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), Central Mumbai: While considering the instant complaint wherein the complainant’s iPhone order was cancelled by Flipkart, the Bench of Vandana S. Mishra (President), Shraddha G. Bahirat and Kamlesh R. Bhandarkar (Members) pointed out that a Customer who had spent time, energy and money to buy an online product is not interested in refund but in the delivery of product he bought. The Commission found Flipkart Internet Private Limited to be guilty of deficiency in service and of adopting unfair and restrictive trade practice and directed to pay Rs.10,000 as compensation and Rs 3000 towards cost of proceedings i.e. total of Rs 13,000.

Background: The Complainant ordered an iPhone from Flipkart on 10-07- 2022 and paid Rs.39,628. The said mobile Phone was supposed to be delivered on 12-07-2022, but on 18-07-2022 he received an SMS from Flipkart informing him that his order has been cancelled. Upon contacting Flipkart, the complainant was informed that the Ekart delivery boy attempted the delivery several times, but the Complainant was not available, so his order got cancelled.

The Complainant contended that the Ekart delivery person visited his home only once on 13-07-2022 in the afternoon when the Complainant’s father informed the Delivery person that the Complainant is in the office and will be back in the evening. The delivery person agreed to visit in the evening but didn’t come and the delivery was rescheduled on 14-07-2022. The Complainant took leave from his office to remain at home to receive the Delivery of his phone but no one from Ekart contacted or visited his home for delivery.

It was further contended by the complainant that cancellation has not only caused loss, mental harassment but also subjected him to an online fraud. It was alleged that Flipkart intentionally cancelled the order to make extra profit.

Commission’s Assessment: While perusing the trajectory from ordering to cancellation the Commission noted that all along Flipkart only was involved and not once the Complainant was directed to the so-called seller of the said Phone. It was further noted that Flipkart did not file any documents to prove that the phone was sold by some third-party seller in its individual capacity. Furthermore, the terms and conditions filed by Flipkart doesn’t provide anything about the situations in which Flipkart itself or any seller unilaterally cancels any order even after receiving full payment for any product.

It was also pointed out that the terms and conditions also doesn’t provide for how many maximum delivery attempts will be made after which the order will be cancelled.

The Commission pointed out that the Complainant’s order was unilaterally cancelled by the Flipkart that too when he was constantly in touch with the Flipkart and was assured by Flipkart that they are looking into his concern. No proof of multiple attempts of service by Flipkart or by the third-party seller, no terms and conditions about cancellation of order in the event the customer is not available for delivery within the specified attempts of service, have been placed on record.

It was noted that even though the complainant was refunded the cost, the same does not absolve Flipkart from its liability. The Commission pointed out that Flipkart asked the complainant to place a fresh order after the previous order was cancelled, “If according to the Flipkart or the third-party seller the Complainant was not available to deliver the product, then why they asked him to place fresh order after cancelling his order? This adds weight to the Complainant’s case that the cost of the said product increased by approx. Rs.7,000 and hence his order was cancelled, and he was asked to place fresh order”.

It was noted that the Complainant had purchased the iPhone when it cost around Rs.45,000 and the price of the phone has increased by around Rs.7,000/- costing around Rs.52,000/- after his order was cancelled. It was intentionally done by the Flipkart to make extra profit which amounts to deficiency in service and unfair and restrictive trade practice adopted by it.

With the afore-stated findings, the Commission directed Flipkart to pay the abovementioned compensation to the complainant for the mental agony caused.

[Akshay Vijay Loke v. Flipkart, CC No. 22/190, decided on 23-02-2024]

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