This case is one of its kind in India.
Vodafone has sued a customer for posts on his Facebook wall that criticized the company. Vodafone has sent legal notice to Dhaval Valia, that held Valia responsible for “false allegations“, “defamatory statement on social networking website Facebook“, sending “unneeded and unwarranted text messages to the company’s senior officers“, having “heated conversation“ with a “senior female officer“, “threatening“ the company, posting the “names and contact details“ of two senior Vodafone officers who have been getting calls from the “public at large“ and “facing mental trauma and torture“ due to Valia’s “intentional and mischievous conduct“ (via).
The Facebook Status
“Finally got Vodafone to admit that across Mumbai they have only 50% cell sites on 3G. Spoke to CEO (chief executive officer) and CMO (chief marketing officer). Told them that this is blatant cheating.
CMO in typical babu style told me if you aren’t happy with service, you have choice to move to another operator. I told I choose to stay with Vodafone and give them grief if I don’t get promised SLAs. Grudgingly he made 2 months 3G plan free worth 2500.“ (sic).”
The notice asked him to refrain from making any comments against the company and also remove the posts in 48 hours (via).
A case of social media understanding gone wrong? Can a company file legal case against people for their Facebook updates criticizing the company? Where do you draw the line between freedom of speech and ‘spreading rumor’?
A frustrated customer has no option but to resort to ‘hurting’ the company, share his story with friends (FB/Orkut wherever), and even earlier we have seen people sharing the mobile number of senior executives of telecom companies to vent out their frustration.
Isn’t this a case of super desperation on behalf of Vodafone to shut the mouth of its customer (for bad QoS)? Would you go for a new Vodafone connection that comes with a legal disclaimer – ‘Don’t bitch about us?’
What’s your take?
Aside, we ‘appreciate’ Vodafone’s maturity to not file a case against Facebook (unlike several other instances in India).