Chandigarh: Bata fined Rs 9,000 for charging Rs 3 to customer for bag
Daijiworld Media Network - Chandigarh (SP)
Chandigarh, Apr 15: A Consumer Forum here has directed Bata India Ltd, manufacturer of well-known branded footwear, to pay fine of Rs 9,000 towards deficiency of service committed in serving a customer, duly holding that it had committed wrong by charging three rupees for a bag it provided to him.
India Today has reported that Dinesh Prasad Raturi, a resident of the city, complained to the Consumer Forum that after buying a pair of shoes from Bata store at sector 22 D here on February 5, he was billed three rupees for the cloth bag provided to him along with the shoes. The customer pointed out that the Bata had advertisement of its products printed on its bag. Therefore he argued that the store was wrong in charging him for the bag.
Raturi not only demanded the refund of three rupees he paid for the bag, but also compensation for deficiency in service. Bata India representatives stood their ground, dismissing the notion that they had committed deficiency of service. The forum however, after hearing both the sides, concluded that the firm was wrong in charging cost of the bag to the customer, and considered it as deficiency of service. It observed that the store is obliged to provide a free bag to customers who buy its products.
The forum asked Bata India to provide paper bags to its customers free of cost. It also observed that if the companies are genuinely worried about environment conservation, they need to provide environment friendly bags to customer without charging anything. Bata also was ordered to refund three rupees along with litigation charges of Rs 1,000 to the said customer. The company was asked to pay Rs 3,000 as compensation for the mental agony caused due to its deficiency in service. It directed the company to deposit Rs 5,000 in the legal aid account of the State Consumer Grievances Redressal Commission.
The order has come as a rude shock to stores which have made it a practice to charge for bags provided to customers, and asking customers to bring their own bags if they want to save this cost.