THE UT consumer forum has directed Paytm and a private company to provide an Apple iPhone 6, 16 GB (Space Gray) to a local resident at Rs 60 only and also pay an amount of Rs 5,000 as litigation charges after both Paytm and the private seller failed to fulfil their commitment of providing the iPhone at cheaper rate during a promotional offer last year. The original cost of the mobile handset was Rs 42,389.
A Sector 38 resident, Kavish Gupta, spotted a promotional offer — a 16GB iPhone for Rs 60 only — on Paytm website in March last year. He immediately ordered the iPhone and paid Rs 60 online on March 9, 2016. The payment also included shipping charges.
Gupta received an e-mail of order confirmation and the estimated date of delivery was March 17, 2016. He received another confirmation mail on March 10 from Paytm confirming that his iPhone will be shipped in one-two days.
However, to his utter shock, the Paytm sent a subsequent email intimating Gupta that his order was cancelled by Infinity Informatics (the private seller) citing unavoidable circumstances. The email added that the refund of Rs 60 was initiated. Thereafter, the complainant wrote a number of e-mails to Paytm to deliver the product at the offered price, but to no avail.
Gupta accused Paytm and the private company of “deficiency in service and unfair trade practice” and filed a complaint against both under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act.
In its reply, Paytm stated that “it acts only as a facilitator and thus, it does not have any privity of contract with the complainant and the complainant has not bought any goods from Paytm and the alleged product in contention was bought from an independent third party seller which was Infinity Informatics and the seller is selling its products on the website operated by Paytm”.
Paytm also pleaded that due to inadvertent error in the catalogue which was beyond the control of Paytm, the order booked by the complainant was cancelled and the amount paid by him while booking the order was refunded subsequently. Patym stated that there was no deficiency in service on its part.
After hearing the counsel of both the complainant and respondent, the forum said that “Paytm being an online marketplace received Rs 60 towards the booking of an Apple iPhone 6, 16 GB (Space Gray) from the complainant… Infinity Informatics were the sellers of the product, and both had joined hands to befool the gullible and susceptible consumers firstly, by confirming the booking and thereafter, cancelling the same, coining the excuse of catalogue issue. Hence, respondents cannot escape their liability for providing the booked product, i.e. Apple iPhone 6, 16 GB (Space Gray) to the complainant”.