Reliance in India, these days, seems to be making all their money by harassing ex-customers for illegal demands of money, and blackmailing their subscribers with fake bills. I was shocked to find more than 500 cases where people have faced the same situation that I am about to narrate all over India filed in the Consumer Court forums. I would assume at this point the High Court would take action against the company’s blatant disregard for the law, and wrongful impersonation of the Honorable High Court Justice / Lawyers.
However, since there is no action taken so far, I will try my best to document my own fight with them for the same, and its outcome here. Hopefully, people can follow in my footsteps, and not get intimidated by this corporate thief. My own case will be recorded below in the chronological order in which it happened, this is as much for my documentation as for helping the next sucker that they try to con.
Reason for Disconnection
This surprised me, but I was one of the first Reliance customers in my neighborhood. Reliance had to set up a network from scratch, and they got the Box (I’m not sure what the technical term is), connected through one of my neighbors flats in the area. Maybe they had to pay rent for the same ? I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that the Reliance guy who came to install it, told me the Box was wired through the terrace of our building, via a neighbors flat near by.
Unfortunately, this meant that when my neighbor went on his yearly holiday every year in March/April (during his kids school vacation I’m guessing), the Box, along with any other device using up electricity would get disconnected. This of course resulted in me losing internet for a whole month every year. I would call and rant on call center/service center, and they could do nothing about it. I was however, forced to continue paying for internet for the entire month that I didn’t get internet for, again through no fault of my own.
I had enough, and in 2010 decided to disconnect their services, and move on to MTNL, a sound provider of internet, one that I knew would make a better choice for me.
1. Disconnection of Reliance Broadband services
2. The bill arrived in June again for the same monthly rental amount.
3. I paid the bill thinking maybe it was for the 5-6 days in May that I used the internet for before I disconnected the services.
1. Bill received from Reliance Broadband Services for Internet services provided during the month of June (ONE MONTH AFTER DISCONNECTION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE SAME)
2. I called the Customer Care requesting reason for said continued bills. Was informed that until the Telephone Device, Modem and Connecting Cables were collected from the customers residence bills would continue since the service was not yet stopped. At this point I requested that the Reliance employees come and take away all equipment
3. Multiple Calls made to Customer Care to entreat them to take the device away. Assurance was made that Reliance agents would come to collect the equipment but no on came
4. Reliance employees came and collected the Reliance Modem and Connecting Cables towards the end of July (ONE MONTH AFTER DISCONNECTION). The employees refused to take the Telephone Device since they insisted it was not their job.
1. Bill received from Reliance Broadband Services for Internet services provided during the month of July (TWO MONTHS AFTER DISCONNECTION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE SAME)
2. Call made to Reliance to find out reason. Customer Care informs that the telephone device is still on the premises. But since no one had come even TWO MONTHS AFTER DISCONNECTION OF SERVICES. I was informed that I could dispose of the device as I saw fit since NOW no one would come to collect it.
3. Device disposed off (actually kept carefully until the Reliance team came and collected it about a year later) & FINAL BILL PAID AND CLEARED. Reliance Call Center confirms that no more bills are due.
4. The bill for Rs. 14/- as shows above was cleared in full.
January 22, 2011
1. Call received from a person claiming to be a Lawyer. Said person threatened to bring the case to Delhi High Court within a few days if an amount of Rs.2000/- is not paid immediately for non submission of the Reliance Telephone Device. (The same device that the customer was told to dispose of in August 2010)
2. Mail sent immediately to Reliance Customer Care from my email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) : as shown in image below.
January 27, 2011 : approx 12:30pm
April 14, 2012 : at about 2:00pm
June 11, 2012 : at exactly 10:20
- Call recd at 10:20am, lasted 4 mins.
- Caller claimed to be a Lawyer from Delhi High Court representing Reliance
- Caller refused to give name or designation
- Caller asked me to pay bill amount of Rs. 3100/- to the nearest Reliance Communications center on my customer ID
- Caller stated that if I failed to do this by 12:00 pm June 11, 2012, I would have to appear in front of the magistrate at Delhi High Court on June 12, 2012.
- When I informed the “lawyer” that no summons were sent, he avoided the issue and stated that if I wanted to close the case to pay the aforementioned amount or she would have to pay Rs. 50,000/- to Reliance Communications and then also additionally pay bail money to the Delhi High Court.
- The caller then disconnected the call
Call details : Number – +91 8290748983
June 11, 2012 : at exactly 10:30
- I called back the number to ask the name, designation and office of the caller. The lawyer refuses to answer. And the call gets disconnected abruptly.
June 11, 2012 : at exactly 12:10
- “Lawyer” calls again and asks if the money has been deposited. Total call lasts 2mins. Details as follows.
- I states that the money cannot be deposited since the bill is an incorrect, the caller starts yelling at me.
- I asked for the caller’s name and designation.
- Caller states that his name is (at this point his voice lowers in pitch and volume and he mumbles) “Vishal Abhiniotri”.
- I requested the spelling of his name he replies : “Vishal” and then refuses to state the last name but this time makes it sound like “Aganiotri”
- I asked him to spell his last name, and he says (and I quote) “Aapko mere naam aur designation se kya lena dena hai”
- I informed him that if this was a legal call he should have no problem giving out his name, and if he doesn’t then it constitutes as harassment by an anonymous number and it is illegal.
- At this point the “lawyer” starts yelling and abusing me verbally and says (and I quote) “Aap agar paisa abhi nahi dete ho toh aapko 2pm ko call ayega and aapko pata chalega ki Delhi High Court aur Reliance ka time barbaad karne ka matlab kya hota hai” then the caller continues, “Aap un auraton mein se ho jo paisa ka matlab nahi jaantein ho and sabka time barbaad karna chaahtein ho, abh aapko 2 pm iska nateeja malum hoga. Reliance ke pass bahot tareke hote hai aur aapko apne actions ka nateeja zaroor malum hoga.”
June 11, 2012 : at exactly 2:30pm
1. Letter sent to Reliance Appellate Authority.
2. No response ever received.
July 11, 2012 : at exactly 3:15pm
1. Post made to the Reliance Communication Facebook wall.
2. Response received from the public and from the Reliance team on Facebook
3. Continual of response from Social Media. If you look at the image below you will see that more people have claimed that the exact same thing has happened to them with Reliance. Refer to comment from Suveer Bajaj in the image below.
July 25, 2012
1. More response received, also a suggestion to complain to the Delhi High Court Bar Council for impersonation and fraud by Reliance claimant officers.
2. Letter drafted and sent to the Bar Council on 26th July, 2012 as follows :
March 5, 2013
1. No more mail or calls were received till today morning.
2. Call received from Delhi High Court and I was told to call Advocate R. K. Chauhan to find out the status of the case. I informed the person (who did not leave his name) that as far as I was aware there was no case. They told me that the case file would be sent to my local police station, and if I wanted to avoid arrest, I would have to pay Rs 30,000/- or call the Advocate R. K. Chauhan
3. I called Advocate R. K. Chauhan of Chauhan and Associates, Delhi, 2:06 pm exactly. I told him the entire matter as it stood today. He informed me that he will look into it, and I should wait for his next call in a few days. Once he clarified a few matters with Reliance, I should seek a NOC from the nearest Reliance office, and once that was done the matter would be closed once and for all.
I find it very hard to believe that this matter could be ever closed. Yet circumstances being what they are, I will continue to hope for the best.