E-commerce portal Flipkart has been directed to pay Rs 44,000 as compensation to a woman who ordered a camera but received an empty pack. The Pune District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum directed Flipkart on June 14 to refund the woman Rs 28,890 with 9 per cent interest along with Rs 15,000 as compensation for deficiency in service.
Gaurangi Deshmukh, a resident of Pune, had filed a complaint with the consumer forum against Flipkart under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, alleging deficiency in service against the service provider.
According to her complaint, Deshmukh had placed an online order on February 4, 2018, for a Nikon DSLR camera model on Flipkart. She had paid Rs 28,990 for the camera via net banking.
According to the complaint, on February 5, 2018, the delivery boy handed over the package to the security personnel of Deshmukh’s building. But when Deshmukh opened the package, she discovered that the camera was missing and in its place was an empty free deal bag. Also, the delivered package was in a poor condition, torn from one side and loosely cello-taped. When placing the order, Deshmulh had not given instructions to Flipkart to deliver the package to anyone except her mentioned residential address. At the time the package was handed over to the security personnel, her father was present at home.
On admission of the complaint, the forum issued a notice to Flipkart directing it to appear before the court and file their written version. However, the e-commerce giant failed to do so. The forum passed an ex parte order against the portal on August 14, 2018. On October 10, 2018, Flipkart appeared before the forum through an advocate and filed the application for setting aside the ex parte order. However, the forum rejected its application saying it is not vested with the power to set aside an ex parte order. The complaint proceeded ex parte against Flipkart and after carefully scrutinising the pleadings of the complainant in the light of the evidence adduced on record and hearing the arguments, the forum, comprising president Anil Khadse and members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Deshmukh, passed the order.
The forum has directed the e-commerce portal to make the payment of Rs 28,990 with 9 per cent interest within six weeks from the date of the receipt of the order to the complainant, along with Rs 15,000 by way of global compensation towards mental and physical agony and cost of the complaint.
The forum observed that “nowadays, online shopping is spreading everywhere because it’s time and money saving, but the responsibilities of the companies cannot be over after sale of product as it is the bounden duty of the companies to satisfy their customers. It does not give any liberty to usurp the money of the consumers by sending wrong or defective items”.