Holding Vodafone India guilty of deficiency in service, Maharashtra
State Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has upheld a lower court order
which asked the service provider to pay Rs. 20,000 compensation and Rs.
5,000 costs to a doctor for failing to stop unsolicited commercial
"Vodafone had failed to discharge its obligation and
acted with imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the nature and
manner of purpose, which is required to be maintained by it under the
regulations," observed S R Khanzode and Dhanraj Khamatkar in their order.
"Thus, deficiency in service within the meaning of
section 2(1)(g) of the Act is well established as against Vodafone," the
forum members further said while dismissing an appeal filed by Vodafone
against the consumer court judgement.
Dr. Ashish Gala, who
practices in suburban Mulund, had registered with Vodafone on the "Do
not Call list". Yet, he got calls from various companies following which
he filed a complaint with the service provider on August 30, 2008,
saying Vodafone should have ensured that he did not get the calls.
Vodafone argued that it was not deficient in service as under Telecom and
Solicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007, there is no
positive obligation on them to stop unsolicited commercial calls.
fact, Vodafone said, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India did not
contemplate and acknowledge the fact that such communication or
unsolicited communication calls cannot be stopped entirely.
Vodafone further contended that as per explanatory memorandum issued to clause
16 of the Regulations, 15 days time is provided for a subscriber for
making the complaint to his service provider in respect of unsolicited
commercial communications. However, the complainant, Dr. Gala, had failed
to make any such complaint within a fortnight.