Taking strict note of a city-based café, which is facing allegations of forcing a customer to pay service charge, for failing to appear when summoned and later challenging the order of being proceeded ex parte, the state consumer disputes redressal commission, Chandigarh, imposed a cost of Rs 3,000 on it.
Amalgamated Bean Coffee trading company which runs Café Coffee Day (CCD) at Elante Mall, Chandigarh, had moved the commission challenging the order of consumer disputes redressal, Chandigarh, for proceeding ex parte against them. As per directions, this amount would be paid to complainant Gurdeep Singh, 23, on October 31 when they appear before the forum before getting an opportunity to be heard.
Gurdeep of Kharar alleged that on July 1, 2014, he and his family went to CCD at Elante. Gurdeep said he ordered a cup of cappuccino and garlic bread worth Rs 273.
As per Gurdeep’s allegations, when he went to pay the bill he was asked to pay additional amount of Rs 8.19 towards service charge but the cafe failed to explain who authorised them to charge it. When he refused to accede to the illegal demand, he was insulted and forced to pay.
Explaining no appearance despite being summoned, the cafe submitted that their representative could not appear as his vehicle broke down.
The consumer commission on October 22, giving an opportunity to the café to be heard, held, “On account of the negligence of CCD, the case is being remanded back for fresh decision after giving them an opportunity to submit its written version. Due to this reason, there is delay in the final disposal of the complaint. Such delay is solely attributable to the café, thus, they are liable to be burdened with costs worth Rs 3,000 to meet the ends of justice.”