Amit Roy from London in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan feels he has been deliberately humiliated by the mobile phone company O2 which treated him less favourably than most customers by forcing him to pay a £325 deposit and refusing to budge even after he had explained he was an established scientist with an impeccable record of paying his bills.
“I am actually slightly suspicious that there is an element of racism at play here as well, since I can’t think of a logical reason why I should be denied credit,” said Ramakrishnan, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for chemistry, worth $1.4 million, with two other scientists.
The problems began on December 2 last year when Ramakrishnan, a US citizen settled with his wife in Cambridge for the past 10 years, went to a city centre O2 store to buy the highly recommended iPhone 3GS black, 32 Mb.
Ramakrishnan had no difficulty with the young white assistant who served him but the store’s manager insisted he would have to pay a deposit if he wanted the phone. Customers considered credit-worthy are not usually asked to pay such a deposit. More: