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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Consumers should always keep purchase receipt for further use

Pushpa Girimaji, Hindustan Times   January 29, 2012
First Published: 00:45 IST(29/1/2012) | Last Updated: 00:48 IST(29/1/2012)

Do you collect the cash receipt whenever you make a purchase? And do you keep it safe for possible future use?

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If you are not in the habit of doing so, I would suggest you to cultivate the habit because you never know when you would need it. 

So how long do you keep such receipts? That depends on the product — if it is gold jewellery, for example, you need to keep it for ever. Receipts of electronic goods require to be kept along with the warranty or guaranty card.

As far as clothes are concerned, it is always best to keep the receipt at least till the first wash or dry-cleaning in case if the colour runs out or the fabric shrinks or shows up some other defect, you will need the receipt for redress of your complaint. After all, the receipt is an important proof of purchase. It shows where you bought it from, when did you purchase and how much you paid for it.

I must mention here that once the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection Act (introduced during the last session) are passed by the Parliament and notified, you will find it easier to get cash receipts from retailers and service providers. That’s because one of the amendments proposed in the bill brings such failure to issue a bill for any payment made towards services or goods under the definition of ‘unfair trade practice’.

And the law gives consumers the right to be protected against unfair trade practices and the right to be compensated for any loss or injury caused on account of an unfair trade practice.

So at least this should force the trade and industry to issue receipts without fail and without the consumer asking for it.

Veenu Gupta: I purchased a georgette saree with extensive stone work for R18,000 from a showroom in Kamla Nagar in February last year. I wore it just once and got it dry-cleaned. Recently, when I took it out to wear, I found that the work had turned black and it looked ugly. The shopkeeper first blamed it on the dry-cleaner but after I made him talk to the cleaner, he kept the saree.

However, he returned it after a week saying that since I did not have the bill, he cannot do anything. 

I must mention that I did not get the blouse dry-cleaned, but even that has got blackened, proving that the problem was with the

substandard material used by the shop. Now my question is: Can the shop escape responsibility only because I do not have the receipt? Who keeps a bill for a year?  

Answer: From what you are saying, it seems like the shopkeeper is not denying that he sold the saree. The very fact that he kept it for a week shows that he was not disputing its origin.

Since you do not have a cash receipt, this will not help you in your case. I would also suggest that you come up with some additional evidence to prove that you bought the saree from the shop-may be a friend or a relative who came with you when you bought it can confirm it. 

You can also use the Internet to find out if there are more dissatisfied customers of this shop with similar experience. That will also help you in your case. The shop cannot escape responsibility for a poor product, particularly after collecting R18,000 for it, only because you do not have a receipt. Having said that, I must say that in future, please keep your receipts safe. It does not take much effort to put all your receipts in a file, you just do not know when you will need it.

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