Give mobile number ownership to citizens as legal right, stop harassment by operators!

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Honorable Minister in Charge,

Government of India.

Mobile number has become an integral part of individual identity in this age of digital economy. Aadhar, nearly mandatory for everything now, functions through mobile number OTPs. Banking transactions are increasingly executed through mobile and in case of wallets, mobile number itself is the bank account. From messaging platforms like WhatsApp to ecommerce sites, mobile number represents individual identity!

Unfortunately, this importance of mobile number is misused by telecom operators to cheat, threaten and unfairly control the relationship with consumers. It must be acknowledged that telecom company is a service provider and not the absolute owner of our identity (mobile numbers). In any other trade, if there is a dispute between service provider and consumer, they both have an option to go to the court, but the service provider does not exercise control over the consumer’s identity. There are millions of cases, where telecom companies wrongly charge the customers and there is a situation of dispute. In such cases, both parties should have equal rights to go to courts and service provider has the right to stop offering services to the customer. But what happens is that the company controls the identity of individual and threatens to not only stop providing the service but to bar the number, the individual identity itself! A consumer must be allowed to port out to other service providers without being forced to pay wrong bills. Company of course retains the right to approach courts against the consumers! Consumers, if wrong must pay the bill with penalty and interests as directed by honorable courts.

It is unfair that telecom operators can generate wrong bills and force consumers to pay those bills with threat of controlling their mobile numbers, which happen to be their bank accounts, social media handles, ecommerce login credentials, Aadhar verification channel and so much more!

I have personally been through this ordeal and several of my friends and acquaintances have faced similar problems! I request you to implement an act or pass necessary regulations to provide ownership of mobile numbers to individuals. 

Mobile numbers are part of our identity and no one should control it and hold us to ransom! I seek your kind support and request for prompt action, through this petition on behalf of millions of users!



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