A delay in paying out Rs 186 in prize money has cost a cellphone retail chain Rs 10,000 after the aggrieved winner approached a consumer forum, citing mental agony over the 14-month wait.
Malad resident Rohit Somani bought a cellphone from the Kandivli outlet of The Mobile Store on October 30, 2009, and received a scratch card with the instrument, as part of an ongoing scheme by the chain.
The card entitled him to a return of Rs 186 from the sum he had paid for the cellphone, but Somani — despite repeated follow-up visits — never received the money.
In December 2010, Somani approached the Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, which ordered the chain to pay Rs 10,000 in compensation and observed that it was guilty of deficiency in service and indulgence in unfair trade practices by announcing attractive offers and not implementing them, “thinking that no consumer would pursue the matter for such a negligible amount”.
Store representatives did not appear before the Forum, despite a notice being served to them.
Instead, they offered Somani a cheque for Rs 186. Somani told the forum he wished to pursue the case to seek recompense for the mental stress he suffered while pursuing the matter for over a year. The forum ruled in favour of Somani.
Qazi Ahmed, who is in charge of the outlet concerned, said he was unaware of the order.