Consumer Commission Orders Mobile Phone Company to Refund Rs 91k and Pay Rs 15k Compensation for Defective Phone

Consumer Protection Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: October 5, 2023 at 11:28 IST

A district consumer commission in East Delhi has ruled in favor of a buyer, ordering a mobile phone company to refund Rs 91,000 for selling a defective phone and pay compensation of Rs 15,000, which includes litigation costs.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (East Delhi) addressed a complaint where the purchased device developed technical problems within two months of acquisition. The phone, bought for Rs 91,000 in July 2018, was sent for repairs to an authorized service provider in Preet Vihar.

Upon attempting to collect the phone, the service provider informed the complainant that the device had been found damaged and that the defects were not covered under warranty.

Based on the evidence presented, a bench composed of President S S Malhotra and members Rashmi Bansal and Ravi Kumar concluded that the mobile phone company (referred to as opposite party 1) engaged in unfair trade practices.

The bench stated, “This commission is of the view that Opposite party 1 or OP1 (the mobile phone company) and Opposite party 2 or OP 2 (the service provider) are jointly and severally liable for deficiency in service and unfair trade practice and are directed to refund the complete amount of the phone to the complainant, i.e., Rs. 91,000.”

Furthermore, “A compensation of Rs 15,000 is also awarded to the complainant, which also includes the litigation cost,” the bench added.

The commission noted that the mobile phone company failed to provide any expert opinion regarding the phone’s examination at its service center and lacked evidence to demonstrate that the phone was damaged when opened for repairs.

The commission found the mobile company’s explanation that the defects were addressed by its service center to be “wrong” and “contrary to the evidence on record.” It concluded that the company was not transparent in its dealings and wrongly shifted the burden to the service provider.

The commission emphasized that there was no documentation proving the complainant “wilfully damaged” the product, and the evidence indicated that the phone was in working condition when submitted to the service center but returned “dead” to the complainant.

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