Mr. Bhandari Manoj Subhash,
D-1-8, Kakade Corner,
Behind Suverna Co-Op. Bank,
Chinchwadgaon, Pune – 411 033. COMPLAINANT
: Versus :
Idea Cellular Limited,
11/1, Sharda Centre,
Erandwane (Off Karve Road),
Pune – 411 004.
Head Office at :
Suman Tower, Plot No. 18,
Sector-11, @@@@hinagar 382 011. OPPOSITE PARTY
This is a complaint, alleging deficiency in service on the part of the Opposite Party – Ideal Cellular Limited. The facts lie in a very narrow compass.
 The Complainant has a Mobile bearing No. 9822065071 issued by the Opposite Party Company. There are two types of allegations made by the Complainant regarding the alleged deficiency. He submits that the Opposite Party had recovered the bill for the month November-2007 on three occasions. There was an old payment. He had initially filed the complaint on 27/12/2007. That was followed by E-mail dtd.29/12/2007. It was replied to by the Opposite Party by E-mail wherein the Complainant was informed that bill for the month of December-2007 of an amount of Rs.662.81 paise shall be adjusted from the aforesaid over payment and the balance of Rs.577.65 paise shall be refunded to him by cheque. The Complainant was further assured that the credit from his previous plan would also be given to him. The contention of the Complainant is that the said refund cheque in the sum of Rs.577.65 paise was not issued to him till 1/2/2008. He is entitled to receive the said amount together with interest.
 The other type of allegation leveled against the Opposite Party is in the form of disconnecting the outgoing services of the Complainant. They were discontinued abruptly on 13/2/2008. The services were restored on the following date. The contention is that outgoing facility is barred without issuing any show cause notice. The Complainant has left the matter at the discreation of this Forum regarding the amount of compensation that may be awarded to him.
 The Opposite Party has filed its written version and has denied most of the facts. The Opposite Party however admits that outgoing calls were barred for one day. It was due to oversight, as the payment made by the Complainant was not reflected in his Account, the facility was restored immediately after the realisation of the mistake.
 With reference to the alleged excess payment made by the Complainant for the delay of November-2007, it is pleaded that the excess payment was adjusted by the Company from time to time. There are bills of December, January and February-2008. Besides that the Complainant was given credit from his previous plan. In addition to that the Opposite Party had given the credit of Rs.359.56 paise towards the rental charges. It had also reversed the amount in the subsequent bills and the intimation thereof was given to the Complainant.
 We have heard the Complainant in person. We have also heard the Learned Advocate who appeared on behalf of the Opposite Party Company. Unfortunately, the complaint is not properly worded. One has to go through the copies of the E-mails, sent by the Complainant from time to time and the replies received by the complainant from the Opposite Party Company in order to understand the exact grievances of the Complainant. On perusal of the contents of these E-mails, correspondence, we are in position to say that grievance of the Complainant are in the aforesaid manner.
 The first aspect which we shall have to deal with is about discontinuation of the outgoing facility from the mobile of the Complainant. The Complainant has relied upon certain provision which prima-facie says that before outgoing services are barred, a notice is required to be given to the Subscriber through SMS and the time limit is required to be prescribed so as to enable the Subscriber to make the payment. In the instant case, the fact that the outgoing services are barred is not disputed. There is specific contention raised by the Opposite Party that on account of failure by the concerned department, the payment made by the Complainant was not reflected in his account. It was a mistake due to oversight. It only indicates that the facility was admittedly barred atleast for a day from the mobile of the Complainant.
It is not the case of the Opposite Party that before discontinuing the said facility, any notice was given to the Complainant in the manner provided under the relevant rules. In the absence of such issuance of the notice, the act performed by the Opposite Party to discontinue the outgoing calls would amount to deficiency in service. It was expected on the part of the Opposite Party to show that the said mistake had occurred bona-fide and that the same was without any deliberate intention. A plea to that effect is taken but the same is not substantiated. We therefore hold that by discontinuing the said facility, the Opposite Party has committed deficiency in service.
 As stated earlier, the pleading is very vague and to say the least very cryptic. One has to therefore refer to the contents of the E-Mails, correspondence between the parties. The first complaint by E-mail is dtd.29/12/2007. It refers to the earlier complaint dtd.27/12/2007. There is no copy of E-mail of the Complainant dtd.27/12/2007. In that E-mail dtd.29/12/2007, the Opposite Party Company has specifically informed that it had collected the amount of Rs.1,860.90 paise without the Complainant’s consent. The Complainant had requested the Opposite Party not to adjust the said over-payment against the future bills.
The Complainant had also requested to give the credit of the previous plan. Then there is specific complaint regarding alleged behaviour of one Mr. Chetan. This was replied by the Opposite Party on 31/12/2007. The Opposite Party had agreed to refund the amount of Rs.577.65 paise by refund cheque. Even the credit from the previous plan was agreed to be given. The refund cheque was however not issued by the Opposite Party till 1/2/2008. In the mean-time, there are number of reminders sent by the Complainant by E-mail. The Complainant was only assured that the refund cheque is in the process and it shall be received by the Complainant soon. Now an amount of Rs.85/- was refunded by the Opposite Party for the first time on 1/2/2008. This was obviously objected to by the Complainant stating that even after adjusting the over payment, still refund of Rs.620.18 paise is due and payable by the Opposite Party.
The Opposite Party Company had initially demanded the statement of credit from the Complainant. Lateron it demanded second copy of credit card. On the receipt thereof, the Complainant was appraised on 8/2/2008 that the refund cheque shall be sent to the Complainant within (08) working days. The said payment was never received by the Complainant. The amount of excess payment was again adjusted against the bill for the month of February-2008. While these correspondence by E-mail was in progress and certain amount was due and payable to the Complainant by the Opposite Party, it appears that outgoing facility of the Complainant was barred on 13/2/2008. This entire correspondence would reflect that time and again, the complaints made by the Complainant had fallen upon the deaf ears of the Opposite Party Company. It had failed to take the cognizance of these complaints. Merely empty assurances were given to the Complainant that the grievances shall be redressed soon without there being any overt act in that behalf. These complaints were never responded positively by the Opposite Party Company.
We are therefore inclined to hold that from acts of the Opposite Party to recover excess payments for the month of November-2007 and then to adjust the said excess payment towards the future bills for the month of December-2007 and January and February-2008 indicates that it was an unilateral act without there being consent on the part of the Complainant. This only indicates that there is deficiency in service on the part f the Opposite Party. The said amount of Rs.577.65 paise, even according to the Opposite Party Company was retained by the Company without there being any legal right. We are therefore inclined to hold that in both the points, the Complainant has satisfactorily established that he Opposite Party has committed deficiency in service. Notwithstanding the fact that the complaint is very cryptic. On the point of quantum of compensation, having regard to the amount retained by the Opposite Party illegally and unauthorisedly from the month of November-2007 to February-2008 and bearing in mind that there are series of copies of E-mail, the following order of compensation would serve the purpose.
Hence the following order :-
// ORDER //
The complaint is hereby allowed in part.
The Opposite Party do pay a compensation of Rs.3,000/- to the Complainant within two months from the date of passing of this order.
The Opposite Party do pay an amount of Rs.1,000/- towards the litigation cost of the Complainant within two months from the date of receipt of the order by the Complainant.
In case of failure on the part of the Opposite Party to comply the aforesaid order within the stipulated period, the Opposite Party would be liable to pay an amount of Rs.4,000/- alongwith interest @9% p.a. from 14/May/2009 till realistion thereof by the Complainant.