S/o. alagar Ramanajam,
No. 48-1-90 Kaloori Nagar,
Anna Nagar, Peelamedu,
Coimbatore – 641 004. --- Complainant
1. M/s. Reliance Webstores (P) Ltd.,
Rep. by its Branch Manger,
No. 526, 527 Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road,
Gandhipuram, Coimbatore – 641012.
2. M/s. Reliance communications
Infrastructure Ltd., Rep. by its
Regd. Office; H Block, 1st Floor,
Dhirubhai ambani knowledge City
Navi Mumbai – 400 710. --- Opposite Parties
This case coming on for final hearing before us on 15.9.09, in the presence of Mr.K.S. Anand, Advocate for complainant and the opposite parties are remained absent and set ex-parte and upon perusing the case records and hearing the arguments and the case having stood over to this day for consideration, this Forum passed the following:
Complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 seeking direction against the opposite parties to pay the cost of the USB modem amount for a sum of Rs.3,180.00, to pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- as compensation for deficiency in service, to pay a sum of Rs. 50,000/- for mental agony suffered by the complainant and to pay Rs.5000/- towards cost of the proceedings.
The averments in the complaint are as follows:
1. The Complainant is a self styled Textile consultant. The second opposite party is a telecom operator under the trade name “Reliance Mobile” providing mobile cellular services using CDMA technology. The 1st opposite party is one of the branch offices at Coimbatore. The complainant has wired internet connectivity at his office for the purpose of his business. Apart from this the complainant opted for a wireless internet connection at his residence purely for his personal use.
2. The complainant visited 1st opposite party and they offered to provide the best of service to the complainant. The staff at the 1st opposite party explained that Reliance Net connect is featured with “High speed internet access”, “High download speed of heavy. E-mail attachments”, “Connectivity speed with 144 Kbps” and “4 times faster than dial up connection or other date cards” and so on. Having convinced by the promises and commitments of the opposite parties the complainant decided to avail the services of the opposite parties and purchased a USB Modem with sim card number 9344299262 from the 1st opposite party on 15.02.2008 for a sum of Rs. 3,180/- and availed a tariff under the scheme “Swift – 30” under which the customer can avail free usage of 15 Hours during peak hours and 30 hours under off-peak hours and for any additional usage the customer shall be charged 50 paise per minute.
3. After two days the connection was activated i.e. on 17.02.2008 the complainant could get the service connected with his desktop computer at his house but unable to connect to his laptop which has Windows Vista Operating System and it displayed the following service/error messages
1) Symantec. Com is not setup to establish a connection on part world wide web service (HTTP) with this computer.
2) Windows found a problem that cannot be repaired automatically. Contact your internet provider or network administrator for help”
and the present details were communicated to the customer care of the opposite parties over phone and by e-mail on many occasions and they were very lethargic with their response right from the first instance. With no other go the complainant had made personal visit to office of the 1st opposite party with his laptop but the service staffs attached to them were unable to resolve the issue till 19th February 2008, and finally they informed the complainant to register the complaint at customer care number *333.
4. At the customer care the complaint was registered and they provided a mobile number of one Mr. Krishna. When the complainant contacted Mr. Krishna he was too agitated to speak and did not even listen at last on 29.02.2008 it was made ready by the service personal from the opposite parties. But system provided by the opposite parties Viz. the USB did not prove worthy, the speed of the system was poor at all times it could get connected only to a maximum of 30 kbps and not 144 kbps as committed by the opposite parties. It invariably connects to all the web sites even at late hours with the speed at 3 Kbps to 28 Kbps and not even once the connectivity speed was 144 Kbps as committed by inspite of the system configuration being P-IV, 2 GB RAM and 3.06 MHz speed which are more than the recommendation provided by the opposite parties.
5. This issue of poor speed was taken up with the opposite parties many times and at last the complainant got much dissatisfied and finally decided to surrender the service. The opposite party in their communication they admitted to the same. The complainant was charged with Rs.31.50 for contacting the customer care services (*333) of the opposite parties. It is the bounden duty of the telecom operator to provide the toll free number for the services and not to bill the customer while accessing the same in unfair manner. The complainant was charged for accessing the customer care number of the opposite parties inspite of the problems let unresolved at their end for quite long time.
6. The complainant decided to surrender the services of the opposite parties and they requested the complainant to give the same in writing with the 1st opposite party but they stoutly denied accepting the USB modem and refund for the same. Instead the opposite parties directed this complainant to resell the USB modem to his friends/others and refund by the opposite parties may not be possible and for which this complainant has stoutly refused to fool/cheat his friends/others unlike the opposite parties. But the complainant surrendered the service of the opposite parties. Unscrupulously the opposite parties were dispatching the bills without any delay inspite of the poor service and failure to set right the problems and among others. These only shows the unfair practice adopted, deficiency of service and the false promises made to lure the general public.
7. The complainant has filed Proof Affidavits along with Ex.A1 to A24 was marked and the opposite parties remained absent and set exparte. The opp.parties was served notice on 25.2.08 for the hearing, dt.30.3.09 The opposite parties did not appear either in person or through their counsel, and have not filed any version on their side till the expiry of statutory period.
The point for consideration is
Whether the opposite parties have committed deficiency in service? If so what relief the complainant is entitled to?
8. The case of the complainant is that the complainant was attracted by the Pamphlets issued by the opposite party visited the first opposite party and decided to avail the services of the opposite party and purchased a USB Modem with sim card number 9344299262 from the 1st opposite party on 15.02.2008 for a sum of Rs. 3,180/- and availed a tariff under the scheme “Swift – 30” under which the customer can avail free usage of 15 Hours during peak hours and 30 hours under off-peak hours and for any additional usage the customer shall be charged 50 paise per minute. But the service of the opposite party was not upto the standard and not as promised. Hence this complaint.
9. The complainant has filed Proof Affidavit and marked Ex.A1 to A24. Ex.A1 is the pamphlet issued by the opposite parties .The extract of relevant portion is given below:
Get the winning edge over other data cards
Fastest speed & CDMA technology
High download speed of heavy e-mail attachments
Wireless internet speed upto 144 kbps
and Ex.A9 is the copy of E-mail reply issued by the 2nd opposite party in which the 2nd opposite party has admitted their mistakes. The relevant portion is given below:
“In continuation to your mail regarding the speed of Reliance Netconnect, please note that the access speed can be upto 144kbps, but in most real world situations, you can expect average speeds of 20-40 kbps.
“Though it is difficult to guarantee a minimum service speed, we assure you with our superior, high speed wireless technology and high bandwidth of an issue free access to the internet service”.
Hence we are of the view, the service of the opposite party was not upto the standard and not as promised. This was also admitted by the opposite party in his Email letter dt.5.3.2008. Not only that the complainant was charged with Rs.31.50 for contacting the customer care service(333).Thus the act and conduct of the opposite party is amounts to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice and therefore liable to pay damages and compensation.
10. In the result, we direct the opposite parties to pay to the complainant the cost of the USB modem amount for a sum of Rs.3,180.00, to pay a sum of Rs.20,000/- as compensation for mental agony and cost of Rs.1000/- to the complainant within one month from the date of this order failing which the complainant is at liberty to execute this order u/s.25 and 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.