The Consumer Forum of Panchkula directed an e-commerce website to pay Rs 27,029 to a Panchkula resident for not refunding the amount for a defective tablet the latter bought, but instead refunding the amount in the form of gift cards. Baljit Singh Dhillon of Panchkula stated that on January 20, 2017, he had booked one iball Slide Brace XI 4G Tablet through Amazon India, and the same was to be delivered on next day, but after opening the consignment, he found that there was display problem in the tablet.
Dhillon informed about the defect to Amazon India and requested them to return the product and refund the amount of the iball tablet. Dhillon stated that on January 31, 2017 he received a message from Amazon India that “we have accepted your return request and that “once we receive the item we will issue your refund”. Thus later on the tablet was picked up by the authorized person from the firm but Amazon India refunded the amount in the shape of gift cards rather than returning the amount in the bank account of the complainant.
On Dhillon’s request, Amazon India sent a message to the complainant that they had received the bank details of him and the amount will be deposited within 3-4 days in the account of complainant but till date they have not deposited the amount in the account of complainant. Dhillon thus filed a formal complaint at the Panchkula Consumer Forum on December 14, 2018.
The Amazon India in reply submitted that they does not sell or offer to sell any products and it merely provides an online marketplace where independent third party sellers list their products for sale. Therefore the sellers themselves are responsible for their respective listings and products on the website. Amazon India is not responsible for the products that are listed on the website by various third party sellers, nor does ASSPL intervene or influence any customers in any manner.
The forum after hearing the arguments held that instead of refunding the amount, insisting and forcing the complainant to buy another product by way of crediting the amount to Amazon Account against the consent of complainant is unfair trade practice on the part of Amazon India.
The forum held in the judgment released on August 8 that, in this case, the defective product has already been returned by the complainant and accepted by the Amazon India. However, the refund amount has been wrongly retained by the Amazon itself. The forum thus directed Amazon India to refund Rs 17,029 along with interest at 9 percent per annum to the complainant from the date of filing of this complaint till realization, and also to pay Rs 5000 as compensation and Rs 5000 as cost of litigation.