Airtel told to pay compensation to consumer

 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 compensation to the complainant.

In 2013, Abdullah A Rehman, a city-based youth had placed a confirmed order with Airtel Relationship Centre, Paradigm Plaza, A B Shetty Circle, Mangaluru, for a SIM card with a specific mobile phone number and paid Rs 1,750 towards the purchase. After some time, the company contacted Abdullah A Rehman and informed him that the number paid for is a fancy number and demanded a premium of Rs 25,000 from him. When Rehman refused to pay the extra amount demanded 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. Then, Rehman decided to seek legal remedy and Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum accepted his complaint on April 4, 2013.

After listening to the 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, 2016, the bench decreed that 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, is jubilant. “Often, corporates riding high on their power assume that they can get away with their flaws by framing several tiresome procedures. It's unfair they take such matters mildly. Today I am glad that through this order, justice is delivered and rekindled the hope in the common man towards our judiciary,” he said.

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