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‘Consumers must insist on receipts’

Indians are yet to develop the culture of demanding and obtaining receipts when they purchase goods or give goods for repair. A typical Indian consumer relies more on trust and verbal assurances.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2010 23:38 IST

Indians are yet to develop the culture of demanding and obtaining receipts when they purchase goods or give goods for repair. A typical Indian consumer relies more on trust and verbal assurances. But what happens when the retailer or the repairer turns out to be untrustworthy? In the absence of a document, consumers can run into problems when the store damages equipment or fails to repair it to the consumer’s satisfaction. Here is one such case.

Dr Deepak Thakur: My mobile set’s speaker developed some problem. So, I gave it for repair at the local mobile repair shop in my town, where the mechanic damaged its display/touch screen. He promised to get it repaired within a couple of days, but even after two months, there’s no word from him. I’ve not taken any receipt from him that my set is deposited with him for repair. Can I move the consumer court for redressal?

Answer: You can move the consumer court. However, you need some evidence to show that you have given the mobile for repair. Please ask the repair shop to give you a receipt indicating a definite date on which he would return your mobile.

If that fails, write a formal letter describing your unhappiness with his service and asking for a definite commitment from him on your mobile’s return.

Send it by registered post and keep a copy.

You can also file a police complaint and keep a copy. These should help you with your consumer court case.

I would like to quote here the case of M/S Mercury Electronics VS A.L.Manchanda (Revision Petition No 102 of 2007, decided by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on January 15, 2008).

Here, the consumer courts directed a repair shop to pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 for failing to repair a microwave even after collecting Rs 2,2000 for it.

The ‘repaired’ microwave stopped working after four days and eventually Mr Manchanda had to spend Rs 4,415 on its repair.

Meanwhile, here is a general note of advice for consumers: Whenever you give goods for repair, insist on a receipt with all relevant details.

You may be asked to sign a receipt indicating your satisfaction with the repair job. Make it clear ‘as of now’, it seems to be working.

Do you have any problems? Send in your queries to

n pgirimaji@gmail.com