How is Just Dial fleecing everyone?

Even when you are sick you cannot be sure of getting the desired treatment from the place you want. There is no guarantee of services from the backend, and the consumers probably has no idea that they are being conned.

On 26th August, 2013 a friend Vanya Kaushik called up Lal Path Labs Sector 16, Chandigarh, she needed to get done blood tests of her grandmother. Lal Path labs which is a pioneer medical testing laboratory in the country, assured Vanya, that the tests will be done next morning that is on 27th August, 2013. They were charging Rs 350, where Rs 300 was the fee for the tests and Rs 50 for providing services at home.

Astonishingly someone claiming to be from Lal Path Labs turned up at their place on the same day, 26th August, 2013. When enquired why he had come before the scheduled appointment, he said, there were no prior preoccupations and the tests could be done immediately.

Suspecting no more, the Kaushik family let him do his job. He charged them Rs 400 and left. Since the guy charged more than the actual cost, Vipul Kaushik, a family member called Lal Path labs and inquired about the sudden increase. Mr Kaushik was shocked when the lab denied sending anyone and stating that their tests were still pending.

Worried because of intrusion in privacy and violation of consumer rights, the family decided to call all the labs they had availed services from earlier. All labs denied having done the tests.

Meanwhile, the family called Lal Path again, inquiring if someone had turned up with the reports, they denied completely sounding hostile. The family suspecting something fishy went to the lab in Sector 16 and demanded an explanation.  After an hour of heated discussion, one of the employees called up someone to ask if he had done the tests. Apparently he had and this guy worked for some other lab in Sector 37.

Now exasperated, the family asked how had someone whose services they did not seek turn up at their doorstep claiming to be someone else! They had called up Lal Path labs to conduct the tests, they were registered, an entry was made in their name. Below is the picture giving the proof that Lal Path was supposed to conduct those tests.


Where did this guy posing from Lal Path lab come to know, that tests needed to be done at a particular place? Where did he find out the Kaushik’s home phone number and rest of the details? Bizarre, right?

The answer is pretty easy, Justdial, the biggest online directory in the country had intercepted the call between the family and Lal Path labs. Once they had all the information of the conversation that happened, they mailed all the details to the other lab. Here is the copy of the mail that the other lab in Sector 37 (Mediquest Labs)  received from Just dial. They forwarded it to the family after being inquired about their source of information.


So does this mean, Just dial is tapping phone calls of various organizations and leaking information to other organizations? Are these organizations paying Just Dial for this?  Who is to be blamed? Just Dial? Organizations paying Just dial?How can these  calls be intercepted? Is there any role the network providers are playing in the tapping of phones without authority?  Are we safe when conducting business deals over phone calls?

The marketing head of Lal Path labs admitted to the breach in code of conduct but neither he nor the lab in-charge said anything on record. Just dial was called later in the evening but they refused to talk. Several mails to them have gone unanswered. The family received the following anonymous hand-written note early in the morning. They have no idea who could have sent the note, but it is very lucid it is either Just Dial or the other organization. Who is to be blamed? What action has to be taken? This is a clear case of violation of customer privacy and rights.  How many people are affected by this?

Anonymous letter

Anonymous letter