Vodafone Essar has chickened out of defamation claims against one of its customers.
The Indian arm of the monstrous mobile company had gone on the warpath against one Dhaval Valia, a business journalist, after he took to Facebook to moan about the company’s service. In particular, lousy 3G.
Mr Valia’s status did more than spark debate, attracting the unwanted attention of Vodafone’s legal teams. Vodafone slapped him with a notice claiming he had made false and defamatory statements against it on the social network. It allegedly ordered him to show up to court and remove all of the critical posts within 48 hours.
It also made claims that the journalist had sent out text messages to Vodafone’s top management – as well as arguing with a member of its staff and posting her contact details on the web.
Those who agreed with Valia and offered supporting comments about the company also became the subject of Vodafone’s wrath. As a result it also threw a legal notice at them
However, according to the Economic Times, it seems to have retreated with its tail dangling somewhere behind its legs. The notices have been retracted in “good faith.” It’s kind of like the school bully not beating someone up for a day.
Vodafone says it had always “welcomed critical feedback” and suggestions from customers over social media as it helped it to improve its services. It could be argued this is a corporate way of trying to nip a PR disaster in the bud.
Despite Valia saying he’s pleased the charges have been dropped, he says he may follow up with a court case against the company where he’ll demand compensation for damages.
What goes around comes around.