Law & Policy

China Mobile Beijing Branch Loses Lawsuit For Excessive International Call Fees

Chinese consumer Zhang Yongping sued China Mobile Beijing branch for erroneously charging him over CNY1,400 for international call fees and the Beijing Chaoyang People's Court announced the decision on November 26, 2008 and ordered the telcom company to return the over-charged CNY1,432.18 to Zhang.

Zhang reportedly went abroad for four months at the end of 2007. Before his departure, he applied for the call forwarding service of China Mobile. However, without making any call during his overseas travel, Zhang received a bill for over CNY1,000 when he returned to China. The reason for the overcharge was that the call forwarding service called "Little Secretary" did not charge the CNY0.10 call conversion fee like it promised. Instead, it charged the price of normal international long-distance calls when converting Zhang's calls.

Thereafter, Zhang sued the China Mobile Beijing branch at the Beijing Chaoyang People's Court and asked the defendant to return the over-charge of CNY1440.28. In addition, Zhang required the company to return the CNY247.82 call fee on the bill, of which the company could neither supply the IDs of the callers or the people who received the call.

The Beijing Chaoyang People's Court announced its decision on November 26, and said Chinese consumers have reason to believe that the information offered by China Mobile's 10086 customer service hotline is accurate. Therefore, the charging standards offered by the telcom can be viewed as an agreement between the two parties. The China Mobile Beijing branch should return the CNY1432.18 to Zhang, the court ruled.

In addition, consumers have the right to know the truth about the service they receive, so for the unidentified CNY247.82 fee, the court ordered the China Mobile Beijing branch to also return that money to Zhang for failing to fulfill its notification obligation.

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