A wedding is a very special event and every bride wants to look her best on that day. So one can imagine the anger and frustration of a bride whose expensive wedding dress is spoilt by the tailor.
That anger is clearly reflected in a query by a reader who wants to know if she can drag the tailor, who spoilt her wedding day, to the consumer court.
Asks Anita Nagaraj: I had entrusted a tailor with the task of stitching half a dozen saree blouses. They were very expensive blouse pieces to be worn during my various wedding ceremonies.
Even though the material was given well in time, the tailor delayed delivery and gave them only a day before my wedding. On trying them on, I found that he had spoilt all of them. The fit was not right and the designs were different from what I had specified. It completely upset my mood and caused considerable distress. Can I take any action against the tailor? I paid very high tailoring charges too.
Answer: You can file a complaint before the consumer court and get back the cost of fabric and tailoring charges, besides compensation for the anguish and distress undergone as a result of the bad stitching and the delay in handing over the stitched clothes. You can also ask for costs of litigation.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, undue delay in providing a service constitutes deficiency in service and failure to carry out the work as specified by you.
And the law gives you the right to seek compensation for any loss or distress caused. I do hope that you have preserved the cash receipt to prove that (a) you stitched the clothes from a particular tailor (b) you paid for the services rendered by the tailor.
If you can show the 'due date' for delivery and the actual date of delivery of the clothes, then that would also establish the delay.
I would suggest that you first write to the tailor asking him to compensate you for the deficient service. If he does not respond positively, you can seek the help of the consumer court.
In the case of A.C. Modagi Vs Cross Well Tailor and Others (revision petition no 75 of 1990) decided by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
In this case, Modagi tried the pair of pants stitched by the tailor and found that they were tight, shapeless, short and unfit for wearing. Alterations rendered by the tailor did not help either. When the tailor refused to refund Rs 75 paid towards tailoring and the cost of the fabric, the consumer filed a case against him.
Here the main question was whether the services of a tailor came under the purview of the consumer courts.
While the consumer argued that it did, the tailor contended that stitching clothes was in the nature of 'personal service' and therefore attracted the exclusion clause under the Act.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission here pointed out that a “personal service” pertained to a master and servant relationship, which was totally different from a tailor-client relationship.
Unlike in a master-servant relationship, here, the tailor was independent of any supervision or control of the consumer while he was cutting the cloth or stitching it. While doing his work, the tailor was bound to obey the direction given by the consumer about the design, but no further.
Thus, the service rendered by the tailor was a professional service and not a personal service and the consumer was entitled to compensation for any deficiency in that service, the apex consumer court held.