Commentary on Consumer Protection Act

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edited September 2014 in General Discussions
Division Two

Commentary on consumer protection act


Consumer Protection Act

Introduction


1.1 The moment a person comes into this would, he starts consum*ing. He needs clothes, milk, oil, soap, water, and many more things and these needs keep taking one form or the other all along his life. Thus we all are consumers in the literal sense of the term. When we approach the market as a consumer, we expect value for money, i.e., right quality, right quantity, right prices, information about the mode of use, etc. But there may be instances where a consumer is harassed or cheated.

The Government understood the need to protect consumers from unscrupulous suppliers, and several laws have been made for this purpose. We have the Indian Contract Act, the Sale of Goods Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act, the Indian Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Act, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the Stand*ards of Weights and Measures Act, etc. which to some extent protect consumer interests. However, these laws require the con*sumer to initiate action by way of a civil suit involving lengthy legal process which is very expensive and time consuming.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted to provide a sim*pler and quicker access to redressal of consumer grievances. The Act for the first time introduced the concept of ‘consumer’ and conferred express additional rights on him. It is interesting to note that the Act doesn’t seek to protect every consumer within the literal meaning of the term. The protection is meant for the person who fits in the definition of ‘consumer’ given by the Act.

Now we understand that the Consumer Protection Act provides means to protect consumers from getting cheated or harassed by suppli*ers. The question arises how a consumer will seek protection ? The answer is the Act has provided a machinery whereby consumers can file their complaints which will be entertained by the Con*sumer Forums with special powers so that action can be taken against erring suppliers and the possible compensation may be awarded to consumer for the hardships he has undergone. No court fee is required to be paid to these forums and there is no need to engage a lawyer to present the case.

Following chapter entails a discussion on who is a consumer under the Act, what are the things which can be complained against, when and by whom a complaint can be made and what are the relief available to consumers.


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Who is a consumer

1.2 Section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act says that consum*er means any person who—

(i) buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approv*al of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or

(ii) hires or avails of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly prom*ised, or under any system of deferred payment, and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred pay*ment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person;

Explanation.—For the purposes of the sub-clause (i), “commercial purpose” does not include use by a consumer of goods bought and used by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his liveli*hood, by means of self-employment.

1.2-1 Consumer of goods - The provision reveals that a person claiming himself as a consumer of goods should satisfy that—

1-2-1a THE GOODS ARE BOUGHT FOR CONSIDERATION - There must be a sale transaction between a seller and a buyer; the sale must be of goods; the buying of goods must be for consideration. The terms sale, goods, and consideration have not been defined in the Consumer Protection Act. The meaning of the terms ‘sale’, and ‘goods’ is to be construed according to the Sale of Goods Act, and the meaning of the term ‘consideration’ is to be construed according to the Indian Contract Act.

1-2-1b ANY PERSON WHO USE THE GOODS WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE BUYER IS A CONSUMER - When a person buys goods, they may be used by his family members, relatives and friends. Any person who is making actual use of the goods may come across the defects in goods. Thus the law construe users of the goods as consumers although they may not be buyers at the same time. The words “....with the approval of the buyer” in the definition denotes that the user of the goods should be a rightful user.

Example : A purchased a scooter which was in B’s possession from the date of purchase. B was using it and taking it to the seller for repairs and service from time to time. Later on B had a complaint regarding the scooter. He sued the seller. The seller pleaded that since B did not buy the scooter, he was not a con*sumer under the Act. The Delhi State Commission held that B, the complainant was using it with the approval of A, the buyer, and therefore he was consumer under the Act. [Dinesh Bhagat v. Bajaj Auto Ltd. (1992) III CPJ 272]

Note : This is an exception to the general rule of law that a stranger to a contract cannot sue.

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1-2-1c ANY PERSON WHO OBTAINS THE GOODS FOR ‘RESALE’ OR COMMER*CIAL PURPOSES’ IS NOT A CONSUMER -
The term ‘for resale’ implies that the goods are brought for the purpose of selling them, and the expression ‘for commercial purpose’ is intended to cover cases other than those of resale of goods. When goods are bought to resell or commercially exploit them, such buyer or user is not a consumer under the Act.

Examples :

1. A jeep was purchased to run it as a taxi. The question was whether the buyer of the jeep was a consumer under the Act. The Rajasthan State Commission held that to use the jeep as a taxi with the object to earn profits was a commercial purpose, and therefore, the buyer/user was not a consumer within the meaning of the Act. [Smt. Pushpa Meena v. Shah Enterprises (Rajasthan) Ltd. (1991) 1 CPR 229].

2. L Ltd. purchased a computer system from Z. The computer system was giving constant trouble and Z was not attending it properly. L Ltd. filed a complaint against Z with the National Commission. Z contended that L Ltd. was not a consumer under the Act because computer system was used for commercial purposes. L Ltd. argued that computer system was not directly used of commer*cial purposes rather it was used to facilitate the work of the company. The Commission rejected the argument on the grounds that the system made part of the assets of the company, and its ex*penses were met by it out of business income. Thus the said purchase was a purchase for commercial purposes and L Ltd. was held not to be a consumer under the Act.

One thing is plain and clear from the decided cases that what is important to decide is - Whether a particular good is used for commercial purposes. If it is the buyer/user is not a consumer, and if it is not - the buyer/user is a consumer.

1.2-1d PERSON BUYING GOODS FOR SELF EMPLOYMENT IS A CONSUMER - When goods are bought for commercial purposes and such purchase satisfy the following criteria :

- the goods are used by the buyer himself;

- exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood;

- by means of self-employment,

then such use would not be termed as use for commercial purposes under the Act, and the user is recognised as a consumer.

Examples :

1. A buys a truck for plying it as a public carrier by himself, A is a consumer.

2. A buys a truck and hires a driver to ply it, A is not a consumer.

3. A has one cloth shop. He starts another business of a photocopier and buys a photocopy machine therefor. He hasn’t bought this machine exclusively for the purpose of earning live*lihood. He is not a consumer under the Act.

Note : That this is an exception to the rule that a buyer of commercial goods is not a consumer under the Act.



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The intention of the legislature is to exclude big business houses carrying on business with profit motive from the purview of the Act. At the same time it is pertinent to save the inter*ests of small consumers who buy goods for self employment to earn their livelihood, like a rickshaw puller buying rickshaw for self employment, or a farmer purchasing fertilizer for his crops, or a taxi driver buying a car to run it as a taxi, etc.

Example : A was running a small type institute to earn his live*lihood. He purchased a photocopy machine-canon NP 150. It proved defective. He sued the seller who contended that A is not a consumer under the Act as he purchased the photocopier for com*mercial use. The Commission held that by no stretch of imagina*tion it can be said that the photocopier would bring large scale profits to A. It was a part of his small scale enterprise. He was construed as consumer under the Act.

However, if such a buyer takes assistance of two or more persons to help him in operating the vehicle or machine, etc., he does not cease to be a consumer.

Examples :

1. A buys a truck, ply it himself and hires a cleaner who accompany him all the time and at times drives also when A is busy otherwise, A is a consumer.

2. P, an eye surgeon, purchased a machine from R for the hospital run by him. The machine was found to be a defective one. R contended that P was not a consumer under the Act as the ma*chine was bought for commercial purposes. The National Commis*sion rejected this contention and held that P is a medical prac*titioner, a professional working by way of self employment by using his knowledge and skill to earn his livelihood. It was not proved by any evidence that P is running a huge hospital. Thus the purchase of machinery is in the nature of self employment. [Rampion Pharmaceuticals v. Dr. Preetam Shah (1997) I CPJ 23 (NCDRC)].

1.2-2 Consumer of services - A person is a consumer of services if he satisfy the following criteria :

1.2-2a SERVICES ARE HIRED OR AVAILED OF - The term ‘hired’ has not been defined under the Act. Its Dictionary meaning is - to procure the use of services at a price. Thus the term ‘hire’ has also been used in the sense of ‘avail’ or ‘use’. Accordingly it may be understood that consumer means any person who avails or uses any service.

Example : A goes to a doctor to get himself treated for a frac*ture. Here A is hiring the services of the doctor. Thus he is a consumer.

What constitutes hiring has been an issue to be dealt with in many consumer disputes. If it is established that a particular act constitutes hiring of service, the transaction falls within the net of the Consumer Protection Act, and vice-versa.

Examples :

1. A passenger getting railway reservation after payment is hiring service for consideration.

2. A landlord neglected and refused to provide the agreed amenities to his tenant. He filed a complaint against the land*lord under the Consumer


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Protection Act. The National Commission dismissed the complaint saying that it was a case of lease of immovable property and not of hiring services of the landlord. [Smt. Laxmiben Laxmichand Shah v. Smt. Sakerben Kanji Chandan [1992] 1 Comp. LJ 177 (NCDRC)].

