Chandigarh: Mobile company, online portal among fined for selling defunct mobile phone - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh: Mobile company, online portal among fined for selling defunct mobile phone

By, Chandigarh
Feb 23, 2024 08:47 PM IST

Complainant Ashwani Chawla, a resident of Sector 42, Chandigarh, filed a case against Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru; Bathla Teletch Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; Oneplus Technology India Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru and Oneplus Exclusive Service Centre, Chandigar

State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission penalised online selling portal, mobile company and others for selling a defunct phone to a customer.

After no other opposition party appeared, the commission proceeded ex-parte. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
After no other opposition party appeared, the commission proceeded ex-parte. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Complainant Ashwani Chawla, a resident of Sector 42, Chandigarh, filed a case against Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru; Bathla Teletch Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; Oneplus Technology India Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru and Oneplus Exclusive Service Centre, Chandigarh.

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The complainant had ordered one brand new OnePlus mobile handset through Flipkart on July 17, 2023. However, the mobile was malfunctioning right from the beginning. When he approached the service centre, they suggested a software update/repair. It also came to the fore that the product was activated on February 2, 2023, whereas the complainant had bought it in July.

He then took up the issue with the marketplace e-commerce entity and the online platform and seller but to no avail. Alleging that the aforesaid acts amount to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite parties, he moved a consumer complaint.

Flipkart pleaded that it is merely an online intermediary and is neither an actual seller nor manufacturer or service provider of the product. It is the seller and manufacturer, who can revert on the quality and contents of the product.

Pleading that there was no deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on its part, it prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.

As no other opposition party appeared, hence, the commission proceeded ex-parte.

The commission observed: “The sequence of the events of the present case, clearly establishes the high-headedness of the opposite parties of which the complainant became the victim, which further aggravated his pain and harassment.”

“The opposite parties have has certainly and definitely indulged into unfair trade practice as they ought to have redressed the grievance of the complainant forthwith, which they miserably failed to do and propelled this unwarranted, uncalled for litigation upon the complainant,” the order mentioned.

“The opposite parties are, jointly and severally, directed to refund 40,941 plus 49 plus 49 to the complainant being the invoice price of the mobile handset and offer handing fee charged from the complainant, along with interest @ 9% p.a. from the date of payment, till realisation to the complainant,” the commission ordered.

The commission further asked them to pay 10,000 as compensation for deficiency in service, unfair trade practice and for causing harassment and 10,000 as litigation expenses. And they are penalised with 10,000 (@ 2,500/- each) to be deposited in the “Consumer Legal Aid Account” maintained at Chandigarh.

The commission also directed them to immediately discontinue the practice of issuing two separate bills for a single transaction on the pretext of offer handling fee and not to indulge in such unfair contract, trade and “dark patterns” practices.

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