Mobile service provider asked to pay Rs 5 lakh to customer

A district consumer forum has asked a mobile phone service provider to pay Rs 5 lakh to a customer for deficient service.

Thane: A district consumer forum has asked a mobile phone service provider to pay Rs 5 lakh to a customer for deficient service.

The Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum (TDCRF) held that LOOP Mobile had issued a duplicate SIM card of the customer to another person without verifying the credentials of the latter.

The customer suffered a loss of Rs five lakh as the money was withdrawn from his bank account by the person, who procured his duplicate SIM card.

Beniprasad Raika, a resident of Malad suburb in Mumbai and employed in Thane district, had purchased a SIM card in 2009 from LOOP mobile gallery, he informed the forum.

The SIM card was working properly, till it suddenly stopped functioning in February 2011.

Raika went to the service provider gallery at Thane to find out as to why the SIM was not working and he was informed that the LOOP office at Mahim (in Mumbai) had by mistake disconnected it and the same was restored.

The same month, he got a call from the Chembur gallery of LOOP Mobile saying that one person had approached them with an application, purported to have been written by the company of the complainant, for issuing a new of SIM card. To this, the complainant said he had never sought change of any SIM and the gallery should hold on the person for further action.

Later, he got an SMS from his bank informing about his One Time Password for financial transaction, when he had not made any such request.

He then found that someone had hacked his bank details and through net banking withdrawn an amount of Rs five lakh from his bank account on different days and it was revealed that the Mahim office of the company had issued a duplicate SIM to a person, who had misused his details and PIN code to siphon off the money.

His repeated efforts with LOOP mobile to get the details of the bogus documents used to get the duplicate SIM failed following which he lodged a complaint with the police regarding this, Raika told the forum.

He said the mobile service provider office at Mahim had not verified the credentials of the applicant while issuing the duplicate SIM card and also the documents and photo submitted were not verified and hence, there was deficiency in service by the LOOP Mobile.

TDCRF president Umesh Jhawalikar and member N D Kadam, after hearing both the counsels, concluded on Monday that LOOP Mobile had failed in its services and ought to have verified the documents before issuing the duplicate SIM card.

The forum ruled that the company and its gallery in Thane were deficient in providing services to the consumer, resulting in the losses to the tune of Rs 5 lakh and hence also ordered payment of the same along with of Rs 15,000 towards the cost of the complaint.

It also ordered that the compensation be paid within three months from the date of the order along with an interest at the rate of 10.60 percent from the date of incident in February 2011, failing which it ordered payment of interest at 15 percent from that date to the date of realisation of the amount.

The respondents in the case were LOOP Mobile office at Mahim and its gallery (branch office) in Thane which were jointly held responsible for the losses and deficiency in services.