3. A presented before the Sub-Registrar a document claim*ing it to be a will for registration who sent it to the Collec*tor of Stamps for action. The matter remain pending for about six years. In the meantime A filed a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act alleging harrassment by the Sub-Registrar and Collector and prayed for compensation. The National Commission held the view that A was not a “consumer” under the CPA. Because there was no hiring of services by the complainant for considera*tion and because a Government official doing his duty as func*tionary of the State under law could not be said to be rendering a service to the complainant. [S.P. Goel v. Collector of Stamps (1995) III CPR 684 (SC)].

1.2-2b CONSIDERATION MUST BE PAID OR PAYABLE - Consideration is regarded necessary for hiring or availing of services. However, its payment need not necessarily be immediate. It can be in instal*ments. For the services provided without charging anything in return, the person availing the services is not a consumer under the Act.

Examples :

1. A hires an advocate to file a suit for recovery of money from his employer. He promises to pay fee to the advocate after settlement of the suit. A is a consumer under the Act.

2. A goes to a Doctor to get himself treated for a frac*ture. The Doctor being his friend charged him nothing for the treatment. A is not a consumer under the Act.

3. B issued an advertisement that a person could enter the contest by booking a Premier Padmini car. S purchased the car and thus entered the contest. He was declared as winner of the draw and was thus entitled to the two tickets from New Delhi to New York and back. S filed a complaint alleging that the ticket was not delivered to him. The National Commission held that S was not a consumer in this context. He paid for the car and got it. B was not liable so far as the contract of winning a lottery was con*cerned. [Byford v. S.S. Srivastava (1993) II CPR 83 (NCDRC)].

The Direct and Indirect taxes paid to the State by a citizen is not payment for the services rendered.

Example : T was paying property tax for his house to the local corporation. This corporation was responsible for proper water supply to the premises under its work area. T raised a consumer dispute over the inadequacy of water supply by the corporation. The National Commission held that it was not a consumer dispute as water supply was made by the corporation out of its statutory duty and not by virtue of payment of taxes by T. - Mayor, Calcut*ta Municipal Corporation v. Tarapada Chatterjee (1994) 1 CPR 87 (NCDRC).



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1.2-2c BENEFICIARY OF SERVICES IS ALSO A CONSUMER - When a person hires services, he may hire it for himself or for any other person. In such cases the beneficiary (or user) of these services is also a consumer.

Example : A takes his son B to a doctor for his treatment. Here A is hirer of services of the doctor and B is beneficiary of these services. For the purpose of the Act, both A and B are consumers.

Note : This is an exception to the rule of privity to the con*tract.

Note that in case of goods, buyer of goods for commercial purpose ceases to be a consumer under the Act. On the other hand, a consumer of service for commercial purpose remains a consumer under the Act.

Example : S applied to Electricity Board for electricity connec*tion for a flour mill. There was a delay in releasing the connec*tion. S made a complaint for deficiency in service. He was held a consumer under the Act. - Shamsher Khan v. Rajasthan State Elec*tricity Board (1993) II CPR 6 (Raj.).

Complaint

1.3 An aggrieved consumer seeks redressal under the Act through the instrumentality of complaint. It does not mean that the consumer can complain against his each and every problem. The Act has provided certain grounds on which complaint can be made. Similarly, relief against these complaints can be granted within the set pattern.

1.3-1 What constitutes a complaint [Section 2(1)(c)] - Complaint is a statement made in writing to the National Commission, the State Commission or the District Forum by a person competent to file it, containing the allegations in detail, and with a view to obtain relief provided under the Act.

1.3-2 Who can file a complaint [Sections 2(b) & 12] - At the outset it is clear that a person who can be termed as a consumer under the Act can make a complaint. To be specific on this ac*count, following are the persons who can file a complaint under the Act :

(a) a consumer; or

(b) any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or under any other law for the time being in force, or

(c) the Central Government or any State Government,

(d) one or more consumers, where there are numerious con*sumers having the same interest.

In addition to the above following are also considered as a consumer and hence they may file a complaint :

Beneficiary of the goods/services : The definition of consumer itself includes beneficiary of goods and services - K.B. Jayalax*mi v. Government of Tamil Nadu 1994(1) CPR 114.

Where a young child is taken to the hospital by his parents and the child is treated by the doctor, the parents of such a minor child can file a complaint under the Act - Spring Meadows Hospi*tal v. Harjot Ahluwalia JT 1998(2) SC 620.

Legal representative of the deceased consumer : The Act does not expressly indicate that the LR of a consumer are also included in its scope. But by




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operation of law, the legal representatives get clothed with the rights, status and personality of the deceased. Thus the expression consumer would include legal representative of the deceased consumer and he can exercise his right for the purpose of enforcing the cause of action which has devolved on him - Cosmopolitan Hospital v. Smt. Vasantha P. Nair (1) 1992 CPJ NC 302.

Legal heirs of the deceased consumer : A legal heir of the de*ceased consumer can well maintain a complaint under the Act - Joseph Alias Animon v. Dr. Elizabeth Zachariah (1) 1997 CPJ 96.

Husband of the consumer : In the Indian conditions, women may be illiterate, educated women may be unaware of their legal rights, thus a husband can file and prosecute complaint under the Consum*er Protection Act on behalf of his spouse - Punjab National Bank, Bombay v. K.B. Shetty 1991 (2) CPR 633.

A relative of consumer : When a consumer signs the original complaint, it can be initiated by his/her relative - Motibai Dalvi Hospital v. M.I. Govilkar 1992 (1) CPR 408.

Insurance company : Where Insurance company pays and settles the claim of the insured and the insured person transfers his rights in the insured goods to the company, it can file a complaint for the loss caused to the insured goods by negligence of goods/service providers. For example, when loss is caused to such goods because of negligence of transport company, the insurance company can file a claim against the transport company - New India Assurance Company Ltd. v. Green Transport Co. II 1991 CPJ (1) Delhi.

1.3-3 What a complaint must contain [Section 2(1)(c)] - A com*plaint must contain any of the following allegations :

(a) An unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade prac*tice has been adopted by any trader;

Example : A sold a six months old car to B representing it to be a new one. Here B can make a complaint against A for following an unfair trade practice.

(b) The goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him suffer from one or more defects;

Example : A bought a computer from B. It was not work*ing properly since day one. A can make a complaint against B for supplying him a defective computer.

(c) The services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect.

Example : A hired services of an advocate to defend himself against his landlord. The advocate did not appear every time the case was scheduled. A can make a complaint against the advocate.

(d) A trader has charged for the goods mentioned in the complaint a price in excess of the price fixed by or under any law for the time being in force or displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods.

Example : A bought a sack of cement from B who charged him Rs. 100 over and above the reserve price of the cement de*clared by the Government. Here A can make a complaint against B.



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(e) Goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used, are being offered for sale to the public in contravention of the provisions of any law for the time being in force requir*ing traders to display information in regard to the contents, manner and effect of use of such goods.

Example : A bought a tin of disinfectant powder. It had lid which was to be opened in a specific manner. Trader did not inform. A about this. While opening the lid in ordinary way, some powder flew in the eyes of A which affected his vision. Here A can make a complaint against the trader.

Note : The terms ‘unfair trade practice’, ‘restrictive trade practice’, ‘Goods’, ‘Defect’, ‘service’, ‘Deficiency’, ‘trader’, ‘Excess price’, and ‘Hazardous goods’ have been discussed in detail in the chapter separately.

1.3-4 Time frame within which a complaint can be filed - Section 24A of the Act provides that a consumer dispute can be filed within two years from the date on which the cause of action arises.

Since this provision was inserted in the Act in 1993, before that the Consumer Forums were following the Limitation Act, 1963, which says that a suit can be filed within three years after the cause of action arises.

The point of time when cause of action arises is an important factor in determining the time period available to file a com*plaint. There are no set rules to decide such time. It depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Examples :

1. A got his eye operated by B in 1989. He got a certifi*cate of blindness on 18th December, 1989. He was still in hope of gaining his sight and went from second operation in 1992 and was discharged on 21-1-1992. He filed a complaint against B on 11-1-1994. B opposed on the ground that more than 2 years were over after 18-12-1989, thus the complaint is not maintainable. The Commission held that here the cause of action for filing the complaint would arose after the second operation when A lost entire hope of recovery. Thus the suit is maintainable - Mukund Lal Ganguly v. Dr. Abhijit Ghosh III 1995 CPJ 64.

2. A house was allotted on 1-1-1999. Defects appeared in the house on 10-1-1999. Here the cause of action will arise on 10-1-1999.

It may be noted that these time frames are not absolute limita*tions. If the Consumer Forum is satisfied that there was suffi*cient cause for not filing the complaint within the prescribed period, it can entertain a complaint beyond limitation time. However the Forum must record the reasons for condonation of delay.

Example : A deposited some jewellery with a bank. Bank lost it. Bank kept giving her false sense of hope to retrieve the jewel*lery, and thus A was put in a state of inaction. Later on when A filed a suit on the Bank, it claimed that the suit was not main*tainable as the limitation time after the cause of action arose has lapsed. The Commission reprimanded the bank and admitted the case - Agnes D’Mello v. Canara Bank [1992] I CPJ 335 (NCDRC).

