Delhi Consumer Court Orders Lifestyle to Pay ₹3,000 Compensation for ₹7 Carry Bag Charge

LI Network

Published on: December 17, 2023 at 00:05 IST

The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (DCDRC) in Delhi has directed the fashion retailer Lifestyle to compensate a customer ₹3,000 for charging ₹7 for a paper carry bag at one of its outlets.

The decision, arising from the case of Anmol Malhotra versus Lifestyle International Pvt. Limited @ Max Fashion, was delivered by the commission’s bench comprising President SS Malhotra and members Rashmi Bansal and Ravi Kumar.

The commission held Lifestyle responsible for causing mental distress to the customer and mandated the return of the ₹7 charged for the carry bag.

Emphasizing the consumer’s right to be informed about additional charges before making a purchase, the commission stated that Lifestyle cannot levy any amount for carry bags, particularly those purchased from its own outlets.

The order, dated November 28, specified the refund of ₹7 for the carry bag and ₹3,000 as compensation for mental agony, harassment, and litigation costs.

If Lifestyle fails to comply with the order within the stipulated time, the commission has warned that the company would be liable to pay interest at a rate of 9% per year. Anmol Malhotra, the complainant, alleged that he was charged ₹7 for a paper carry bag without prior notice during a visit to a Lifestyle outlet on December 8, 2020. The incident occurred after Malhotra made a purchase totaling ₹706, which included the ₹7 charge for the paper carry bag.

Malhotra argued that Lifestyle imposed this additional cost without informing him in advance, causing distress and inconvenience, constituting a deficiency of service and an unfair trade practice.

The consumer commission observed that the outlet likely charged for the paper carry bag due to its higher cost compared to plastic bags, now banned by the government.

The key issue addressed by the commission was whether it is permissible to impose an extra charge on customers for carry bags without providing prior notice.

The ruling emphasized the customer’s right to be informed of such additional charges before making a purchase, including essential details such as specifications and the price of the carry bag.

The DCDRC cited a 2020 order by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in a case involving Big Bazaar, supporting the conclusion that Lifestyle cannot impose additional charges for carry bags without informing the customer.

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