On Monday morning, 26 year-old Benjie Thomas was taken aback when he received a call allegedly from a Delhi High Court lawyer, informing him that telecom company Tata Docomo would sue him.
According to his Facebook post this morning, the lawyer informed him that the company would file a legal case and send him a warrant if he fails to pay Rs.3500, which was apparently due against a postpaid Photon+ plan that he used over two years ago in Mumbai.
Not only did the lawyer give him an ultimatum to pay the amount in an hour to â€śsettle the matter out of courtâ€ť, but also went on to say that he will have to appear at the Delhi High Court if the case is filed.
Speaking to The News Minute, he reiterated that he discontinued the service after clearing all dues, but the companyâ€™s online portal now shows an amount due, without any explanation of the charges whatsoever.
In a series of comments on his post, many users pointed out the possibility of the call being a hoax, while some others voiced similar experiences they have had, not only from Docomo, but other telecom companies as well.
Many users who claimed to have received similar calls in the past wrote that the calls are made by collection agents claiming to be lawyers. Some also pointed out that they stopped receiving the calls after questioning the caller's whereabouts.
Shubham Srivastava, a software engineer from Bengaluru told The News Minute that he was hounded by a staff of Docomo late last year
Alarmed by the exorbitant bill on a post-paid connection just four months into taking a Tata Docomo number, he said that the complaints he filed through e-mail were not answered properly.
â€śAfter noticing that they were charging me over and above my cap limit, I repeatedly asked them to debrief the bill and then later discontinue the service. But I did not receive proper response from the company,â€ť Shubham said.
He also said that staff from the company kept calling demanding him to pay up the outstanding amount. Shubham claims that the staff even went to the extent of stalking him on Facebook. â€śHe started calling my friends and relatives after having tracked them on Facebook and hounded them saying I havenâ€™t paid my bills,â€ť he recounted.
Some days later, Shubham received a call allegedly from a TRAI official, who informed him that the company would sue him if he does not pay the due amount of Rs.12,000. Suspicious about the authenticity of the call, Shubham approached TRAI, who confirmed that the call was not made by them and was informed that there was no provision for the telecom company to sue a customer through TRAI.
Determined to sort out the issue, Shubham approached HSR police station and took up the matter with the companyâ€™s legal team, who not only verbally apologized for the mishap, but also promised to issue a written apology, which Shubham has not received even now.
While an officer of Appellate Authority from Tata Indicom (Delhi) confirmed that the company does issue legal notices to defaulters, the officer said that the company has not received any complaints of unauthorized calls in the past.