Vodafone / fraud by vodafone
V.K.Sethi G-39, Sector 25,
# [protected] Jal Vayu Vihar
VODAFONE PREPAID MOBILE - FRAUD ON CUSTOMERS
Very humbly, I wish to bring to your kind notice a serious fraud being perpetrated by mobile telephone service provider VODAFONE on its customers. The facts of the case are as follows.
1. I have a prepaid mobile connection no. [protected] for the past few years.
2. In May 2007, I observed that a sum of Rs.30 was deducted from my a/c. On enquiries, I got to know that this deduction was on account of “Astro Service” that I had activated on my phone. Since no such service was ever activated by me, I contacted the Hutch care. Their executive, on checking up its records, confirmed that no such service is active on my phone. However they refused to refund my amount & advised canceling this service at my end which I promptly did. However the deductions continued.
3. Although I do not have records of my complaints before Jan 2008, I am providing details of some of the complaints since then for your kind reference.
i. [protected] dated 23.01.2008
ii. [protected] / 29.01.2008
iii. 5678029 / 31.01.2008
iv. 89811233 / 23.02.2008
v. [protected] / 25.02.2008
4. It is pertinent to mention here, that although I never ever activated this service, the amounts of Rs.30 pm have repeatedly been deducted from my a/c. I have again & again cancelled this service (on Vodafone executive’s advice) & still the amounts continue to be deducted.
5. My repeated enquiries with Vodafone on Hutch Care/Internet have yielded no positive response. The call centre executives on hearing the problem, put the caller on hold for as much as 30minutes & then hang up, giving us the impression that they know of the fraud but do not want to provide a solution. In the latest case, another Rs. 30 was deducted around 20.08.08, & the enquiry revealed that although “Astro Service” was de activated in May 2008, another service “Vodafone Astro Alerts” had become active & hence the deduction. It is important to note that this sum is being deducted even though there is insufficient balance in the pre paid a/c to support this and although all calls are discontinued because of low balance.
6. As a result, every time my a/c is charged, the same gets deducted in the guise of some or the other service which I have never activated, never used & for which I have never received a service. Earlier I used to get a message on deducting this amount, but now even this message has stopped coming but the deductions continue.
7. This confirms my worst fears that there is an organized fraud on customers to deduct their a/c, without their consent or knowledge to make un due & fraudulent gains for the Vodafone company. Please also note that to de activate this service, the customer is required to dial a special number & then is guided by a lengthy computerized voice & charged at an astronomical Rs. 6 per minute wherein the customer is engaged in a lengthy conversation ( all paid for) & then it abruptly gets disconnected before the service is deactivated.
8. My repeated requests to give me contact details of Senior Management for addressing this issue were not successful. On 01.09.08 (1730 hrs), I spoke to executive SANDEEP followed by floor Supervisor PRANAY & then floor manager SAMIR KHURANA, who refused to give me contact details of senior management. After threatening to approach the Consumer Court, he gave me the ID as firstname.lastname@example.org and then hung up. This I realized later was the ID of Airtel Chief & perhaps was done willfully to shake me off. I understand this was a recorded conversation & can also be cross checked.
9. The customer’s helplessness in changing the service provider without changing the mobile telephone number due to lack of number portability regime is being taken advantage of by Vodafone. I now understand from some of my friends that that they too have been victims of similar frauds in the past. You would appreciate that having tried all means to rectify this problem, I am now at the end of my patience & am suffering both due to non availability of my phone as well as un authorized deductions.
10. I would therefore request you to take up the matter with VODAFONE to rectify the following in the larger interest of customer fraternity.
a. Stop the fraud forthwith.
b. Refund all amounts deduced from my a/c immediately.
c. Provide contact details (telephone/Email ID)of senior management personnel for addressing such concerns in the future.
With warmest regards & thanking you in anticipation,
(V. K. Sethi)
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