Vodafone Essar Mobile Services Ltd has been directed by a consumer forum to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation to a subscriber for starting ‘hello’ tune service on his cell and charging him for it without his consent. Hello (or caller) tunes are songs or music that a person hears on calling a number on which this service has been activated.
While also directing Vodafone to refund Rs 50 which it had deducted from its subscriber’s account for activating the tunes, the New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that the telecom major had “unnecessarily dragged him into litigation without any rhyme and reason”. “Keeping the facts in view, opposite party (Vodafone) is directed to refund Rs 50 (charged for activating hello tune).
“We also award Rs 5,000 as compensation for harassment/ mental agony including litigation charges to the complainant (Rajender Yadav) as opposite party has unnecessarily dragged him into litigation without any rhyme and reason since 2008 to 2012,” the bench presided by CK Chaturvedi said. In his complaint, Delhi resident Rajender Yadav had alleged unfair trade practice by Vodafone for deducting Rs 50 from his account towards activating ‘hello’ tune service on his number without his consent.
He said he was informed about the activation through an SMS by Vodafone without seeking his prior permission. Immediately after the amount was deducted, he had called up the Vodafone customer care and refused to accept the service and had also visited its customer care centres several times but the amount was not refunded, Yadav had said. Vodafone in its reply to the complaint had denied the allegations against it.