When Can You File A Consumer Complaint In India

Published on 06 Oct 2018 by Shivi

We all our consumers. At any given point in time, we have purchased some goods or utilised some services for our day-to-day needs and expected the best, top-quality product for our money’s worth. However, throughout this continuous chain of consumption, we may have come across a seller or service provider who fails to match our expectations and renders low-quality, faulty services of goods.

During our lives, we all have had some grievance due to a product that turned out to be damaged or faulty, or a service that happened to be low-quality or substandard. We either choose to ignore it or plan to take an action against the seller or service provider who caused us harm/injury with their unfair and illegal practices. In the latter case, a consumer complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 act as the path to justice.

What Does A Consumer Legally Means?

Under the consumer protection laws in India, a consumer means any person who falls under the ambit of:

  1. Anyone who buys any goods in exchange of money paid partly or fully.
  2. Anyone who hires or avails of any services in exchange of money/consideration.
  3. The beneficiary of any services, other that the person who hired or availed them in exchange of some money.

A consumer can take a legal action against a seller or service provider for their unfair and fraudulent activities in form of a complaint with the consumer courts established under the Consumer Protection Act.

What Are The Consumer Courts In India?

The consumer forums in India are categorised into 3 courts on the basis of the value of cases they can entertain i.e. the value of the product or service involved and the compensation/damages claimed from the seller or service providers. The three tiers of consumer courts are:

  1. District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum can deal with cases with the total value of Rs. 20 lakhs.
  2. State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission can entertain cases with the total value of more than Rs. 20 lakhs but less than Rs. 1 crore.
  3. National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) deals with the matters that have a total value exceeding Rs. 1 crore.

READ:Consumer Protection Law - New Regulator, more power to Consumers!

What Are The Grounds On Which A Consumer Complaint Is Filed?

There are several grounds on which a consumer can file a complaint with the consumer forums in India. You can hire a consumer court lawyer in India to file a complaint with the appropriate consumer forum in the following cases:

  1. When the goods bought or agreed to be purchased suffer from any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained.
  2. When the goods purchased do not match the promised quality, quantity, potency or purity.
  3. When the services hired or availed suffer from any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained, like delay in flat possession by builder.
  4. When the services availed do not match the promised standard, quality or grade.
  5. When the goods or services are sold at a price higher than their MRP.
  6. When the new goods purchased are second-hand, reconditioned or old.
  7. When the seller or service provider falsely represent any facts regarding the goods having sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits
  8. When the need for or the usefulness of any goods or services is falsely represented to mislead the consumer.
  9. When any warranty or guarantee of the performance, efficacy or length of life of a product or of any goods is given that is not based on an adequate or proper test.
  10. When a false or misleading advertisement is published in any form of media.
  11. When the seller withholds any scheme offering gifts, prices or other items free of charge.
  12. When the seller knowingly sells goods that are hazardous to life and safety when used, are being offered for sale to the public, in contravention of any standard relating to the safety of such goods as required to be complied with.

MUST READ: How To File A Consumer Complaint In Consumer Forum in India?

When A Complaint Cannot Be Filed?

A consumer cannot file a complaint with any of the consumer forums in certain cases. It is better to consult a good consumer court advocate at the earliest to establish a valid ground of your complaint. Here are the cases in which a consumer complaint cannot be filed:

  1. A complaint on behalf of the public which consists of unidentifiable consumers cannot be filed under the Consumer Protection Act.
  2. An unregistered association cannot file a consumer complaint.
  3. A complaint cannot be filed after expiry of the limitation period. The limitation period to file a complaint in consumer court is 2 years from the date the cause of action arises.

Legistify offers legal services from the best consumer protection lawyers in India who can file a complaint with the consumer court on any of the valid grounds for complaint. You can get connected to top-rated lawyers near you by giving us a call at 846-883-3013 or sending us an email at [email protected].

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