The Consumer Court is a boon to the society. When the dealer or the manufacturer supplies a sub-standard quality product to a gullible customer, he or she can sue in the consumer court under certain circumstances. Just what are those circumstances?
Supposing you or a friend of yours purchase some goods and find later that the product develops some problems and cannot be used, you go to the vendor and complain about it and ask for a replacement. This is common.
But what to do when the vendor says he could not give a replacement? Here is what one should do with a sub-standard quality product and how to take the vendor into task for having cheated.
First, read the Warranty/Guarantee given by the vendor. Understand the substance in it. The bill the shopkeeper gives will have this readymade phrase: “Goods once sold will not be taken back.” Does it mean that the buyer has to curse his ill-luck and remain as a silent sufferer?
Not necessarily. See if the product is under warranty period. If so, take the defective product to the manufacturer’s service centre, or call the company service technician. Even after that if it develops some problem and stopped working, take it up with the consumer court. However, before going to the consumer court, ensure that you have all evidences such as the bill of purchase, warranty card and the report given at the service centre, or by the technician who visited home.
Unless one provides these irrefutable evidences, the consumer court would dismiss the case as ‘Baseless.’ Hence it is more important to preserve these related documents mentioned above intact. Even if the product is not so costly, still one can fight for it.
Another thing most of the buyers overlook is the seller’s signature, date of purchase and seal on the Warranty or the Guarantee. Insist the vendor to sign and affix his stamp on it.
Most of the complaints lodged could not be considered for want of these vital evidences. So, it is necessary to preserve these related documents:
Report of services done, known as Job Sheet.
Copy of the complaint letter.
Fully equipped thus, one can approach the consumer court. If the complaint is genuine and the judgment comes in favour of the buyer, he could also claim compensation for the mental agony and sleeplessness that he had undergone.
The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2011 emphasizes faster disposal of the cases referred to them. This was tabled in the recently concluded (Dec.2011) Lok Sabha and is now under the Standing Committee.
According to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, Dispute Redress Agencies have been set up at 629 districts, and 35 more at national and state level. Anyone who disregards the consumer court directions and orders will be penalized to the tune of Rs. 500 or 1.5 percent of the amount as penalty.
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