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Lodging A Complaint Against E-Commerce Sites

Published on 10 Nov 2016 by Team

The Consumer Protection Act came into force to protect the rights of the consumers against the buyers who took advantage of their ignorance. The Consumer Protection act has specific legislation to protect the consumers against the unfair trade practices or their immoral activities.

With the expansion of the World Wide Web, it has extended its tentacles to commerce as well. We have been introduced to different selling and buying platforms. The E-commerce sites have reduced the market hassles for the customers but on the other hand reduced their accountability and there is an increasing number of grievances and complaints regarding these services.

The consumer complaints have grown along with the generally growing awareness. As the number of consumer complaints has grown a separate forum has been operational and effective to some extent for the redressal of aggrieved consumers. A good consumer case lawyer in India can help you in filing a case in consumer court.

Redressal Mechanism

Approaching the issue directly by taking it up with the relevant representative of the brand. Hence before anything, one must immediately seek redressal by calling the customer care service of the particular e-commerce website.

1. Contact their customer care service over phone/e-mail.
2. Thereby posting your complaint on social media and tagging the concerned brand.
3. Alternatively File your complaint online.

In most of the cases, contacting their customer care service helps especially if you provide them with the supporting documents. Speaking over the phone is always more effective than through e-mail.

In case, you are not heard and your complaint is still not resolved, try posting it on the concerned brand's twitter page/FB page. There is a fair chance you will be heard. Companies fear bad mouthing a lot hence they would reply you in all good probability.

The third and the most effective way of reaching them is through a third-party platform which does it for free for the consumers. Such third-party platforms have so many complaints against any particular brand. These platforms are more powerful as they have a lot of dissatisfied consumers posting their complaints in one place. Brands fear them the most. You can get connected to the best consumer protection lawyers in India through Legistify.

Consumer Forum

If in case the first step of trying to seek redressal directly from the brand is not effective then one has to approach the District level Consumer Forum. To file a complaint in a Consumer Court, the complainant needs to find the Consumer forum in his/her region where the complaint is to be filed against the E-commerce company. The consumer has to consider the regional and the financial jurisdiction of the forum before filing the complaint.

Financial Jurisdiction

District forums have the power to entertain disputes where the value of everything involved in the dispute does not exceed Rs. 20 lakhs. In case of State Commissions that amount is above Rs. 20 lakh but less than Rs. 1 crore. Any complaints involving a sum of more than Rs. 1 crore are entertained by the National Commission.

After identifying the correct tribunal you will be required to pay prescribed fees along with your complaint. Then drafting of the complaint will be done, for stating necessary facts and establishing the cause of action, with your signature at the end of the complaint, in a notary so that the document is notarized.

Regional Jurisdiction

A complaint is entertained in a forum within the local limits of whose jurisdiction-

  • The opposite party or one of the opposite parties resides or works for gain

  • The cause of dispute arose

The procedure for the same has been listed below-

  1. Time limit on the complaint: The complaint shall be instituted in the appropriate forum within 2 years of the date of cause of action.
  2. The consumer must have of proof of having purchased the goods or availed the services- Copies of all the documents supporting the complainants allegations need to be produced such as communication emails, placement of order, request for rectification, denial, warranty certificate etc but the most important document in this is the bill/cash memo/ invoice number availed during the time of purchase without which no disputes will be entertained.
  3. The consumer must ensure all the relevant facts in support of his case are clearly and specifically stated in the complaint. In your complaint, you need to explain as to why this case falls under the jurisdiction of this forum
  4. The complainant shall file the complaint in the district forum in whose jurisdiction the opposite party is residing, working, gaining profit or in whose jurisdiction the cause of action has arisen.
  5. The complainants should ensure that prescribed fee is paid through Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order. The Prescribed fee for making complaints are District Forum: up to 1 Lakh- Rs. 100 [ nil for BPL] Above 1 Lakh to 5 Lakhs –Rs. 200 Above 5 Lakhs to 10 Lakhs- Rs. 400
  6. The last paragraph of the complaint shall state the relief or compensation sought from the forum.
  7. The complaint can be presented by the complainant in person or by an authorized representative, or by post. Minimum of 5 copies of the complaint need to be filed with the forum.

After filing the consumer complaint, the Consumer Court would judge the merit of the case based on the provided evidence and if the forum is convinced, it would send summon to the E-commerce company to provide their own version to the Consumer Forum. A verdict will be given if there is merit in the case.

E-filing of Consumer Court Complaints

“This is the first time such a facility is being offered to consumers in India, wherein a private company is allowed to carry out e-filling in consumer courts on an experimental basis. This will help citizens approach the courts easily and it will also help reduce paperwork, as everything would be online,” revealed Justice Ashok Bhangale, State Commission President (Maharashtra).

The portal will have a list of all essential documents required to register the complaint. Once the petitioner adds the details and pays the fees, a lodging number will get generated. Details such as case number, date of hearing and objections, if any will be sent via SMS and email. This service will also allow complainants to pay court fees online, which makes it even more convenient.

Legistify connects you with the best lawyers in India and top Chartered Accountants in India with simple telephonic conversation or email. Call us at 846-883-3013 or send us an email at [email protected] to get started.

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