Arbitrary change of tariff plan is unfair trade: Consumer court

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 8 2013, 03:26am hrs
Vodafone IndiaOpposite party (Vodafone) is found guilty of deficiency in service (Reuters)
A telecom company's decision to change a subscriber's tariff plan from what was agreed upon initially at time of purchase was held to be unfair trade practice by a consumer forum here which directed it to provide the plan that was purchased by the customer.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that Vodafone Mobile Services Ltd arbitrarily changed the plan to gain profit and directed it to pay Rs 2,000 as compensation and litigation cost to the complainant, a marketing firm.

"The facts are admitted. This is a case of unfair trade practice on the basis of wrong promises made to its customers. Opposite party (Vodafone) is found guilty of deficiency in service as it failed to fulfill its promises of charges as per plan and arbitrarily changed it to gain profit.

"Opposite party is directed to restore the charges as per the Plan taken by the complainant from September 2012 and adjust the excess charged amount in future bills. We award compensation of Rs 2,000 to complainant for harassment and litigation cost," a bench presided by C K Chaturvedi.

The order came on the complaint of a Delhi-based firm, Astech Marketing Pvt Ltd, which had alleged that Vodafone was charging it for mobile/STD calls at rates which were different from what was agreed upon while purchasing the plan.

The firm had purchased several numbers from Vodafone as part of a corporate plan package, but the telecom major began charging for calls at rates which were higher than what was promised under the corporate plan, the complaint said.