his victory. "Oftentimes, corporates riding high on their power assume that they can get away with their flaws by framing several tiresome procedures. It is unfair they take such matters mildly. Today I am glad that through this order, justice is delivered. It has rekindled the hope in the common man towards our judiciary," he says.

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