Fight against Telecom service providers

Okay, so in my fight against pathetic services of Telecom service providers in India/Delhi/Noida, I think I’ve progressed to a new level. Today morning, I got a call from some advocate in Tees Hazari Courts informing me that Reliance has filed a case against me. So I should either settle it by paying the amount that Reliance is demanding (Rs 1011 odd) or face the court proceedings.

The background is as follows.

I subscribed to Reliance’s post paid high speed data card service (Account no 500000414339, HSD Number – 9310323412). However, the services were very pathetic and I would never get a signal. I complained many times but to no avail. Finally, I got so fed up that I requested for conversion of this number to a pre-paid number in January 2011. I have the copy of  my acknowledgement slip that I’ve attached below. I was also made to pay bill for next month in advance.

However, they did not discontinue my services and I was made to pay bills for many more months.

I have made multiple other requests to their people to discontinue the services.

In spite of that, they continue to not only harass me but have also now threatened me with legal action. They followed it up with this phone from an advocate today morning.

So what should I do? Pay-up and get out of it or fight it out?

reliance post to pre acknowledgementreliance notice

Update Aug 2, 2011

The issue has been resolved for now (hopefully). I received a call on Friday from Reliance Chairman’s office. The person apologized for all this. He also told me I was right and that I did not owe anything to the company. He further informed me that my services were already deactivated and usage was absolutely zero.

While I am happy and thankful, I do feel that if the chairman’s office has to intervene for such a small matter, there’s something wrong with the system. I already had proof (acknowledgement given by reliance for post paid to pre paid migration). I’d sent that proof via postal mail as well as by email to Reliance’s various teams including Nodal and Appellate Authorities. Instead of listening to me and resolving it themselves, they followed it up with a threat of legal case etc.

I also got some useful advice from the folks at Akosha (@myakosha) for which I’m grateful. In particular, what happens in such cases is as follows.

Service providers (such as telecom companies and credit card companies) sell off their “bad debts” to 3rd parties at a huge discounts. These third parties than try out different mechanisms to recover as much as they can. So they will call you and threaten you with police arrest, legal notice and what not. I’ve heard of people getting calls from police stations asking them to pay up or that they will be arrested. In the worst case scenario, you will get a Lok Adalat notice.

A Lok Adalat is an informal court and the idea is to usually settle cases based on mutual agreement. In such cases, you go to one of these lok adalats and both parties negotiate and agreement is reached. I have been told that if you are sure you have not done anything wrong, you  can chose to ignore a Lok Adalat notice and nothing will happen. However, do remember that the other party does have a right to take the case to a higher court.

In any case, if you do get a call from such “Advocates” or “Lawyers”, remember they are usually collection agents. One of them calls from 011-64559262.