Bata India Limited has been told to pay Rs 9,000 to a consumer for deficiency in services. Acting on a complaint filed by the customer, a Chandigarh consumer forum has slammed Bata for asking the customer to pay Rs 3 for a paper bag.
In his complaint, Chandigarh resident Dinesh Prasad Raturi, told the consumer forum that he had purchased a pair of shoes on February 5 from a Bata store located in Sector 22D. The store charged him Rs 402 which also included charges for the paper bag. Raturi told the forum that by charging him for the bag, Bata was also endorsing its brand on the bag which was not justified.
The complainant sought a refund of Rs 3 and compensation for deficiency in services. Countering this, Bata India refuted the allegations of deficiency in services. The forum said compelling a customer to pay for a paper bag was a clear deficiency in service as it was the store’s duty to provide a free bag to the customer who had purchased their product.
The consumer forum has also directed Bata India to provide free paper bags to its customers. It also observed that if the companies were really worried about the environment, they should provide free environment-friendly bags to their customers.
The forum in its decision has directed Bata India Limited to refund the cost of the bag (Rs 3) and litigation charges, i.e. Rs 1000.
Besides asking Bata to pay Rs 3000 as compensation to the customer for the mental agony caused by deficiency in services, the forum has also directed the leading shoe brand to deposit Rs 5,000 in the legal aid account of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
The Chandigarh consumer forum’s decision is an eye opener for stores that compel customers to pay up to Rs five for carry bags.