Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Kollam: While deciding upon the instant consumer complaint against Zomato for failing to deliver the food item ordered by the complainant and upon the non-delivery of the order failing to refund the amount paid for the same, the Bench of Muhammed Ibrahim (President), S. Sandhya Rani and Stanley Harold (Members) directed Zomato to refund Rs. 362 (Rs. l76 + 186) with interest at 9% p.a from the date of order till realization. Further directions were given for the payment of Rs. 5000 as compensation for mental agony sustained by the complainant and Rs. 3000 as costs of the proceedings.

Facts of the case: The complainant who is a student, who during his residence at a hostel, had ordered to purchase one Chicken salt and pepper and 3 Parotha from a restaurant (3rd opposite party) using Zomato online application by paying Rs. 176. However, Zomato neither delivered the food item to the complainant nor refunded the amount paid against the order through ATM/Debit card from the complainant’s bank account. The complainant demanded the refund by making multiple communication to the representative of Zomato, but it was of no consequence.

Allegations and Rebuttal: The complainant stated that this is not the first instance of Zomato’s deficiency in service. He also alleged that Zomato is indulging in unfair trade practice since they could not add delivery charge, so they cancelled the order by giving complainant false explanations and extorted the complainant’s money by fraud.

The complainant prayed for the issuance of directions to the parties for refund of the entire amount paid to them along with interest at market rate and to pay Rs. 1,50,000 as compensation to the complainant in lieu of loss of value of money, harassment, mental pain, agony etc. suffered by him and his family members.

Zomato stated that the reasons for non-delivery of food items was because the complainant was unavailable to collect the food at the mentioned address; and that there was an issue with the address of the complainant, who was directed to correct his address in the Zomato App. Vis-à-vis the refund, Zomato stated that, since the restaurant had already started preparing the order of the complainant, the opposite parties could not refund the amount of this order.

The Commission perused the relevant evidence submitted by the complainant and in view of the unchallenged averments, held that the case against the opposite parties has been proved and the complainant is entitled to get the refund and reasonable compensation. The opposite party remained absent from the proceedings were thus set ex-parte.

[Arun G Krishnan v. Deepinder Goyal, CC.161/21, decided on 29-10-2022]

*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has prepared this brief.

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