1.3-5 Relief available against complaint [Sections 14 and 22] - A complainant can seek any one or more of the following relief under the Act:


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(a) to remove the defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question;

(b) to replace the goods with new goods of similar descrip*tion which shall be free from any defect;

(c) to return to the complainant the price, or, as the case may be, the charges paid by the complainant;

(d) to pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensa*tion to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to the negligence of the opposite party;

(e) to remove the defects or deficiencies in the services in question;

(f) to discontinue the unfair trade practice or the re*strictive trade practice or not to repeat it;

(g) not to offer the hazardous goods for sale;

(h) to withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale;

(i) to provide from adequate costs to complainant.

1.3-6 When a complaint cannot be filed - A complaint on behalf of the public which consists of unidentifiable consumers cannot be filed under the Act.

Example : A complaint was filed on the basis of a newspaper report that passengers travelling by flight No. 1C-401 from Cal*cutta to Delhi on May 13, 1989 were made to stay at the airport and the flight was delayed by 90 minutes causing great inconven*ience to the passengers. It was held that such a general com*plaint cannot be entertained. No passenger who boarded that plane came forward or authorised the complainant to make the complaint - Consumer Education and Research Society, Ahmedabad v. Indian Airlines Corporation, New Delhi (1992) 1 CPJ 38 NC.

A complaint by an individual on behalf of general public is not permitted - Commissioner of Transport v. Y.R. Grover 1994 (1) CPJ 199 NC.

An unregistered association cannot file a complaint under the Act.

Example : The complainant was an association formed in the Gulf and was unregistered in India. It was held that since the peti*tioner was not a voluntary organization registered under any law in force in India, cannot come within clause (d) of section 2(1) of the Act and hence can’t file a complaint - Gulf Trivendrum air Fare Forum v. Chairman & Managing Director, Air India 1991 (2) CPR 129.

A complaint after expiry of limitation period is not permitted. A complaint cannot be filed after the lapse of two years from the date on which the cause of action arise unless the Forum is satisfied about the genuineness of the reason for not filing complaint within the prescribed time.

Example : A supplied defective machinery to B on 12-1-1998. B filed a suit against A on 10-3-2001. It was not admitted before the Forum for the reason that the time available to make complaint lapsed.

1.3-7 Dismissal of frivolous and vexatious complaints - Since the Act provides for an inexpensive procedure (Court fees is not charged in consumer




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complaints under the Act) for filing com*plaints, there is a possibility that the Act is misused by people for filing vexations claims. To discourage frivolous and vexa*tious claims, the Act has provided that such complaints will be dismissed and the complainant can be charged with the costs not exceeding Rs. 10,000.

Example : A filed a complaint against B to recover compensation of Rs. 55,99,000 with the motive of indulging in speculative litigation taking undue advantage of the fact that no court fee was payable under the Consumer Protection Act. The National Commission held that the complainant has totally failed to make a case against B, and dismissed the complaint as frivolous and vexatious imposing Rs. 10,000 as costs to A - Brij Mohan Kher v. Dr. N.H. Banka I 1995 CPJ 99 NC.

Unfair Trade Practice and Restrictive Trade Practice [Section 2(1)(r) and (nn)].


1.4 We have discussed that a consumer can make a complaint when an unfair or a restrictive trade practice is followed by a trad*er. What can be termed as an unfair or a restrictive trade prac*tice is another question of law.

1.4-1 What is an Unfair Trade Practice - The Act says that, “unfair trade practice” means a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provison of any service, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice including any of the following practices, namely—

(1) The practice of making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation which—

(i) falsely represents that the goods are of particular standard, quality, quantity, grade, composition, style or model;

(ii) falsely represents that the services are of a particu*lar standard, quality or grade;

(iii) falsely represents any re-built, second-hand, renovated, reconditioned or old goods as new goods;

(iv) represents that the goods or services have sponsor*ship, approval performance, characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits which such goods or services do not have;

(v) represents that the seller or the supplier has a sponsorship or approval or affiliation which such seller or supplier does not have;

(vi) makes false or misleading statement concerning the need for, or the usefulness of, any goods or services;

(vii) gives to the public any warranty or guarantee of the performance, efficacy or length of life of a product or of any goods that is not based on an adequate or proper test thereof;

(viii) makes to the public a representation in a form that purports to be a warranty or guarantee of a product or of any goods or services; or a promise to replace, maintain or repair an article or any part thereof or to repeat or continue a service until it has achieved a specified result, if such perported war*ranty or guarantee or promise is materially misleading or




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if there is no reasonable prospect that such warranty, guarantee or promise will be carried out;

(ix) materially misleads the public concerning the price at which a product or like products or goods or services, have been or are, ordinarily sold or provided, and, for this purpose, a representation as to price shall be deemed to refer to the price at which the product or goods or services has or have been sold by sellers or provided by suppliers generally in the rele*vant market unless it is clearly specified to be the price at which the product has been sold or services have been provided by the person by whom or on whose behalf other representation is made;

(x) gives false or misleading facts disparaging the goods, services or trade of another person.

Note : A statement is said to be made to public when it is—

(a) expressed on an article offered or displayed for sale, or on its wrapper or container; or

(b) expressed on anything attached to, inserted in, or accompanying, an article offered or displayed for sale, or on anything on which the article is mounted for display or sale; or

(c) contained in or on anything that is sold, sent, deliv*ered, transmitted or in any other manner whatsoever made avail*able to a member of the public, by the person who had caused the statement to be so expressed, made or contained.

(2) Permits the publication of any advertisement whether in any newspaper or otherwise, for the sale or supply at a bargain price, of goods or services that are not intended to be offered for sale or supply at the bargain price, or for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable, having regard to the nature of the market in which the business is carried on, the nature and size of business, and the nature of the advertisement.

Note : “Bargain price” means—

(a) a price that is stated in any advertisement to be a bargain price, by reference to an ordinary price or otherwise, or

(b) a price that a person who reads, hears or sees the advertisement, would reasonably understand to be bargain price having regard to the prices at which the product advertised or like products are ordinarily sold.

(3) Permits the offering of gifts, prizes or other items with the intention of not providing them as offered or creating impression that something is being given or offered free of charge when it is fully or partly covered by the amount charged in the transac*tion as a whole; or the conduct of any contest, lottery, game of chance or skill, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indi*rectly, the sale, use or supply of any product or any business interest;

(4) Permits the sale or supply of goods intended to be used, or are of a kind likely to be used, by consumers, knowing or having reason to believe that the goods do not comply with the standards prescribed by competent authority relating to performance, compo*sition, contents, design, constructions, finishing




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or packaging as are necessary to prevent or reduce the risk of injury to the person using the goods;

(5) Permits the hoarding or destruction of goods, or refuses to sell the goods or to make them available for sale or to provide any service, if such hoarding or destruction or refusal raises or tends to raise or is intended to raise, the cost of those or other similar goods or services.

1.4-2 What is a Restrictive Trade Practice - Section 2(1)(nn) of the Act provides that, “restrictive trade practice” means “any trade practice which requires a consumer to buy, hire or avail of any goods or, as the case may be, services as a condition prece*dent for buying, hiring or availing of other goods or services”.

An analysis of above definition reveals that where sale or pur*chase of a product or service is made conditional on the sale or purchase of one or more other products and services, it amounts to restrictive trade practice.

Technically, this type of arrangement is called ‘tie-up sales’ or ‘tying arrangement’. The effect of such an arrangement is that a purchaser is forced to buy some goods or services which he may not require alongwith the goods or services which he wants to buy. Thus where a buyer agrees to purchase product ‘X’ upon a condition that he will also purchase product ‘Y’ from the seller, the sale of product ‘Y’ (tied product) is tied to the sale of product ‘X’ (tying product).

The buyer has to forego his free choice between competing products. This results in neutralizing healthy competition in the ‘tied’ market.

Example : A, a gas distributor instead his customers to buy gas stove as a condition to give gas connection. It was held that it was a restrictive trade practice - Re. Anand Gas RTPE 43/1983 (MRTPC).

However, where there is no such precondition and the buyer is free to take either product, no tying arrangement could be alleged even though the seller may offer both the products as a single unit at a composite price.

Example : A is a furniture dealer. He is selling Sofa at Rs. 20,000 and Bed at
Rs. 15,000. He has an offer that whoever will buy Sofa and Bed both, he will charge Rs. 30,000 only. Here the choice is open to the customer to buy the products single or composite. This is not a restrictive trade practice.

Note : The term ‘restrictive trade practice’ has a very wide meaning when read in context of the MRTP Act, 1969. However under Consumer Protection Act, 1986, it has been used in a narrower sense.

Goods and Defect [Section 2(1)(i) and (f)]

1.5 A consumer can make complaint when he come across defective goods. Here it is required to understand what are the items which can be considered as ‘goods’ and what constitutes ‘defect’ under the Act.

1.5-1 Goods - The Consumer Protection Act does not define the term ‘Goods’ It says that - “goods” means goods as defined in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930.

