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SIFY pays for deficiency in service
Ankur Raheja took SIFY to court for not providing him the promised speed and for hiding various package conditions. The court has termed it as deficiency in service and has ordered the service provider to pay compensation to the customer.
DELHI’S NORTH-WEST District Consumer Forum has by its order dated November 8, 06, directed India’s ISP SIFY Ltd (SIFY Broadband) to pay a compensation of Rs 8,200, including a refund of Rs 1,200 to a consumer, Ankur Raheja, an IT lawyer by profession, for indulging in unfair trade practices and deficiency in service.

The case was related to the non-disclosure of significant terms and conditions, which included hidden conditions that after downloading of 750 MB data in a month the speed would be reduced to 14 Kbps and also a new condition that if a customer downloaded more than 150 MB data in a day his package validity would be reduced by a day.

This judgement is being seen as a landmark judgement, as for the first time technical deficiency has been proved in the court of law in India against an Internet company. The court interpreted the matter from the point of view of the definition of Broadband as laid down by TRAI, which lays down the criteria of minimum speed of 256 Kbps to be followed by Broadband. Accordingly, the court has said that the giving of 14 Kbps speed instead of 256 Kbps is a “deficiency in service.”

It has also been held that SIFY Broadband has a poor customer service that did not redress the customer complaints and sold packages as ’unlimited packages’ when there existed hidden conditions. This clearly amounts to deficiency in service on the part of SIFY Limited and can also be seen as indulging in unfair trade practices.

The case was supported in the cyber world by hundreds of SIFY customers from all over India, who all experienced similar problems and supported the case throughout. Their testimonials were also included in the original complaint as Annexure.

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