Hats off to Mr Rohan Arora for keeping his complaint alive for five years! A PTI report on the Times of India site says Nokia India was recently asked to refund Mr Arora Rs 37K for the phone he sent in for repair in 2007, plus a compensation of Rs 25K and 5K for dispute proceedings.
As the report says, the South-II District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum found the phone retailer, and Nokia India, guilty of "unfair trade practice." Unfortunately, they believed that the refund plus 25K was compensation enough for a 5-year-old case. (Mr Arora lost about Rs 12K just to inflation over these years, and we don't know how many hairs on his head.)
It's nice to see a few complaints out of thousands being addressed by consumer courts and smaller legal bodies. Just two or three days ago, Airtel was told by a consumer forum to compensate a subscriber Rs 6K for not activating services after the payment was made. Earlier in August, Airtel was asked by a Delhi consumer forum to pay a customer 25K for "harass(ing) ... without any rhyme and reason."
The problem of large companies not caring about individual customers is complex, though. For starters, there are almost a billion phones in India; people have more mobile access than access to toilets. But anyone who's had a mobile-service complaint will tell you that the process is a nightmare: The way you're referred to "the relevant department," how your "case is escalated," etc.
Let's look at the really bright side: Calling rates in India, like bus and rail transport rates, are among the lowest in the world. This writer was recently surprised when a friend in the UAE asked him to call back – because international rates are way too high there.
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