Online retailer, seller asked to pay Chandigarh resident ₹2,500 for collecting extra GST
Penalising a leading online retailer and Telangana-based seller for wrongly charging ₹49 as Goods and Service Tax (GST), the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed them to pay ₹2,500 to the complainant.
Madhu P Singh of Chandigarh had filed a complaint against Amazon Sellers Services Pvt Ltd (New Delhi and Bengaluru) and Cloudtail India Pvt. Ltd (Telangana).
The woman said she had bought footwear worth ₹2,995 (including taxes) from a British lifestyle brand at 33% discount from the online retailer.
An invoice of ₹1,048 was raised on June 2019, and she paid in cash for the same. However, later she realised that she had been charged an additional ₹49 as tax, she said.
Accusing the seller and retailer of deficiency in service and unfair trade practices, Singh moved the commission.
While the Telangana-based dealer did not appear before the consumer forum, Amazon Sellers Services submitted a written response, saying the company did not sell or offer to sell any products and neither did they advertise or endorse any product on the website or anywhere else. It said the company merely provides an online marketplace where independent third-party sellers list their products for sale.
Amazon Sellers Services, in its response, also said, “The sellers are responsible for their respective listings and products on the website.”
The online retailer also contended that the complainant never approached them, nor lodged any complaint, hence they had no knowledge of the matter. They also submitted that the discounted price of the product was exclusive of taxes and the customer had been charged correctly. However, the consumer forum said the question was whether the maximum retail price (MRP) included all taxes and whether, after discount, Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) may be charged or not?
“When MRP includes all taxes, charging extra IGST on the discounted price would certainly amount to deficiency in service and indulgence into unfair trade practice on the part of the Ops (opposition parties). Hence, they are liable to refund the excess amount of GST besides compensation for mental agony, physical pain and litigation expenses to the complainant,” the commission observed.
It directed them to refund ₹49, which was wrongly charged, and pay ₹2,500 on account of deficiency in service and litigation expenses.
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