Consumer Complaints in India
Being a consumer of goods and services, we all need certain provisions to protect our rights in case of any discrepancy. For that, we are entitled to seek relief under the Consumer Protection Act. There are numerous cases where consumers are cheated and harassed in many ways. Not only this, the inferior quality of goods forms a major issue. In the age of e-commerce, this brings many more issues for the consumer. Therefore there was a strong need felt to protect the consumers and for that Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was passed keeping in view the need to protect Consumers. And the consumer has a right to file a complaint under the Act.
Besides consumer, the following can also file a consumer complaint:
- Any person who is a beneficiary of the goods/services
- Legal representatives of deceased consumers
- Legal heirs of the deceased consumer
- Husband of the consumer
- Relative of the consumer
The complaint can be filed without the help and the services of any lawyer. The consumer protection Act has provided a very simple procedure to file the complaint that even a layman can file the complaint of its own. Also, there is no requirement to pay any court fee at the time of filing any complaint in the Act.
How to file a consumer complaint?
Before filing a Consumer Complaint, the Consumer should give notice to the party about the unfair trade practice or lack of services. This is done to see if the trader is will make good the loss suffered by either replacing the commodity or returning the value of the purchase. And if the trader refuses, then the consumer can approach the Consumer Courtto fulfill the needs.
- Identify the Jurisdiction of the Forum where the complaint is to be filed. It can be classified into two angles of jurisdiction i.e. Territorial and Pecuniary.
- District forum deals with the cases upto Rs. 20 lakhs, state commission deals with the cases up to Rs. 1 crore and national commission deal with the cases exceeding Rs. 1 crore.
- Pay the prescribed fee along with the complaint before the District Forum, State Commission & the National Commission as the case may be.
- Draft your complaint stating facts to establish the cause of action.
- Put your signatures at the end along with the authorization letter.
- Mention the name, description, and address of the complainant and the name, description, address of the opposite party or parties against whom relief is claimed.
- Attach the copies of all the documents supporting the allegations.
- Ask for the compensation costs, or the refunds, damages, litigation costs, and interest amount.
- File an affidavit along with the complaint stating that the facts in the complaint are true and correct.
Facts of the related Case
Failure to issue refund pinches Amazon, dealer
- The district consumer disputes redressal forum has penalized an e-commerce site and a dealer for not refunding the cost of the mobile phone that was returned due to defects.
- The forum has directed the manager of 369 Sarathy Arcade, Bengaluru and merchant returns, Amazon Seller Services Private Limited, to refund the cost of the phone Rs. 8,998 and Rs. 5,000 relief for harassment and litigation charges incurred by the complaint, Ansh Jain, a resident of Kalka, Panchkula.
- The matter dates back to June 2017, when Ansh had ordered the phone from the website on cash on delivery basis. The phone was delivered, but within a few days, the calls and volume in video calls started malfunctioning.
- The complainant contacted the customer care and was advised to place an online return as the phone was under warranty. He then returned the phone through the parcel and was assured that the phone charges will be credited in his account.
- However, a few days later, he received Rs. 71 on account of return courier charges but the phone cost was not credited.
- Later he approached the customer care of the opposing parties but neither received the refund nor the phone. Notices were issued to the opposing parties, but due to their non-appearance, they were proceeded ex parte by the forum.
- Considering the facts, the forum observed that the non-appearance of the opposite parties despite notice showed that they had nothing to say in their defense or against the allegations made by the complainant.
- The forum stated that with this, the complainant has been able to prove the genuineness of his grievance.
- “We have no hesitation to conclude that there has been glaring lapse and deficiency on the part of the opposing parties in not refunding the cost price of the phone. Thus, we hold that they are jointly and severally liable for the deficiency and unfair trade practices. Hence, the complainant is entitled to relief,” the forum said.
You must consult best/top/expert consumer lawyers in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali Zirakpur Derabassi for your case against Amazon India related to deficiency in services.
This post is written by Damini Aggarwal (Punjab University). Dial 99888-17966 for more info.