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Not activating ECS mandate and charging late fees
Jun 27, 2008 12:45 PM 5526 Views

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I got a new post paid data card connection (9373599493) from Reliance Web World, Parihar Chowk, Aundh, Pune in September 2007. Within a few days, after about five visits to get ECS form, I gave standing instructions (ECS Mandate) at the same Webworld, Aundh, Pune for debiting my bills to my credit card, for which I filled in the required form and gave copy of my credit card.

In early December I realized that I had not yet received any bill for this connection. I tried several times to contact Reliance Help numbers (*333 and 30333333) but both were continuously engaged. Having earlier experience in connection with my post paid mobile phone connection (9370148115), I went to Webworld to check about the bill and also if the ECS facility had been activated. I was told that the ECS would be activated from the next bill. Hence I paid Rs 406 by cash against the previous dues.

I found that late payment charge of Rs 50.00 had been included in the bill dated 14-12-07. I protested against this to the counter personnel that I did not receive the bill and also that I had given ECS mandate. So I asked that the Rs 50 late payment fee should be reversed. The counter person told me that she was sending a request on this.

On 8-1-08 I went to the Webworld to verify if the payment had been recovered against my ECS mandate. I found that the ECS mandate had still not been activated. Hence I paid Rs 533 that day and again requested that the Rs 50.00 fee for late payment that was included in this amount should be waived. I also asked and got confirmation from the person concerned, Mr Somnath that ECS will be activated in the next billing cycle.

In early February I got about 5 calls from different numbers of Reliance to remind me about payment due on the 4th February. In each case I replied to the callers that I had given ECS mandate, Reliance should recover the bill amount from my credit card. Why they are calling me. However, to be on the safe side, I visited the Webworld on the 5th February. I was shocked to find that the ECS mandate had STILL NOT BEEN ACTIVATED. Moreover, the bill amount of Rs 711 included one more charge of Rs 50.00 for delayedpayment(last month’s bill was paid on 8th January against the due date of 4th January. I made request again to waive the late payment charges imposed for no fault of mine. I was told that any complaint has to be given within 30 days, forgetting about the fact that I had complained on the 8th January. The person then stated that he will try. I also got assurance that ECS mandate will be activated next month and I need not visit them again for payment.

Based on the above assurance I did not visit them in March to pay my bill of 14-2-08. Interestingly, I did not get any reminder call throughout the month and till I got the bill dated 14-3-08, for Rs 905. This included the unpaid bill dated 14-2-08 of Rs 457 and yetanother late payment fee of Rs 50.00. I protested strongly about this and was again assured that ECS would be activated soon. In fact this time Mr Somnath admitted that there had been some internal problem due to which ECS mandates were not being activated for the last few months. He also showed me my original request and copy of my credit card that was in his drawer since I submitted way back in October last year. Moreover, when I made the payment at the counter, only Rs 730 was recovered as against the bill amount of 905. When asked the reason for this, the person who took the payment could not give any reason except stating that your system was showing Rs 730 as outstanding.

On the 18th April when I tried to use Netconnect, I found that outgoing had been barred for my data card. After several attempts I was able to get through to your helpline. After being transferred from one person to the second to the third and back to the first and wasting about half an hour, no one could tell me the reason for barring my number. Finally the person told me it must have been due to some technical fault and he restored the facility for outgoing.

Despite all the assurances till then, my bill date 14-4-08 showed yetanother late payment fee of Rs 50.00.Immediately after getting the bill I rushed to the Webworld as I was to go out of town that day and needed to use the data card during my outstation visit. The bill was for Rs 254, but the person at the counter told me that the system was showing outstanding as Rs 615.00. Accordingly I paid Rs 615.00 and repeated the same complaints about ECS not being activated and on top of it I am continuously being penalized by Rs 50.00 every month. I demanded that all the late payment charges recovered from me should be refunded. The counter personnel directed me to the Manager, Mr Aditya Thakur. I explained all my sufferings to him. He told me that Mr Somnath was on leave and the lady handling ECS had gone for lunch. So he asked me to wait till she comes back. I had to leave for Mumbai and was getting late. So he noted my name, data card number and mobile number. He assured me that he would call me back to inform me of the status. MORE THAN ONE MONTH HAS PASSED BY but neither he nor any one else has yet bothered to inform me on this matter. Why would they bother about one customer who they feel has to depend on Reliance. They get their fat salaries and incentives and facilities because of the extra money you have been merrily recovering from me for ‘delayed payments’.

So much for customer service from a company whose aim seems to be ‘Kar lo customer muthi mein!!’

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