BSNL is harassing me and trying to scam me out of Rs 8,000. How should I proceed?

#1
Greetings!
Around 2 years ago, I had applied for a BSNL broadband connection to my home in Lucknow Cantt. The linemen came, installed the router a week after my request. However, the connection was never activated from their end. It took me several requests the router showed some signs of life, but still no connectivity as the light on that globe icon on the router remained red.

To say that I had tried to resolve the issue with the local SDO would be an understatement. There wasn't an option I did not avail but, the SDO, a Mr. Sahu showed absolutely no interest. This to and fro went on for almost 3 months where the SDO would say they are working on the issue, please wait and then stop responding.

Now, after several months I finally decided to call it a day and have the connection terminated, however, just then I receive a notice from BSNL stating I owed them Rs 9,000. Really WTF??? They had never even turned on the router and I couldn't even download a bit of data, yet they had the temerity to mail me a bill!

I approached the SDO he directed me to their regional office, who then directed me to their main head office. The senior manager seemed sympathetic and said that I can take a receiving from them and submit the telephone and router, which I did. At that point, everything seemed to be over. And that brings us to today as I got a summons from court on account of non-payment of bill.

This is obviously customer harassment at best and really all I can say is I am dumbfounded at the level of BSNL's incompetence. Also, I am at a complete loss for a solution and I was hoping to pick the brains of the people here on what to expect and how I should proceed.

Thank you so much!
 
#2
Hmm, very precarious situation. What do the bills from the month they installed the router at your home say about your broadband charges? Did they charge you every month for broadband until you terminated the connection?
 
#3
That's the thing. I never got any bills. The only time they gave me something is when I approached the regional office at which point they had the bills printed out for those months. But, I never actually got a single bill from the time of the installation to the point where I got the notice. Had I received some heads up that I was being charged, I would have immediately had the connection terminated.
 
#4
Did you opt for a broadband connection "without" landline plan? If not, then how did you pay your landline bills all those months without anyone informing you that your bill amount is more than the landline charges? BSNL has a "Go green" policy in place since the past few years wherein they discourage paper bills and requests the customers to opt for e-bills - either by sms to a registered mobile number and/or a registered e-mail id. Paper bills seldom reach the customers because of delay by post. I haven't received a paper bill in years. You too must have given a mobile number or an email-id at the time of application for the broadband services. Usually they send the bill via sms or email in the first week of every month.

Another thing, did you ever make any official complaint via the 1501 number where they give you a complaint number? Or do you have any record of your complaints to them that your broadband services have not been activated? You can go to the self-care BSNL website and keep track of your complaints made officially to them and the statuses of those complaints (solved or not). In the absence if any record that your broadband service never activated it'd be just your word against theirs and you will have to end up paying the penalty charges. You probably need expert legal help.
 



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Sushubh

Administrator
#5
one way to go would be to file an rti asking for information regarding your connection. when was it activated. call details, data usage details. since the connection was never activated... usage details should be all blank. though i don't know if they would provide these details easily.

and if a direct solution cannot be found with interaction with the head of the local exchange... consumer court is the next logical option. you might also want to try filing a complaint through PGPortal regarding this harassment.
 
#6
Thanks guys. @sniper, yes, my plan was without any landline, although, I didn't opt for any but they did install a phone none the less. Re - bills, I didn't get any in the mail or email and to the best of my knowledge, I got none on the phone either.

Something just occurred to me last night. Once I decided to have the connection terminated, I deposited the router and phone at their local office here and the guys gave me a signed No Objection Certificate which was then stamped by the Lucknow head office.

If my bills really were pending, then a NOC really couldn't have been issued as they can only give me one if the bills are cleared. Do you think this might strengthen my case?
 

dextermorgan

Amazing Member
Regulars
#7
This seems suspiciously like the modus operandi of Tata photon plus/ tikona broadband bill collection. Are you sure you got legit court orders?

Just take that to a lawyer and show the NOC certificate too. Most probably this is all bullshit and some collection agency is trying to collect the debt of bsnl from you
 
#8
@dextermorgan, yeah, I knew them guys at BSNL were shammers but this is ridiculous! I am pretty sure the court orders were legit as they were handed to me by policemen. I did have a chat with a lawyer friend of mine and he tells me that the court where I will have to appear is a people's court where judgement is passed quickly. He also says the NOC definitely is a point in my favor. I am still exploring all options and will go over to their head office to try and get my usage details out. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how long BSNL might hold a user's records?

Thanks!
 

icar

Active Member
Regulars
#9
If the summons date is not tomorrow, then go straight to the main head office and speak to concern senior officers,

submit all the relevant documents in writing. If he accepts then ask to send a notice to concern department to withdraw the legal .. and ask the officers give a letter stating all dues has been paid
 

dextermorgan

Amazing Member
Regulars
#10
@dextermorgan, yeah, I knew them guys at BSNL were shammers but this is ridiculous! I am pretty sure the court orders were legit as they were handed to me by policemen. I did have a chat with a lawyer friend of mine and he tells me that the court where I will have to appear is a people's court where judgement is passed quickly. He also says the NOC definitely is a point in my favor. I am still exploring all options and will go over to their head office to try and get my usage details out. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how long BSNL might hold a user's records?

Thanks!
Its legit then .Dont worry. there will be several other people with you and you will barely get 5 mins before the judge. jusge will ask you why you didnt pay the dues. Tell your problem and show then the NOC to support your case. then judge will ask the bsnl guy to look into the matter. simple stuff.
definitely meet the bsnl office guys before and present your case. this will save time of both you and the bsnl guys
 

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