Thane In an ex-parte judgement delivered earlier this week, the Thane Consumer District Forum found Matrix Cellular International Service Limited liable for deficiency in services and for charging a Mira Road resident a bill of ₹1,78,572.
The Forum set aside the bill amount and observed that despite service being affected on Matrix, it chose not to remain present. The Forum also found Matrix liable for mentally harassing Joshua Raaya, 24, who was an arts student of University of Mumbai, and awarded him damages of ₹50,000 and also directed Matrix to also pay an additional amount of ₹10,000 as legal expenses.
The judgement was passed by Milind Sonawane, the president of the forum and Punam Maharshi, a member.
In his complaint before the Forum, Raaya stated that when he was visiting Tokyo, Japan, to learn Japanese between October 19, 2018 to November 9, 2018, he was offered services by Matrix. He was contacted by a representative who offered him a plan which included a one-time fee of ₹99 and approximately ₹4,372 as plan charges, which would entail 150 free India minutes, some free local Japanese minutes and 7 GB free data. Raaya’s complaint states that he was promised a dialling code, which was not given to him.
When he reached Tokyo, he realised that the services were not up to the mark and on top of that, there was no internet data. When he got in touch with the representatives of Matrix, he received an apology email, who acknowledged the disruption in the services offered.
When Raaya came back to India, he received a bill of ₹1,78,752 on January 2, 2019. His complaint stated that he tried reaching out to the representatives of Matrix for an explanation. “Instead of clarifying the amount charged, the representatives of the service provider sent a legal notice and constantly threatened to file legal proceedings against me,” he said.
Raaya then filed a complaint against Matrix before the Thane Consumer Forum. Raaya’s lawyer Joshua Abhay Patnigere said, “We argued before the Forum that this was a clear case of a deficiency of services and that the bill amount was grossly inflated and no clarification was being given as to why this amount should be paid when the cellular service provider had accepted that there was disruption in services that resulted in Raaya being unable to make calls. A duty was owed to Raaya by the service provider and this duty was breached when he was unable to make calls back home when he was student on an educational trip.”
Patnigere added that despite several notices issued by the court, the company remained absent during the judgement.
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