Section 2(7) of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, defines ‘goods’ as - “Goods means every kind of movable property other than actionable claims and money; and includes stock and shares, growing crops, grass, and things attached to or



2.15


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forming part of the land which are agreed to be severed before sale or under the contract of sale.”

The definition reveals that—

(a) Goods must be movable;

(b) Things attached to or forming part of land which can be severed satisfy the movability criteria;

(c) Actionable claim and Money have been specifically excluded from definition of goods.

Note : For elaboration on the term ‘goods’, refer para 15-2-1d.

1.5-2 Defect - Section 2(1)(f) of the Act provides that, “de*fect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quali*ty, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law of the time being in force under any contract, express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods.

This is an exhaustive definition. It means that the Act recognises only those defects which are covered by the definition. Any type of defect not mentioned here will not be entertained by Consumer Forums. Moreover the defect has to be in relation to goods only, i.e., if an item does not fall within the definition of ‘Goods’, no defect can be complained therein. However, the coverage of this definition is very wide.

Examples:

1. A Pressure Cooker burst and caused injury to the user. It was held to be a manufacturing defect - T.T. (P.) Ltd. v. Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat II [1996] CPJ 239 NC.

2. Failure to handover registration book along with jeep purchased by complainant is a defect. [Ramesh Chandra v. Commer*cial Tax Officer [1993] 3 CPR 182 (Ori.).

3. Where laboratory test report showed that soft drink was not fit for human consumption, it was held defective - Narayanan Vyankatkrishnan Iyengar v. Shakti Foods [1994] 2 CPJ 652 (Mah.).

4. Rape seed oil adulterated with toxic substances, which led to paralysis of limbs and other disabilities, has been con*sidered as defective - Barsad Ali v. MD West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation Ltd. (1993) 1 CPR 217 WB.

5. Electric household appliances which are not in accord*ance with the standards prescribed by ISI, being unsafe are defective - Farooq Hazi Ismail Saya v. Gavabhai Bhesania (1991) 2 CPJ 452 (Guj.).

6. Gas Cylinder with excessive gas is defective goods - Dayanand A Avasare v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (1993) 1 CPR 278 (Mah.).

7. Development of cracks of half inch to three and a half inch in walls and mosaic floor in a flat after taking possession from a Housing Board - R. Shanmugasundaram v. Tamil Nadu Housing Board (1998) 1 CPJ 96 NC.

8. A supplied white marble to B. Later on the colour of the marble changed. B sued a alleging supply of defective marble. It was held that A should have

Para 1.6


consumer protection act
2.16

expressly told B that the marble would not retain its colour when polished. In the absence of such assertion, it is deemed that A made B to understand that the marble would retain its white colour and when the colour changed, it comes within the scope of ‘defect’ in goods under the Act - Chitranjan Sahu v. N.C. Jain II (1993) CPJ 1127 (Ori.).

9. A sold a stolen car to B. B wanted to sue A for defect in the title of the car. Here B cannot sue A under the Consumer Protection Act as the defect in title of goods would not consti*tute defective goods as defined under the Act.

Service and Deficiency [Section 2(1)(o) and (g)]

1.6 When a service is found deficient by a consumer, he can make a complaint under the Act. Thus the prime requirement is that the matter must fall within the definition of service, and it must entail a deficiency as per the norms given by the Act.

1.6-1 What can be termed as a service - Section 2(1)(o) of the Act provides that “service” means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or loading or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.

The definition provides a list of eleven sectors to which service may pertain in order to come under the purview of the Act. The list of these sectors is not an exhaustive one. Service may be of any description and pertain to any sector if it satisfy the following criteria:

1. service is made available to the potential users, i.e., service not only to the actual users but also to those who are capable of using it.

2. it should not be free of charge, e.g., the medical service rendered free of charge in Government hospital is not a service under the Act;

3. it should not be under a contract of personal service.

When we talk about ‘service’ under the Consumer Protection Act, we take it as a regular commercial transaction. Thus the services rendered under the contract of personal service are specifically excluded from the definition.

The expression ‘contract of personal service’ is not defined under the Act. In common parlance, it means - a contract to render service in a private capacity to an individual. For example, where a servant enters into an agreement with a master for em*ployment, or where a landlord agrees to supply water to his tenant, these are the contracts of personal service. The idea is that under a personal service relationship, a person can discon*tinue the service at any time according to his will, he need not approach Consumer Forum to complaint about deficiency in service.

There is a difference between ‘contract of personal service’ and ‘contract for personal service’. In case of ‘contract of personal service’, the service seeker can order or require what is to be done and how it should be done. Like a master can tell his serv*ant to bring goods from a particular place. But in a ‘contract for




2.17


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Para 1.6

personal service’, the service seeker can tell only what is to be done. How the work will be done is at the wish of the performer. Like when a person gives a suit to the tailor for stitching, he does not tell him which method he should use to stitch it.

Note : That it is ‘contract of personal service’ is excluded from the definition of service, ‘contract for personal service’ is recognised as service under the Act.

It does not make a difference whether the service provider is a Government body or a Private body. Thus even if a statutory corporation provides a deficient service, it can be made liable under the Act.

Example : A applied for electricity connection for his flour mill to Rajasthan State Electricity Board. The Board delayed in re*leasing the connection. It was held deficient in performing serv*ice.

Some other sectors/professionals/services which are not specified in the definition of service but which have been considered by the Consumer Forums as service sectors from time to time are listed below:

Advocates, Airlines, Chartered Accountants, Courier, Chit Fund, Education, Gas Cylinder/LPG, Medical services, Postal services, Railways, Investment related services, and Telephone services.

Thus, the test is - whether the person against whom the complaint is made performs a service for consideration which is sought by a potential user.

1.6-2 What is meant by “deficiency” in service - Section 2(1)(g) of the Act provides that, “deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been under*taken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.

Reading the above definition by breaking it into elements, we get—

(a) “deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance

Examples :

1. A boarded a train. The compartment in which he and his wife travelled was in a bad shape-fans not working, shutters of windows were not working, rexin of the upper berth was badly torn and there were rusty nails which caused some injuries to the wife of A. A made a complaint against the railway department. It was held that the complaint constituted ‘deficiency in service’ and the compensation of Rs. 1500 was awarded to A - General Manager, South Eastern Railway v. Anand Prasad Sinha I [1991] CPJ 10 (12) NC.

2. Dr. A treated P under Allopathic system, though he himself was a Homoeopathic practitioner. Later on P allegated A for wrong treatment. The Commission held it as deficiency in service - Poonam Verma v. Ashwin Patel [1996] II CPJ 1 SC.

3. A booked a car for B and promised to deliver it within one month of booking. The car was not delivered even after four months. Here A could be held liable for deficiency in service.



Para 1.6
consumer protection act
2.18

One interesting aspect is that deficiency in service should occur during the happening of performance. Thus it is crucial to determine when the performance of a service commenced.

Example : A contracted with B to supply, erect and commission cold rolling mill. A supplied the mill, but failed to erect and commission the mill. B filed a suit alleging deficiency of service on A’s failure to elect and commission the mill. The National Commission observed that the deficiency must pertain to performance of service. Since A never started erecting and com*missioning the mill, the question of performance did not arise. Thus the case is not that of deficiency of service - Jaipur Metals & Electricals Ltd. v. Laxmi Inds. [1991] II CPJ 602 (NC).

(b) Such quality and manner of performance of service should have been required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise.

Example : A, the builder, promised under written agree*ment to provide a flat to B. Subsequently he expressed his inability to give possession of the flat and entered into a fresh agreement to pay Rs. 9,51,000 to B in place of flat. A didn’t even pay this money. B sued A. The Commission held that since A had not even paid the money as per subsequent contract, the rights of earlier contract can be involved by B. And that there was a deficiency of service on the part of builders - Lata Con*struction v. Dr. Rameshchandra Ramniklal Shah AIR 2000 SC 380 (384).

(c) The deficiency must be in relation to a service - The words ‘....in relation to any service’ in the definition signifies that the deficiency is always in terms of service. Thus if the grievance pertains to a matter which does not fall in the definition of service, the concept of deficiency would not apply.

Example : A deposited Rs. 100 with B as application fee and executed bond for the purpose of drilling tubewell. B did not drill the tubewell because it was not feasible. A alleged defi*ciency in service. It was held that depositing Rs. 100 as appli*cation fee and executing a bond does not amount to hiring of services, thus the deficiency of service cannot be complained of in the matter - Mangilal v. Chairman District Rural Development Agency [1991] 1 CPJ 474 (Raj.).

Deficiency in service due to circumstances beyond control

In normal course, if the service is found deficient as per the above criteria, it is held deficient and the compensation is awarded. However there may be abnormal circumstances beyond the control of the person performing service. If such circumstances prevent a person from rendering service of the desired quality, nature and the manner, such person should not be penalised for the same.

Example : A undertook to supply water to B for irrigation of crops. Due to power grid failure of the State, A could not get sufficient power to perform the service. Here A cannot be held liable for deficiency in service.

