Bharti Airtel and its promoter Sunil Mittal have been directed by a consumer forum in New Delhi to pay Rs 150,000 as compensation to a subscriber, who was not able to avail the free trips he was entitled to on buying connections of the telecom company.
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said that Tara Chand, a Delhi-based businessman, was entitled to three domestic trips instead of one as contended by Airtel since he had bought the connections in the names of three directors of his firm.
It was Airtel's contention that no matter how many connections were bought by a person, he was entitled to only one free trip.
"We are of the opinion that the complainant was entitled to get the benefit of three journeys (trips) which were not availed by him... and as such suffered financial loss, inconvenience, harassment and mental agony for which he is entitled to be reasonably compensated.
"Taking into consideration the entitlement and other factors, we hereby direct the opposite parties (Airtel and Sunil Mittal) to pay a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh jointly or severely to the complainant as compensation, damages and cost of litigation," a bench presided by Narendra Kumar said.
The order came on the complaint of Tara Chand who bought 13 Airtel connections on the basis of a scheme launched by the telecom firm that on buying its post-paid connection, a subscriber is entitled to "get an Indian Airlines to and fro ticket to most destinations within India".
Chand said that after buying the connections, when he filled up the form for availing the free trips, Airtel informed him that as per the scheme's terms and conditions he was entitled to only one trip and they also changed the destinations he had opted for as well as the date of journey.
Due to these changes, he had opted not to avail the offer and filed a complaint in the consumer forum, he had alleged.
The forum, while providing him some relief, observed that as per the scheme's terms and conditions Airtel was entitled to change the destinations and date of journey.