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Nov 26, 2012, 03.49 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Surrendering mobile number: 4 things you shouldn't miss

In an ideal world, acquisition of something is far more difficult and tedious than surrendering it. But who said that the world was ideal; even less so when that world comprises of the telecom companies.

Runjhun Noopur
Akosha is an online
consumer forum

In an ideal world, acquisition of something is far more difficult and tedious than surrendering it. But who said that the world was ideal; even less so when that world comprises of the telecom companies. For  glimpse of the troubles that brew in the telecom world, see 10 things your telecom service provider will never tell you .

Hence, in this world of consumers, acquiring a postpaid mobile connection is easier than dropping the proverbial hat. Surrendering that very connection, however, is a different story.

Akosha has been getting scores of complaints with respect to postpaid connections that could not be cancelled for months despite repeated requests and completion of procedural requirements. Even worse are the instances where despite complete settlement and surrender of connection by the consumer, the company kept sending the bills for the cancelled connection. In most such cases, the trouble escalates with bills quickly turning into legal notices for payment of the outstanding amount for services that were never availed by the harried consumer. Cases of illegitimate demand of payment of substantial sums of money for cancelling the accounts are also not uncommon.

Akosha is not alone. A mere glance through various consumer forums available online shall quickly settle the doubts, if any, about the gravity of this issue.

While there is no sure shot way to avoid this mess completely, there are a couple of pointers that every consumer should keep in mind while dealing with such situations to avoid being cheated of their time and money.

Do it yourself- This is the most important and probably the only way to avoid multiple issues that arise at the consumer help desk. Always ask the consumer help representative the exact procedure to cancel/ surrender the connection instead of simply saying that you want to cancel the connection. Relying on a consumer care representative to ensure that your connection will be cancelled is a huge blunder that can cost you dearly in the long run. Actually, it sometimes costs dearly in the short run too when the consumer care representative asks for payment of a couple of hundred rupees ostensibly garbed as convenience fee or security.

In most cases, the actual procedure for cancelling the account is a simple 3 step process:

  1. Write a brief letter requesting the cancellation of your account along with the declaration of the fact that you have already settled all outstanding dues. Your telecom service provider may have pre-defined template for this. Ask their consumer care representative for it. If you can’t find the template, write it as a brief application.
  2. Attach your latest bill.
  3. Submit it at the nearest branch of service provider and to at least 3 or 4 different email ids of the customer care.
Duplicate- With cancellation related issues multiplying, duplication is always a good idea. Send your cancellation request to multiple email ids in addition to the local branch. Troll the service providers’ website, related forums and everything else of relevance on the internet to find the possible places where you can send your cancellation request and send it everywhere. People who have been in similar situation with the same telecom service provider often provide useful tips on the issue. Do have a look at them at various online forums and review websites. Sending out application to multiple sources also helps, even though partially, in situations where the cancellation is inexplicably delayed and bills keep pouring in.

Get your cancellation request number- Once you file your cancellation request at the local branch, make sure you get a cancellation request number. This is essential for all your future communication with the service provider in this regard. Also, it is a proof that you had indeed duly placed the request and will be useful, in the event the cancellation is inadvertently delayed or denied.

Get a full and final settlement letter- Once your connection is cancelled, make sure you get a full and final settlement letter from an authorized personnel. This is extremely crucial especially when the instances of wrong billing of canceled connections are very common. This is does not guarantee that you will definitely not charged but it at least ensures that you have an evidence in your favor in case you are harassed.

Always remember, if you have settled all your outstanding dues, there is logically no requirement of paying any additional amount for cancellation of your connection. If you are still being asked for money, don’t pay up blindly and ask plenty of questions. Usually multiple calls to the customer help desk does the trick. It enhances the possibility of you coming across a representative who would be willing to give you the correct information with respect to both payment and procedure.

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