However, negligence on the part of performer may not be excused under the cover of circumstances beyond control.



2.19
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Para 1.7

Example : A agreed to supply water to B for irrigation of crops. He failed to do so because of a power breakdown due to burning of transformer. As a result crops damaged. B sued A for providing deficient service. The National Commission held that it was duty of A to get the transformer repaired immediately. Since he was negligent in doing so, he is liable for the deficiency in service - Orissa Lift Irrigation Corpn. Ltd. v. Birakishore Raut [1991] 2 CPJ 213 (NC).

Trader and Manufacturer [Section 2(1)(q) and (j)]

1.7 When a person finds any defect in the goods, be it manufacturing defect, or excessive price, or lack of information about hazardous nature, or restrictive or unfair trade practice, he can make a complaint against the trader. Thus it is very important to know who can be termed as a trader under the Act.

1.7-1 Trader - Section 2(1)(q) of the Act says that ‘trader’ means any person who

sells or distributes any goods for sale and

includes the manufacturer thereof, and

where such goods are sold or distributed in package form, in*cludes the packer thereof.

Generally speaking ‘trader’ means any person who carries on a trade. Under the Consumer Protection Act, even a packer has been included in the definition of trader. Packer means one who packs the goods.

Examples :

1. A got an agency of ‘Indana’ products. He sells and distributes these products in North India. He is a trader under the Act.

2. A manufactures combs. He is a trader under the Act.

3. A provide bottles to pack the perfume manufactured by B. Here A is also a trader under the Act.

Note : “Trader” is a wider term which includes a manufacturer also.

1.7-2 Manufacturer - In terms if clause (j) of section 2(1) of the Act, “manufacturer” means a person who—

(i) makes or manufactures any goods or parts thereof; or

(ii) does not make or manufacture any goods but assembles parts thereof made or manufactured by others and claims the end-product to be goods manufactured by himself; or

(iii) puts or causes to be put his own mark on any goods made or manufactured by any other manufacturer and claims such goods to be goods made or manufactured by himself.

Thus manufacturer is a person who either himself manufactures goods, or assemble any goods manufactured by others, or puts his own mark or trade mark on the goods manufactured by others.

Examples :

1. A Ltd. were into manufacturing of Pressure Cookers. B bought a Cooker which burst out while using. B sued A Ltd. for compensation. Here A Ltd. being manufacturer of the Cooker is liable for the loss.



Para 1.8
consumer protection act
2.20

2. A Ltd. used to buy components and assemble computers therefrom. They were selling them under the brand name ‘Rotal’. B bought a Rotal computer which turned out to be defective. Here B can hold A Ltd. Liable for the loss as they will be considered manufacturer of Rotal computer under the Act.

3. N bought H-4 Cotton seeds from the market which were labelled as produced and marketed by the Hindustan Levers Ltd. N established that the seeds were defective. He sued HLL. HLL contended that it did not manufactured the seeds but had only marketed them, and that some company based in Gujarat produced the same. The Commission held that in this case HLL comes under the third limb of the definition of manufacturer under the Act. Thus it is liable for the loss suffered by N - Namdeo Baijrao Raut v. Hindustan Lever Ltd. [1993] 3 CPR 346 (Mah. CDRC).

It may be noted that where a manufacturer despatches any goods or part thereof to any branch office maintained by him, such branch office shall not be deemed to be the manufacturer even though the parts so despatched to it are assembled at such branch office and are sold or distributed from such branch office.

Example : A Ltd. based in Delhi was having a branch office in Chennai. It used to sent components of computers to its Chennai branch which was assembling and selling them. B purchased a computer from Chennai branch which turned out to be defective. Here A Ltd. is responsible for the loss, and not the Chennai branch.

1.7-3 Who should be sued by a consumer - manufacturer or seller - Generally when a consumer finds defect in the goods, he sues the person from whom he bought the goods. Reason being privity of contract.

If the defect is a manufacturing defect, the consumer may sue the manufacturer also along with the seller. This is an option with the consumer. Thus the manufacturer is a possible party, and not a necessary party.

Example : A was manufacturer of “X” brand cars and B was a dealer for them. C bought a car from B and found it defective. Here he may sue B alone, or A and B both.

Charging Excessive Price

1.8 A complaint may be made against a trader who has charged a price in excess of the price :

(a) fixed by or under any law for the time being in force, or

(b) displayed on the goods, or

(c) displayed on any package containing the goods.

Examples :

1. Government fixed control rate of milk at Rs. 15 per litre in the month of June 2001. A sold it at the rate of Rs. 18 per litre in the same period. Price charged by A are excessive.

2. The price displayed on a one Kg. packet of salt was Rs. 4. Suddenly there was paucity of salt in the market. A started selling the same @ Rs. 6 per kg. The price charged by A is exces*sive.



2.21


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Para 2.1


It may be noted that when price of an article is not fixed by law, or when the same is not displayed on goods or on the package containing goods, no complaint can be made under the Act for excess pricing.

Example : Mahaboobnagar Milk Chilling Centre charged 15 paise extra per half litre of milk supplied in sachets in comparison to the other varieties of milk. The National Commission held that in the absence of any law requiring an article to be sold at or below a particular price fixed thereunder, and when there was no declaration of the price on the packet containing the goods, a case for excessive pricing may not be construed.

Hazardous Goods

1.9 The term “Hazardous goods’ has not been defined in the Act. The dictionary meaning of the term is - dangerous or risky. However, the term is used in context of ‘goods’ only, i.e., a person can make a complaint if he is not informed about the hazardous nature of the goods but the same is not true in case of hazardous services.

The rationale behind this provision is to ensure physical safety of the consumers. The law seeks to ensure that those responsible for bringing goods to the market, in particular, suppliers, exporters, importers, retailers and the like should ensure that while in their care these goods are not rendered unsafe through improper handling or storage.

Consumers should be instructed in the proper use of goods and should be informed of the risks involved in intended or normally foreseeable use. Vital safety information should be conveyed to consumers.

Example : A bought an insecticide from B. B did not inform A that touching this insecticide with bare hands can create skin prob*lem. A, while using the insecticide came in contact with it and suffered from skin problem consequently. Here B can be held liable under the Act.

Consumer Protection Councils.

2.1 Ram, an engineer by profession shifted to Delhi. He bought a computer from Shyam, a dealer who gave him all guarantees and warranties. The moment he plugged in the computer, some noise came and the computer was shut down. He called up Shyam, but got no response from him. After making many calls to him, he under*stood that he was cheated of his money.

Ram could have gone to courts, but knowing the lengthy and expensive procedures involved, he preferred not to initiate any action against Shyam. One day while watching television he came across a programme on consumer protection. Ram got interested in it and noted the address of consumer council which was sponsoring the programme. Thereafter he contacted the Council and talked about his computer affair. The Council made him aware that there is a speedy and inexpensive way to assert his right as a consum*er, and that where and how a complaint can be filed for that, and that he need not hire an advocate for the suit, and assured him of any assistance he may need for the same.

The Consumer Councils are created to advise and assist the con*sumers in seeking and enforcing their rights. We have Consumer Protection Councils




Para 2.2


consumer protection act


2.22

both at Centre level and State level, that is one Central Council and many State Councils.

These councils work towards the promotion and protection of consumers. They make investigations and give publicity to the matters concerning consumer interests, take steps towards furthering consumer education and protecting consumer from exploitation, advice the Government in the matter of policy formulation keeping consumer interest as pivotal concern, etc. Although their suggestions are recommendatory in nature, but they have significant impact in policy making.

While deciding about the composition of these councils, the State keeps in mind that it should have proper representation from all the possible areas affecting consumer interests. Again the rules as to when should these councils meet, what should they aim at, how they conduct their business are framed by the Government with a view to balance the efficacy and practicability of its busi*ness.

Objects of the Councils [Sections 6 and 8]

2.2 There is one basic thought that ‘consumer need to be protect*ed’. Another thought is - how he can be protected ? Definitely, there has to be some agency to work towards this protection. The Act has provided for constitution of Consumer Councils for this purpose.

Now, when we say that these councils are there to protect the consumers, a question arises - consumers are protected against what ? Thus the Act has detailed some rights of consumers which need to be protected by the councils. These are :

Right to safety - It is right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.

Unsafe goods may cause death or serious injury to the user due to defective ingredients, defective design, poor workmanship, or any other reason. At times safety hazards are found due to absence of proper instructions to use the product. Thus it is to be ensured that—

Manufacturers and traders ensure that the goods are safe for the users, in case of hazardous goods, they give clear instructions as to mode of use, consumer is informed of the risk involved in improper use of goods, vital safety information is conveyed to consumers.

Manufacturers or distributors who become aware of the unforeseen hazards after the goods are supplied must inform the authorities and the public in order to forewarn consumers about such hazards.

Where a product is found such as is likely to be hazardous even when properly used, traders should either recall it and modify the same, or replace it with a new product, or adequately compen*sate for it.

Right to information - It is right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, with a view to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.



