March 1, 2020 10:09:34 am
THE CHANDIGARH Consumer Forum has directed an online shopping website and its seller to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation and directed the website to refund Rs 1,599, for selling a fake Casio watch to a city resident.
Sudhir Kumar Sharma of Chandigarh stated that he had ordered a watch on January 2, 2019 from Snapdeal Private Limited’s website which was supplied by Shreeji Enterprises from Gujarat, by making a payment of Rs 1,599. Sharma alleged that it was mentioned on the company’s website that the watch belongs to G-SHOCK Series, which is a product manufactured by Casio India. It also said that the company provided a manufacturer warranty of two years on the watch.
Sharma said that he gifted the watch to his friend on his birthday, who after two weeks of use, said that ‘the watch hour’s hand fully dismantled and was free from its working’. Sharma then contacted the website who further advised him to contact the manufacturer (Casio). However, when Sharma went to the repair centre of Casio, they refused to repair the watch stating that it was ‘not a Casio product’.
Alleging that he has been sold a fake watch, Sharma filed a formal complaint at the forum in the matter on March 20, 2019.
Snapdeal Private Limited in reply submitted that the website is an electronic platform which acts as an intermediary to facilitate sales transaction between independent third-party sellers and independent end consumers.
It said that once a user accepts the offer of sale of the product made by the third-party seller on the website, the seller is intimated electronically and is required to ensure that the products are made available and delivered in accordance to the delivery terms as set out by the seller as part of the terms for sale displayed on the website.
Meanwhile, the actual seller who displays the products makes an offer for sale to visitors of the website, accepts the order placed by the buyers and finally makes the delivery of the ordered products accompanied with the offer issued by the seller to the buyers.
It added that the sellers directly raise invoices to the final customers for the product sold and bear all commercial risks and the ultimate monetary beneficiary of such sale proceedings is the seller and not them.
Shreeji Enterprises, did not appear in the forum despite notice, and it was thus proceeded exparte. The forum after hearing the argument held that, “from the available record and in the absence of any contrary evidence, it is proven fact that the complainant has been delivered fake watch of Casio company and as such its repair has been denied by the authorised service centre/dealer of Casio Company”.
Regarding Snapdeal’s plea stating that there is no privity of contract with the complainant, as it merely is an online marketplace where the independent third party sellers can list their products for sale, the forum on it held that the plea is totally untenable and baseless. The forum thus directed the e-commerce firm, Snapdeal, to refund Rs 1,599 to the complainant, and directed Snapdeal and Shreeji Enterprises to pay Rs 1,500 as compensation.
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