Terming it as unfair trade practice, the district consumer disputes redressal forum has penalised an online retail chain with Rs 7,070 for not refunding Rs 69 to a city resident that he spent towards delivery expenses for returning a duplicate power bank that he had ordered. The amount of compensation has recently been paid by the seller to the customer who moved the court.
Amazon sellers have been asked to pay Rs 5,000 compensation for causing mental harassment and agony, Rs 2,000 as litigation charges and Rs 69 as registered parcel expenses incurred by the customer while returning the product.
The forum, while coming down heavily on Amazon seller services has found the company guilty of unfair trade practices as it not only sent a duplicate product to the customer, but it was also without any invoice or bill. Moreover, the seller also failed to return Rs 69 spent towards registry of the parcel as the product was returned by the customer.
The complainant, Vishal Kapoor, a resident of Civil Lines in city placed an order for Xiomi MI power bank on November 12 last year. The parcel was received against the cash payment of Rs 1,148, including the shipping charges in Ludhiana. After the parcel was opened, it came to light that a duplicate power bank has been delivered.
Moreover, there was neither any bill nor any invoice sent with the parcel. After the complainant raised it with the company, he was asked to return the duplicate product for replacement.
After the complainant sent the product by a registered parcel on November 19, 2015, it was returned with remarks that the address does not exist.
Seeking refund of Rs 1,148 along with shipping charges of Rs 69 and compensation for harassment, the complainant moved the consumer court.
In its reply, Amazon said that they do not sell any product but merely provide a platform (an online marketplace), where the products are sold through an independent third party.
It was claimed that they are only a facilitator and not involved in any sale transaction between the customer and the sellers.
In the order, the forum observed that the price of the product which was Rs 1,148 has been refunded to the customer during the pendency of the complaint and the customer’s grievance is that Rs 69 still to be covered.
Based on emails from Amazon establishing that an amount of Rs 1,148 has been refunded to the customer and another saying that they are sorry for the inconvenience, the consumer forum ruled that Amazon India has indulged in unfair trade practices.
“Act of non-sending of the bill/invoice is also an act of unfair trade practice. They thus cannot escape liability by claiming that they are only facilitators,” ruled the forum.