Telecom firm ports mobile number 'illegally'

Reliance Infocom Services has been directed by a consumer forum to pay Rs 10,000 to a customer for transferring his number without his consent.

The number was switched to an Airtel one, which was subsequently allotted to someone else.

The north west district consumer disputes redressal forum ordered Reliance Infocom to get the number transferred back to it, and reallot the number to Delhi resident Mohammed Yameen, failing which the firm must pay Rs 10,000.

“In either case, Reliance Infocom and Reliance World shall pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for deficient services, loss of business, harassment and mental agony meted out to the subscriber. This amount shall include the cost of litigation as well,” said the bench.

The bench ordered for a copy of the ruling to be sent to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to apprise it of “unfair trade practices” of service providers at the cost of consumers.

Yameen, a contractor, had alleged that the Reliance number he had been using since July 2004 was ported to Airtel in 2011 without his consent. The number was then alloted by Airtel to someone else, he said. He came to know of the issue when his number stopped working in August 2011.

Yameen said his request for reallotment of the number to him was declined by Reliance Infocom.

The forum passed the order ex-parte, after noting that the counsel for the respondents appeared only once to collect a copy of the complaint, and thereafter no written statement was filed.

“The respondents are under an obligation to provide uninterrupted service to the complainant. By porting the number without express requisition from his side, they are guilty of providing deficient services,” the bench added.

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