Vodafone customers get hoax SMS about company's shutdown

Apr 17, 2013, 06:42 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Officials immediately lodged a complaint with the Cyber Cell after message claims company's city operations were closing due to expiration of licence

IF you are a Vodafone user and received a message from the firm asking you to switch service provides as its operation in the city was about to end soon, then do not worry as it was a hoax message.


Soon after the message went viral, Vodafone officials immediately lodged a complaint with the Cyber Cell, stating that it was a ploy to damage company’s reputation. With 6.1 million subscribers, Vodafone is the largest service provider in the city.

In their letter to the officials of the Cyber Cell, Vodafone officials wrote: The message was passed to malign our brand and to cause financial, business and reputational losses and damage to our company by inducing unsuspecting customers to port out from Vodafone.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Niket Kaushik confirmed that Vodafone officials had approached the Crime Branch following which the case was transferred to the Cyber Cell officials of the Bandra-Kurla Unit. Kaushik said further investigation was on.

Official word
Suresh Rangarajan, associate vice-president (Public Relations) for Vodafone India, said, “Please do note that Vodafone’s present licence for Mumbai circle is valid till November 2014, which is over eighteen months away. Hence, the speculation about ‘switching off’ does not arise. Further, Vodafone India is exploring all options to ensure that its services continue uninterrupted over the longer term.

The allegement made in the fraud SMS being sent to some Vodafone customers in Mumbai on the likelihood of Vodafone shutting its operations in Mumbai, is misleading and a misrepresentation of facts that adversely impacts Vodafone and millions of Vodafone customers in Mumbai.” Also, the company officials informed the Cyber Cell officials of the firm they suspected could have sent the SMS, which is now under the scanner. 

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