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Forum rules in favour of telecom company for increasing credit limit

By Jatin Ramaiya

Maria G Durairaj, senior citizen from Porvorim, approached the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum North Goa, complaining against Vodafone Idea Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd.  Durairaj in her complaint stated that she was a subscriber of the both the cellular companies and had availed international roaming facility from them upon depositing a security deposit of Rs 18,000 only for credit facility.

It was her case that despite the bills being within limit of Rs 18000 per month she was informed that there was unbilled amount of Rs 21,607 in addition to the Rs 18000 and if not paid the services would be discontinued. The senior citizen from Porvorim alleged that it was further shown as Rs 1,37,500 and this increase in the credit limit, which she claimed was not within her knowledge of the complainant. She further claimed that upon inquiring with the opposing party she was provided with the internet usage indicating that she is billed for Rs 75,725 airtime units for the period of seven days in Sri Lanka and the tariff rate applied is Rs one per air time unit.  

Durairaj claimed that she was unaware as to what is the air time unit and only knew that the talk time is measured in seconds and minutes and data is measured in kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes. Finally in her complaint the Porvorim resident claimed that the cellular company charged an amount of Rs 75,727 exorbitantly and the billing based on air time unit is wrong.  

The cellular company could not increase the credit limit without her consent and the cellular company was wrong in not informing her about data package tariff in GB. The notice of the complaint was served to the cellular companies and thereafter the company filed its defense and disputed the case. 

The members of Forum upon hearing the counsel on behalf of all parties and taking note of the documents held that the cellular company was not liable for deficiency in service. The Forum observed that, “The complainant failed to show any violation of any statutory rule or regulation by which the opposing parties were barred from unilaterally increasing the credit limit without the consent of the complainant.”

The Forum further observed that increasing the credit limit has not caused any harm to the to Durairaj.  On the contrary she was able to enjoy the post paid services provided by the cellular company i.e. talk time and data during the travel period in Sri Lanka. The Forum further observed that “it is evident that the complainant did not inform the opposing party on  travel to Sri Lanka and neither availed any international roaming pack. The complainant therefore cannot make any grievance against the opposing party that he was not informed about 3GB data pack of Rs 5,999 for 30 days before travelling to Srilanka”

The Forum finally held that Durairaj failed to substantiate and establish with documentary evidence the allegations of charging exorbitantly by the cellular companies.

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