2.23


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Para 2.3

Adequate information is very important in order to make a right choice. In our country, however, consumers do not get adequate comparative information about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of different kinds of goods or services which are available. As a result buying decisions become difficult. Therefore consumers need to be given maximum information about the wide variety of competing goods available in the market.

Right to choose - The right to choose can be made meaningful by ensuring access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.

Fair and effective competition must be encouraged so as to provide consumers with the widest range of products and services at the lowest cost.

Right to represent - It is right to be heard and to be assured that consumer’s interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has well taken care of this right by making available the instrumentality of Redressal Forums. Every consumer has a right to file complaint and be heard in that context.

Right to redressal - It is a right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unserpu*lous exploitation of consumers.

When consumers are wronged in a market place transaction, appropriate and adequate redress must be available. The Act has ensured this right by establishing Consumer Forums and recognising restrictive and unfair trade practices as a ground to make a complaint.

Right to education - The right to consumer education is a right which ensures that consumers are informed about the practices prevalent in the market and the remedies available to them.

For spreading this education, media, or school curriculum, or cultural activities, etc. may be used as a medium.

Note that the Central Council’s object is to ensure these rights of the consumers throughout the country while the State Councils look to ensure these rights to consumers within their territo*ries.

Central Council

2.3-1 Composition [Section 2 and rule 3] Members of the councils are selected from various areas of consumer interest, who are, when possible, leading members of statewide organisations repre*senting segments of the consumer public so as to establish a broadly based and representative consumer council.

The Consumer Protection Act has authorised the Central Government to make rules as to the composition of the Central Council. Accordingly, the Central Government has provided that the Central Council shall consist of the following members not exceeding 150, namely :—

1. the Minister in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government who shall be the Chairman of the Central Council;

2. the Minister of State (where he is not holding inde*pendent charge) or Deputy Minister in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government who shall be the Vice-Chairman of the Central Council;



Para 2.4


consumer protection act


2.24

3. the Secretary in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government who shall be the member-secretary of the Central Council;

4. the Minister in-charge of Consumer Affairs in States;

5. eight Members of Parliament—five from the Lok Sabha and three from the Rajya Sabha;

6. the Secretary of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;

7. representatives of the Central Government Departments and autonomous organisations concerned with consumer interests—not exceeding twenty;

8. representatives of the Consumer Organisations or con*sumers—not less than thirty-five;

9. representatives of women—not less than ten;

10. representatives of farmers, trade and industries—not exceeding twenty;

11. persons capable of representing consumer interest not specified above—not exceeding fifteen;

2.3-2 Vacancy - Any member may, by writing under his hand to the Chairman of the Central Council, resign from the Council. The vacancies, so caused or otherwise, are filled from the same category by the Central Government and such person shall hold office so long as the member whose place he fills would have been entitled to hold office, if the vacancy had not occurred.

2.3-3 Term - The term of the Council is three years.

2.3-4 Meatings of the Central Council [Section 5 and rule 4] - Central Council is required to organise at least one meeting every year. In addition, it may meet as and when necessary. Time and place of the meeting is decided by the Chairman of the coun*cil.

Each meeting of the Central Council shall be called by giving, not less than ten days from the date of issue, notice in writing to every member.

Every notice of a meeting of the Central Council shall specify the place and the day and hour of the meeting and shall contain statement of business to be transacted thereat.

The meeting of the Central Council shall be presided over by the Chairman. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall preside over the meeting of the Central Council. In the absence of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, the Central Council shall elect a member to preside over that meeting of the Council.

Th
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Comments

  • yerapathiyerapathi Junior Member
    edited January 2012
    I wish to know if I can file a case against a publication for errors that they commit in publishing a newspaper and repeating the same article twice on a same day? and also the varied pricing structures that they generally have. Such as if with suppliment the price is more and without suppliment the price is less.


    I know for a fact that the the governing body is RNI for such issues, but there is no proper response nor mention anywhere in their website.

    Is there a consumer forum or anything of such sort to take up a case against such erring publication?
  • PuneetKumar0101PuneetKumar0101 Junior Member
    edited May 2013
    Hi,

    Can I file a complaint here against Previous Employer also?

    My Previous Employer is holding my money and experience letter back for no reason. They have given me and are still giving me a very hard time.

    I worked with ICFAI University, Chandigarh Branch. After I resigned, I asked my Territory Manager (TM) via email to state weather my resignation has been accepted or not as I needed it for my next employment. My TM replied to my email stating,"Your resignation has been accepted and has already been sent to headquarters with your No Due Certificate for your Full n Final settlement". I received this email back in August 2012.

    I've been following up since then with the headquarters and they are telling me that they never received any document from Chandigarh Branch. I followed up again with the TM and he asked me to check with the Chandigarh Branch Manager (BM). I called the Branch Manager and he agreed over the phone that he has already sent it to headquarters.

    Just two days after that phone call, I sent an email to the Branch Manager regarding my full and final settlement and to my that email the Branch Manager replies,"Please send us the hard copy of your resignation".

    My resignation on A4 sheet was accepted by the TM (BM's senior) in front of the Branch Manager. Therefore I asked the BM via email that why is asking for the resignation again when the TM has already confirmed via email that it has been accepted? To this, the Branch Manager replies and says,"As per our records we never received your resignation".

    Its been close to an year now since I've resigned and continuously following up and now they are saying that they never received my resignation. They are holding my money and my experience letter while in emails earlier they did mention that my resignation was accepted.

    Now since this is clear that what they are doing is unethical, could you please help me in getting through this?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Puneet Kumar
    New Delhi
    9212785294
  • edited May 2013
    Helo ,

    i am customer of virgin Mobiles from last three years but i am not happy from the service of virgin mobiles and now virgin murge in tata docomo service

    i want to use MNP service and convert in Vodafone from virgin mobiles and for that am request to virgin mobiles but they reject my request all time and when i visit to docomo store (aurangabad Maharashtra) and asking their CC officer about my request they told me we cut your connection from our system but vodafone reject your request and after that am asking him i want to meet your manager today he is not office he is in you come tomorrow . when i was go to docomo office on next day his CC officer told me our branch manager is on leave for next One month...

    now i am in very trouble please help to resolve my problem and help to me join Vodafone

    regards,

    Anis Shaikh

    aniss30@gmail.com (9209078021)
  • edited July 2013
    yes still no help from loop mobile no better service no better distributor no better customer service what i use word for bad services is just less yesterday what complian i has given no action on that ok no issues surely right now ihave to take again legal action issue related my new number 9773651547 / 9773651960 yes i had submitted complian
  • edited July 2013
    yes still no help from loop mobile no better service no better distributor no better customer service what i use word for bad services is just less yesterday what complian i has given no action on that ok no issues surely right now ihave to take again legal action issue related my new number 9773651547 / 9773651960 yes i had submitted complian
  • edited July 2013
    I have bought samsung galaxy s3 phone worth Rs 30000+ from an online shopping site on 02 may 2013.. hardly its 3 months and the phone got some compalint.. it is not charging properly now... how can i get help
  • edited August 2013
    I am having a water purifier of EUREKA FORBES company of Crystal UV brand model no-8030195. I have purchased it on 19-01-2013 its warranty period was of 1 year but within 7 months it is not working properly, hence I had register a complaint on their costumer care no-1860 266 1177 but after 30 complaints on their costumer care no they not had register our complaint they had only giving excuses to me about my complaint and not yet had checked my purifier and because of that my family was curing problems. I had taken this purifier from Vijay sales kharghar, the purifiers bill no is-9671223 how could I get help.


    Dipak Mohite for contacting me my phone no is 9322717073
  • edited August 2013
    I have requested for activation of 2G services on 12th Aug,2013 but still not received internet settings. I am calling daily on customer care number but every time the call get disconected in between. During morning around 9 my 1st call goes to customer care executive the keep my vall on hold and after a while say that call after sumtime. On 21st Aug,2013 1 of their executive answered me rudely that dont call us repetedly. When I ask them to make me speak to their senior they do not transfer the line & cancle the call without intimation nor giving me the complaint reference number. I need my INR 99 back in my account.
  • Arjun LimbuArjun Limbu Junior Member
    edited August 2013
    I recently recharged by vodafone no. 8257092785 with the gprs pack of Rs.149 which is unlimited internet pack for one month. However after using for only about 5 days the service stopped working. I made call to the customer care of vodafone but they said it is the problem of my sim card. My sim does not have any problem and I was using internet for more than three months before I recharged with 149. After the period of one month of the internet pack, internet connection again became active in my phone. So it shows that there was never any problem in my sim card. I asked the customer care to refund my money but they refused. Please take necessary actions against them.
  • edited September 2013
    pls do the needful my mobile number is lost pls deactivate my airtel mobile number 9489038456 pls hurry up and do the needy
  • edited October 2013
    To
    complaint just dial

