DCDRC finds Matrimony.Com Ltd. liable for deficiency in service for failing to deliver video album of a marriage reception held in 2017

DCDRC finds Matrimony.Com Ltd. liable for deficiency in service for failing to deliver video album of a marriage reception held in 2017

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC), Ernakulam: While considering the instant consumer complaint wherein the complainant raised grievance against Matrimony.com Ltd. for failing to deliver a video album of a marriage reception, despite full payment; the Bench of DB Binu (President)*, Ramchandra V. and Sreevidhia TN (Members) took note of the immense sentimental significance of the reception video particularly since the wedding was the “final act of familial unity” before the complainant’s uncle departed for his heavenly abode; the significant financial strain to the complainant and the opposite party’s ultimate failure to fulfil their contractual obligations, coupled with their admission of the allegations and lack of response. The DCDRC thus found Matrimony.com Ltd. liable for deficiency in service and unfair trade practices.

The Commission observed that, “This case transcends the mere non-delivery of service; it touches the very core of familial bonds and the sacred rituals that celebrate them. The video was not just a collection of images and sounds but a vessel for the heartbeats of a family’s collective journey, carrying the laughter, tears, and love of a day that marked the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. The absence of this video leaves a void that mere compensation cannot fill- a poignant reminder of moments that will remain unretrieved and words unspoken”.

Background: The complainant alleged that Matrimony.com Ltd., failed to deliver the video recording of the marriage reception held on 27-08-2017, despite full payment. The complainants paid a total of Rs. 36,000 for videography services for the event. Despite initial agreements and payments, the opposite party delayed and ultimately announced their inability to provide the video due to technical issues.

It was alleged that this failure caused significant emotional distress to the complainants, especially as the video was to contain last memories of a deceased family member who played a crucial role in their lives.

The complainant thus sought compensation due to opposite party’s lack of response and failure to recover the footage and their failure to honour their contractual obligations.

Commission’s Assessment: Perusing the complaint and the evidence presented by the complainant, the Commission examined the payment records made towards the opposite party. The Commission noted that these documents detailed the financial transactions including an advance payment and subsequent payments totalling Rs. 36,000, with an agreement that the photography and videography services would be delivered within a month. It was pointed out that the payment records collectively establish a comprehensive financial narrative, underscoring the complainant’s significant investment in the videography services and forming the basis of their claim for compensation due to the non-fulfilment of the service agreement by the opposite party.

The Commission also noted that the opposite parties failed to fulfil their contractual obligation of delivering the video album of the marriage reception. Despite receiving payments and assurances, they were unable to provide the promised service, causing distress and financial loss to the complainants.

The Commission further noted that the opposite parties’ admission of technical issues leading to the inability to capture the video, coupled with their failure to communicate effectively or provide alternative solutions, demonstrates negligence and unfair trade practice. The DCDRC pointed out that Matrimony.com Ltd.’s conscious failure to file a written response further supports the conclusion.

The Commission pointed out that the sentimental value attached to the video album, particularly in capturing the last moments of a beloved family member, further emphasizes the gravity of the situation.

The Commission further observed that “It’s impossible to overlook the profound emotional resonance this case carries. The indefinite delay and eventual revelation that the video album, a repository of joyous matrimonial moments, could not be captured due to technical failures, stands as a poignant testament to the vulnerabilities inherent in our reliance on technology to preserve our most treasured memories.”

Finding the opposite party liable for unfair trade practices and deficiency in service, the Commission directed them to pay ₹1,00,000 towards compensation to the complainant for the emotional distress and mental agony caused by their negligence. The Commission further directed the Opposite Parties to refund ₹40,000 to the complainant for the payments for the undelivered services along with ₹20,000 towards cost of proceedings.

In contemplating the gravity of what has been lost, the Commission is acutely aware of the deep chasm that the absence of this video creates in the tapestry of a family’s history. It is a stark reminder of the impermanence of our existence and the preciousness of the moments we share. The Commission is moved by the depth of the emotional impact this case reveals, a sombre reflection on the essence of memory, loss, and the unyielding passage of time”.

[Ratheesh B v. Matrimony .com Ltd., Complaint Case No. CC/19/90, decided on 20-02-2024]

*Order by DB Binu, President

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Appearing for opposite parties- Adv. S. Jacob Chacko, Rajaraja Varma, Mathew Joseph, Alliance Lawyers

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