The Consumer Wins

“Euphoria…..Cloud Nine…..Seventh Heaven” all that could be put up here to describe my state of mind would suffice regardless of its contextual meaning, as all the words of happiness are sounding like my kinsman.
It is said that “A penny saved is a penny earned”, but what could be the adage when a penny departed snaps back. It would definitely keep anyone on this planet in high spirits for the days to come.

A month ago, I went to a mobile recharging vendor near the doorstep to get the power, that had been lost many days ago, and my sluggishness was keeping me from recharging. Soon it started taking a heavy toll on my daily proceedings, and finally I decided to get a recharge of one hundred and fifty rupees. I had the habit of recharging with the same amount since I got my first cellphone in college. As the pockets of college students are always leaking, so paying taxes is the worst way to go. This 150 recharge option was a way to circumvent taxes as under a scheme, you could have gotten full talk time compared to the conventional one with 14.86% service tax.

But that was a different day.

As soon as I got the recharge done, I left the vendor’s shop hoping to get a confirmation message while on the way back. I was very elated to see the confirmation message and did’nt bother to read, rather dialed for my first call. Wait…they said that my balance is zero. I was amazed. I went back to the guy whom I had paid to revitalize my account. He told me that the credit has been deducted from his account and I may talk to the customer service representative.

I called.

The guy told me to check the message I had received. He told that a 3G internet pack worth 150 had been credited to my account and when I persisted on why, he retorted by saying that the 150 recharge is for special customers only and that I would have to go with it.And then

“Thank You for calling on the Customer Care. I hope that XYZ…….blaaaaah…blaaah…blaaaah”

This thing happened to me for the first time, but I was not going to sit back. I had heard my friends saying in my early days that 5000 bucks is the penalty if a shopkeeper sells a bread which has fungus. And that one person in the colony had gone consumer court with the fungi stricken bread and had for the amount for a five rupee bread after winning the case in Consumer Court.

I searched on the web for ways to get that pelf transferred from the 3G pack to my talktime balance. And wonder what I got, rather felt, that it was no use complaining and I had to go with it. Meanwhile the website of Akosha team looked like something could be done. It is an NGO working towards dealing in cases pertaining to consumer cheating, and I read a number of previews of the successful cases wherein full amount plus some compensation had been reimbursed. I registered my complaint with the NGO and unable to find any other passage halted there.

Minutes after I got a mail from them, which had details of how, for whom and why they work in the said arena. The next day and for some days after that, I used to get mails that my complaint had been forwarded to my cellular connection company.

It was four days back that I got a call from the customer care again, but from one of their senior level officer, asking me to share my grievance. He assured me of highest possible measure that could be taken to undo the  loss. The next minute I got a message regarding the full recharge to my talk time balance.

I had’nt and could’nt ever thought that things in India could get this smooth. But hats off to the Akosha team for their support and method of working which enables even those who cannot or do not have the time to go through the hassles of fighting for their RIGHTS OF CONSUMERISM.

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