Charging Chandigarh resident ₹10 for paper carry bag costs Big Bazaar dear
The district consumer disputes redressal forum has penalised Big Bazaar in Elante Mall, Chandigarh, for charging ₹10 for a paper carry bag.
The forum directed the store to refund the ₹10, and to pay ₹100 compensation for harassment and mental agony and ₹1,100 as litigation expenses to the complainant, Bharat Dawar, a resident of Sector 34. Apart from this, the store was also told to deposit ₹5,000 to the consumer legal aid account.
In his complaint, Dawar said he had bought some items from Big Bazaar, but at the billing counter, the cashier told him that he was required to pay ₹10 for a paper carry bag to carry the articles. He said he resisted but to no effect. Calling it an unfair trade practice, he moved the forum on July 10 this year.
WHAT THE STORE SAID
Big Bazaar pleaded that the amount was rightly charged as the same was displayed in the store. Also, the complainant had consented to be given a carry bag for an additional charge, the store said.
It further pleaded that its advertisements and notices displayed at prominent locations stated that as part of its responsible and environmentally conscious business policy, the consumers were requested to carry their own bags and that a separate charge was to be levied if they wished to obtain a new carry bag.
The forum observed that if the store “claims itself to be responsible and environmentally conscious, then they should have given the carry bags to the customers free of cost.”
“In our considered view, the price of the carry bag has generally been included by them in the profit margins of the product(s),” ruled the forum, adding that “by employing unfair trade practice, the company was minting a lot of money from the gullible customers from all their stores situated across the country.”
The forum ruled that the deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice on the part of the store was proved.