Legal Remedy on Illegal Disconnection of Phone

Mobile or Telephone disconnection is so common thing that very few people take pain on  disconnection and think about the legality of the disconnection. The legal remedy rarely strikes in the mind of the people and matter is reported and resolved by the customer care department of the telecom Companies. But in most of the cases the disconnection is illegal, without following the due process of law. The disregards to the established procedure can cost dear to the Companies and they can be penalized for the same, if the customer is aware about legality of disconnection and resorts to legal remedy. The grounds of disconnection and legal position are explained hereunder;

Grounds of disconnection:

Non-payment of Bill: In most of the cases the phone is disconnected on the ground of non payment of the monthly bill.

Proof of residence: This is also a ground which is used by the companies for disconnection.

Credit Limit:  Some Companies fixed the credit limit of their customer and disconnect the connection on exceeding such credit limit.

Legality of such grounds:

The Telecom Companies are given license under telegraph Act, and regulated by the Department of Telecom and Telecom Regulatory Authority. As per the telegraph Act the phone can’t be disconnected without giving a prior notice to the customer. Any disconnection without giving notice is in utter violation of law and hence illegal.

The phone can’t be disconnected prior to due date of the payment of bill and even after the due date of payment without giving a proper notice to the customer. Some times this situation arises when the cheque given by the customer is either misplaced or credited in the account of other customer or the customer received inflated bill and refused to pay the same.

The Companies are required to verify the address of the customer before activation of the connection. But normally the companies activate the phone first and verify the address later on. Some time this creates confusion and wondering situation when the customer is asked to submit his documents for address proof and his phone is temporary disconnected. Companies contend that they received a negative report from verification agencies. In Most of the cases filed before the consumer courts it was held that such practice is in contravention of the rule of law and held the companies liable for deficiency of services. In the light of various consumer courts’ judgments the rule is settled that once the companies activate the phone connection they can’t disconnected the same without giving a proper notice to the customer.

Some Companies fixed credit limit of the customer and the phone is automatically disconnected the moment it exceed credit limit. Disconnection on this ground is also illegal unless the proper notice was given to the customer.

Other Problems:

Apart from disconnection the customer may also face some other problems i.e. Inflated bills, change in the tariff plan without his consent, additional services which were not subscribed by the customer, poor connectivity, withdrawal of outgoing facilities/ internet facilities etc. and non activation of such facilities after request for the same, bills after disconnection of phone or non disconnection after application for the same. All these also amount to the deficiency of the service and the customer can avail the following legal remedies.