Airtel Prepaid / Christ Hello Tunes — Christ Hello tunes automatically subscribed
My wife suddenly received the following SMS around 16th July 2009 (she is using Airtel prepaid number [protected]) from 543212:
"Thank you for subscribing to Christ Devotion. You have been charged Rs.10 for 10 days. To unsubscribe Dial *321*911# (Toll-free)"
I am in Bangalore and my wife is in Pune, so I cannot help her to unsubscribe. She says that she tried to dial the number to unsubscribe but was not able to do so. She is a devout Hindu and would never want to subscribe to 'Christ Devotion'.
How can Airtel force someone to subscribe without their permission (even if they gave a way to unsubscribe)? Since then, every 10 days, Rs. 10 is being deducted from her prepaid balance. This is a criminal behavior by Airtel, that too in the name of God, and amounts to a disrespect for the entire Christian community.
It is obvious from the high number of complaints against Airtel, that there are some criminal elements inside the organization. These need to be tracked down and arrested, money needs to be returned to the consumers and the criminals should be jailed for at least a year.
I would like to appeal to TRAI to initiate a criminal investigation against Airtel based on this information. The investigation should pay for itself based on the fine charged to Airtel. Is it legal/safe for these subscriptions to be allowed in the first place? There should be a system in place where the person wishing to subscribe has to fill up a form and sign, (or use personal digital certificate signing) so that the mobile company can be asked to produce evidence that the person indeed wanted to subscribe to the service. Sadly I do not think that prepaid mobile phone companies have the same sense of ethics as banks (though they should).