    hello please my application take seriously ...without information deduct my 1197 Rs in ECS in my account im already stop my account 1st date of September and accept my request in date 4 September ...and cut my balance of date 17 September and automatically without inform me start my account 17 September & 27 th September to stop service..they not provide full month service and only 14 fake customer number message send to me ,this number not to use me and out of my area customer number send to me .. now date of 30 cut my ECS and without inform me how can cut my balance ...every time i call to customer care they told different story ..every time different person pick up the phone and register my complaint and send message and complaint Number ..but not solved my problem ...i done lot of call to customer center but not come any branch manger and not meet any sells person ..
    company sells parson come 13 th August and take one my cancel check & flip the form and take sign .. he told me one month service provide free after if u like u continue this service and if u not like u stop account but company take 18 day time not open my account or not give any free service ...
    im not give my check to ECS ... ur sells person told me your check use only open the account ...
    when company not my open account and not provide service so i decided to stop my account .
    i dont want service so i call date of 1st September and stop my account application ..so why 17 September after start my service im not say u to start my service ..
    but when i stop my account date of 1st September so why u deduct money after 3 week ... im not accept your weekly package ..and im not agree to continue ur services ..so please give my ECS check return and give deduct my money return ...your company now harass me ,,im not like and if u not solved my problam ..i take my hard step
  • edited October 2013
    Dear sir/madam

    i am zeeshan ali from sonipat(haryana).i am currently using the videocon prepaid sim no. 8529720450.my complaints is that i recharge my no with pack 123 on 25/08/2013 but the plan does not active the care executive told me you have to recharge with 8 rs for extention of validity i did the same.but the pack still inactive then i call to care executive told me that plan 123 is overlayped by rs 8 so you have to recharge again pack 123 i did the same i again recharge with pack 123 again on 28/08/2013.but the pack again inactive and there are a great loss to me due to it.please register my complaints and take a positive action.


    Regards
    zeeshan ali
    zeeshanali772@gmail.com
    09729533099
  • edited October 2013
    Dear Rajashree,

    Thanks for your mail. I regret to inform you though, the 30% discount offered is rather insulting to me. I am not asking for discount. I am asking to revoke the false charges altogether!!!
    I have been using the service for close to 15 years now and have contributed to huge revenue on Vodafones part.

    I have been cheated and taken advantage of for being an old customer.
    Over the past 2-3 years, I have been using yearly internet plan and pay for it annually also. Suddenly one fine day Vodafone decides to disconnect my yearly subscription and switch me over to open usage rates when I have not even asked for it. I have not been informed or taken authorization for disconnection of yearly plan or activation of full rate usage.
    You can see in the account details that I have been using data services for the last few years, yet your representatives insist that there was and is no data plan active on my number. I find this highly questionable and dishonest.

    I am really shocked and appalled by the business ethics employed by a supposedly consumer driven company.

    Once again, I will not be held responsible for your internal miscommunication and dishonest methods.

    I am attaching the mail I sent to you and a few other consumer protection organizations.

    I really do not wish to waste any more time on this issue since it has already been pending for almost 2 months now. I hope you do not force me to consult my legal department or escalate the issue on social media sites and gather more vodafone consumers who have been duped and cheated in a similar way.

    I hope you can reverse the fraudulent charges immediately and restore my phone services to its usual setting.

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Mardia.










    Dear Sir,

    I regret to let you know that I am suffering from the worst kind of customer service from Vodafone than I've ever experienced in my life.

    The charges mentioned on my account are fraudulent and false and I will not be liable to pay for Vodafones errors/mistakes/frauds.
    Relationship No- 1.5011367
    Mobile No- 9833501860

    I have called my relationship manager more than 15 times and with no resolution of the problem. Every time I am assured that I will receive a call 'within 24 hours" and till date I am still to receive any calls from Vodafone.

    I have been falsely charged the amount of Rs. 7538.97, which has now increased even more with your fraudulent charges; under the pretext that I had called up vodafone 6 months in advance and asked for deactivation of my internet plan 6 months into the future and apparently Vodafone took my request for 6 months in the future. This is the kind of unbelievable lies I was told by the representative. Shocking as it sounds, it is complete lies.

    On calling again, I was told a different story that there was some technical error on vodafone side and they messed up the data account and did not switch me over to the plan renewal and instead decided without my knowledge or permission to deactivate my currently used data plan and charge me full data rates without any plan.

    It has now been over a month and several calls from my side with no resolution. As frustrating and appalling as Vodafone has made the situation, I would like a final resolution of the problem or a switchover to another service provider.

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Mardia.
  • edited November 2013
    and also my warantee period same. total cheating htc commit with consumer
  • edited November 2013
    I had repaired a Yamaha R15 at one of the service centre (UNO Mobikes Kuriachira Thrissur Kerala), which took around 5 months for completion and an expense of 40000.
    After the service (After one week) I found that they haven’t en suite the complete parts properly which includes a Screw which holds the front wheel and the handle. Apart from this many other major technical problems was there. When I asked for the assistance they asked me to again surrender my bike for another few days. Even after that still am facing the same issue, around 98% of other Yamaha customers facing these kind issue form this above mentioned Service centre. They are running another service centre in the same locality named Cheerans Auto Agencies Thrissur which is also well-known for the same worst and pathetic service. Unfortunately these two are the only option for Yamaha lovers in our locality. The management is having baseless explanations for all these irresponsible, poor, worst service what they are doing over there. Even I can show you some customers who have sold out their Yamaha bikes because of the same reason. Up to my knowledge they are good in sales but not in giving proper service for these sold bikes. Today morning again I found another important problem which may cause my life. Before, I used to say that I Love Yamaha but after all this I feel that it’s time to change my feedback towards Yamaha.
    I know that one person like me can’t change everything but from your side that can be done so that others won’t have to suffer what I have experienced. Please kindly take this seriously and take any serious action to prevent the black mark on Yamaha bikes raised because of irresponsible, careless service provided by service centers like Uno and Cheerans.
    Looking forward for your response and assistance.
  • edited November 2013
    Dear sir/mam,

    I have purchase dell laptop on april 2013 from local shop. He has installed pirated window on my laptop. I was unaware of this thing at that time. Now when i asked him for genuine window, he refused to install. Can you help on me this? Which act can be forced on him for piracy?

    Regards
    Harpreet
    cutepreet8@gmail.com
  • edited November 2013
    I had purchased One Teakwood Tree from M/s. Sterling Tree Magnum (India) Ltd., Registered Office – 154, Eldams Road, Teynampet, Chennai 600 018, on 24.11.1997 vide Application No. AA0005641 and the Certificate No. 6N00230 after paying a sum of Rs.2,475.00 by cash and received the TEAKQUITY Certificate duly signed by the Authorized signatory as also signed by Mr. V.N. Pai the Managing Director of the company.

    As indicated in the certificate the following payments are due to me from the company:

    1. First Interim Returns due on - 23.11.2003, which would be paid by the company on 22.05.2004
    2. Second Interim Returns due on - 23.11.2009, which would be paid by the company on 22.05.2010

    I have so far received neither any response from M/s. Sterling Tree Magnum (India) Ltd., nor any payments.

    The Date of Maturity of the TEAKQUITY CERTIFICATE is 23.11.2017.

    I had applied for the TEAKQUITY CERTFICATE while I was staying at Flat No. 2-D, Pocket R, Dilshad Garden, Delhi and now I had shifted my residence from Delhi to Kerala and at present staying at the following address:

    Reshmi Menon
    W/o. Prakash Menon
    Mavelil House
    House No.290-A,
    Ambazakkad
    P.O. Ashtamichira
    Dist. Trichur
    Kerala State - 680 731

    Please incorporate the change of my address in your books of records for all future correspondence relating to this issue.

    As the above mentioned payments are due to me for long time now I shall be grateful if an information is passed on to me at the earliest possible time about the fate of my Deposit of Rs. 2,475.00 with M/s. Sterling Tree Magnum (India) Ltd., and the dues are released to me as soon as possible.

    It is very much regretted to note that I have so far not received any communication from M/s. Sterling Tree Magnum (India) Ltd., in regard to the fate of my deposit of Rs.2,475/- being the cost of one Teak Tree, I am seeking your kind and immediate interference in this matter and ensure that either the payment with interest or the Teak Tree may be allotted to me at the earliest possible time.
  • edited November 2013
    I, Sibu Chowdhury Vill-Rathbari, Post-J. Rathbari, P.S.-Kaliachak, Dist-Malda, Pin-732207 Rathbari BSNL Tower Malda - 732101 West Bengal ordered "M3 Proteck Advanced LED Audio/Video Projector with Remote Control" of which resolution is 1024 x 768 has been delivered me a wrong Product (VOX LED of which resolution is 320 x 240). The true Product has been completely changed. The Images of the Wrong Product , bill and others were already sent to your E-mail for solution of your mistake.

    But the company said to me over telephone to return the product through Courier Service to the Address where from the product has been shipped so that the company return my money.

