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Consumers’ Forum files complaint against RCom

The Consumers' Legal Protection Forum, a consumer rights body on Monday filed a complaint with the Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunications and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) against Reliance Communications (R Com) on its sudden shutdown of services in Assam and other North Eastern States.

In its complaint to Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Communications and R.S. Sharma Chairman, TRAI the forum stated that subscribers of Reliance Communications (RCom) of Assam and other North Eastern States are having a harrowing time since the telecom company stopped its services without notice. The services virtually collapsed in Assam and other parts of the North East since October 26, 2017.

Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, Secretary, Consumers' Legal Protection Forum in the complaint letter alleged that the company is cheating with the consumers by its abrupt shutdown. RCom never informed that it was going to close down its business. There were no text messages or any advertisement in the newspapers.

With the company effecting large-scale job cuts, the situation has become all the more confusing. There is no clarification from the company side till now. Most of the customer care centers are closing down. There are no prepaid vouchers in the market. Security deposits of the consumer are also probably going to be lost in these circumstances.Postpaid consumers are having a tough time in porting their number to other service providers as they are insisting on clearing the bill first. Meanwhile RCom has already closed down its bill payment counters.

It takes at least 15 to 20 days to activate an old number if a consumer wants to switch over to another service provider through portability. As per information RCom has approximately 12 lakh customers (both prepaid and postpaid) in the North East. In Guwahati, its customer base is around 60,000. The telecom company has violated consumer norms by stopping their services without informing the customers.

Since, it's a matter of vital public interest the forum sought immediate intervention of the Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunications and TRAI.

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