The Ernakulam consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered a cable operator, which disconnected cable connection without serving notice, to restore the service and meet the expenses of taking up the case in the forum. The complaint was filed by Reji Varghese in Tripunithura against D-Net Malayalam Communications in Kaloor.

As per the complaint, there were around 80 channels at the beginning and the number of channels decreased gradually. When the complaint was filed in December 2014, there were only 40 channels available, but no changes in the subscription fee.

The complainant said that as per the rules of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), it is mandatory for the service provider to offer a package of 100 free to air (FTA) channels to their subscribers at Rs 100 per month, excluding taxes.

The cable operator disconnected the cable connection in August 2014 without prior notice. The cable operator, during the hearing, contended that many FTA channels became pay channels and cost of services skyrocketed and Varghese had defaulted his payment. "The cable was disconnected for one-and-a-half months after informing the family,'' the operator said.

The consumer forum noted that the act of the cable operator amounted to deficiency of services. The operator should meet the expense of the family in the forum.

"When consumers take subscription for cable connection for one year by paying certain amount, the consumer should get all channels they were promised. But cable operators later cut the channels saying it became pay channel, which is unfair," said forum president Cherian K Kuriakose. – TOI