    I have already shipped the product through 'Bluedart Express Ltd.' and attached scanned copy of 'Shipper's Copy'
    I sent my Bank A/c Details. to the concerned Authority


    I have received no response regarding 100% 7 days Money Back within 24-48 hours inspite of shipment of the wrong product. from 17/08/2013

    Thanking you

    Yours faithfully
  • edited November 2013
    Hello Team ,

    I need your help file a complaint against Parveen express (logistics ) , I have sent bike using bommanahalli (bangalore) parveen office to sankarankoil , after paid 1500 .
    so far they are not delivered and saying that still in transit ,they agent saying don't call again .i called upto GM of Parveen travels and not given any responce yet .

    I have bill with me , how we can teach a lesson to them for misbehaviour ?


    Please suggest me ?
  • edited November 2013
    hi sir
    this is yasar i regarding to complaint about EUREKA FORBES LIMITED i buy a euro clean wd-wet & dry vacuum cleaner for rs 13490 by my credit card on 20/11/13 i say that to the sale person that i need to convet my amount to 6 month emi but he not done that and i call that person back he's mobail is switch off for lost 5 day's my vacuum cleaner delivery by DHL coriuer on 22/11/13 till date no person come to show a demo to me i call the number that give that receipt that number is not work and i call to eurohelpline number and i regester my complaint on 23/11/13 and no is 89043099 and call to help line three to four time that person say i send you the person today i really upsard about that because the sales man come to me for thaken order 5 to 6 times and call me more than 100 time before dawali it sale call me but now i purches that no one solve my proplam
    MY ORDEN NO IS:103056388
    DC NO :22751397
    PO NO :5005779368
    MY SALES PERSON NAME IS E.SENTHUR
    HIS MOBAIL NUMBER GIVEN TO ME IS 8220745035
  • edited December 2013
    Aadi Honda servicing
    i am not getting proper servicing from Aadi Honda service center (Malakpet), i purchased my Honda activa from same showroom, within today's my vehicle shock observer making sound and oil leakage from gear box at back wheel, i went to the service center shown the issues but they just tight the wheel and said nothing is there we will see while servicing... till now i done with my three servicing but my problem was not solved facing same ......... service people are just satisfying me with there words not by there action or work,

    i request you to kindly look in to this..
    Thank you
  • edited December 2013
    We have bought this 8’ inch height SPRINGFIT Mattress in the year 2011,with 10 years warranty.But, Unfortunately we have lost our bill and warranty card.Now, when this mattress
    was delivered it was not brand new matress it was tored and tampered from each side.so we returned and replaced at the same time.Now when the replaced matress was exchanged , even that was having some burn marks and the label card is tampered from the inside with the intention to rub MRP of the product.It is hardly been 18 months and the matress is leaving its spring from all the sides.so we placed the complaint and two of the executives visit our place at two different long time interval.They have investigated and taken the pictures of the same for the approval.But,few days later,we got reply that without ”BILL” they can’t
    help us.And while making complaint we made it very clear that we have lost our bill.Now I just have one doubt , when the product is holding companies logo and product details label card with MRP and all and if the company's complete details are printed and pasted on the product then why so much delay in exchange.No customer can can hold the bills of each and every products for 10 years Does this not makes Our complain is clear and genuine.Even the consumer forum officer can come and check the damages.Being the customer we have been cheated and company is fraudulently running away to solve our complaint.We are facing health issues because of using such damage mattress,also we bought this mattress because my dad who is 70+required a comfortable mattress because of some serious health issues.
    But it seems like this company is not working on ethical values,they just don't seem to care about any customer's health issues.They are just working to make profit by unfair means. Guarantee is just given to attract the customer and increase sale.
    when the company is selling 10 yrs warranty products with complete details attached on the same,does demand for the bill sounds formal or the company is trying to cheat us.Our big mistake is that we bought this product from unknown and low rated company.when we are already using another good mattress of SPRINGWELL RATING *****.I would strongly recommend to all the readers that beware of such companies.We have decided not to give up unless and until we get our issue solve.



    PLEASE HELP , WE CAN’T AFFORD TO USE THIS DAMAGED MATTRESS AS WE HAVE SLIP DISC PATIENT,
    AND IT IS BOUGHT WITH HARD EARNED MONEY.


    THANKS AND REGARDS,
    AFREEN MOMIN
  • edited January 2014
    Dear sir I bought a sunflame gas burner in sep. DUE to some reason .I started using it in Dec. but to my surprise it is not working properly THE knob is very tight andburner is giving red flame and making all my utencils black I DON,T Know where to complain
  • edited January 2014
    Respected Sir / Madam,



    I am Amit Biswas, I was an employee of
    Reliance Life Insurance Company Limited as a Sales Manager(SM) - AGENCY (in the grade E2) .

    (Office Address- New Ashirbad, Joyagachi More, Habra, PIN- 743263 ,DIST- 24 PGS (N), West Bengal ).

    This is informing you that I was joined this company as a Sales Manager 18 December 2012 & working with this company above 7 months, in this time Branch Manager (MR Abhishek Neogi) was foreseeing me for lots of business that was impossible for me. After then he misbehaved & forcing me for resign.

    I was reached office daily but BM not allows me to entered, signed & E- attendant. That's why I was absent from long time. I decided to resign but he ignoring & not interested to talk with me. Then I discuss with HR & send final resignation letter through email to HR (malabika.v.saxena@rcap.co.in), Head HR (kaushik.basu@rcap.co.in) & Branch Manager (abhishek.neogi@rcap.co.in) 21 August 2013. After sending resign letter he not wanted to talk anything, not allow me to office for any type of problem & not provide me notices period. After one month of resignation when I wanted to full & final settlement with my PF the HR not taking any responsibility. I also mail BM & H HR for my full & final settlement with my PF but they misbehave me.

    Now Head HR send me
    " Please note that you have recovery amt. of Rs. 16993 /- as per F&F settlement. We request you to draw a DD in name of “Reliance Life Insurance Co. Ltd., payable at Mumbai” & send it to below mentioned address. Post which will be providing you with relieving letter."


    I don't have any complain about Reliance, Reliance is good place to work but some people are wrong.


    Now I am jobless looking for better job, I need money for study so please give me final settlement money & also send me the Provident Found money.


    I am attaching all prove, please look out.

    Please help me out about; I will be grateful to you.


    Thanking You

    SAP- 70168240
    9153649214
  • edited February 2014
    Sir,
    I had bought micromax taplet p360 three month ago and within a weak it got dead.I deposit it at micromax service center m/s Siya electronics F-17/156 first floor sertor-8 Rohini Delhi Phone no.011-47451025 they give me job sheet whose no. is 30682-1113-6329379. but at every visit they make only excuses and last excuse is that company will give me new tab within a weak but before it that service center got locket out.after that me send many email to company at info-micromaxinfo.com every time they reply that compliant forward to concern department.last weak I visited micromax office at narayana Delhi where i meat Mr Akshey he gave me his phone no. and told that within a weak problem will sort out.when I call him after a weak he gave me another phone no.of Mr Vivek 9811333096.I also contact him he answer me that according to there record my job sheet is not pending and also told that he would reply me after collect some infomation about tab. but till now no reply from any representative of the company.

    please register my complaint and take possitive action.

    with regard
    Sanjay Makheeja
    email-msanjay29.sm@gmail.com
    phone no. 9810082118
  • edited February 2014
    Sir,
    I had bought micromax taplet p360 three month ago and within a weak it got dead.I deposit it at micromax service center m/s Siya electronics F-17/156 first floor sertor-8 Rohini Delhi Phone no.011-47451025 they give me job sheet whose no. is 30682-1113-6329379. but at every visit they make only excuses and last excuse is that company will give me new tab within a weak but before it that service center got locket out.after that me send many email to company at info-micromaxinfo.com every time they reply that compliant forward to concern department.last weak I visited micromax office at narayana Delhi where i meat Mr Akshey he gave me his phone no. and told that within a weak problem will sort out.when I call him after a weak he gave me another phone no.of Mr Vivek 9811333096.I also contact him he answer me that according to there record my job sheet is not pending and also told that he would reply me after collect some infomation about tab. but till now no reply from any representative of the company.

    please register my complaint and take possitive action.

    with regard
    Sanjay Makheeja
    email-msanjay29.sm@gmail.com
    phone no. 9810082118
  • edited February 2014
    Hi, I am Mazhar
    this is is the link of my complaint, please remove it.


    my number shows as 'nokia customer care' in kolkata and customers harass me by calling me.
    i recieve 20+ calls weekly and sometimes they even use abusive language.

    my registered account does not work so i am posting as a guest.

    please resolve this or i would have to take help of the police. hope you understand
  • edited March 2014
    i ordered a item from WHAAKY.COM but they hav not shipped the product.

    Order ID : S80238375
    Payment Mode : DEBITCARD
    Order Placed on : 2014-03-09 17:03:11
    item name- Woodland Shoes & Get Black Hammer Watch FREE
    amount paid -999/-

    i want to cancel my order but there is no response from the company,neither by email nor by there custermer care number.

    i want cancel my order it has not been shipped.

    please help me out..
  • edited March 2014
    My Name in A.K Srivastav And my Cheque number 091808 in axis bank
  • edited March 2014
    When Iam paying amount to merchant through debitcard amount deducted from my account but not received to customer and I didn't get any receipt
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