Delhi Consumer Court Ordered Lifestyle To Pay A Compensation Of Rs 3,000 For Overcharging A Customer Rs 7 For A Paper Carry Bag

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Case Title: Anmol Malhotra v Lifestyle International Pvt. Limited @ Max Fashion

Delhi consumer court ordered a fashion brand, Lifestyle to pay a compensation of Rs 3,000 for overcharging a customer Rs 7 for A paper carry bag.

“The commission is of the opinion that OP (Lifestyle) cannot charge any amount for carry bags, particularly those items which have been purchased from the OP outlet itself and charging any amount from the consumers for that amounts to a deficiency of service on the part of the OP. Therefore, OP is directed to refund Rs.7/- as cost of the carry bag to the complainant and Rs.3000/- as compensation for causing mental agony and harassment which shall include litigation cost,”

In response to a complaint filed by Anmol Malhotra, the consumer disputes redressal forum has mandated that Lifestyle, a fashion brand, must comply with an order to refund the charge of ₹7 for a paper carry bag imposed on Malhotra without prior notice.

The incident occurred on December 8, 2020, when Malhotra made a purchase at the outlet worth ₹706, which included the additional charge for the paper carry bag.

The consumer commission further stated that Lifestyle would be liable to pay an interest rate of 9% per year if they fail to comply with the order on time.

The commission observed that the fashion brand appears to have imposed the charge due to the higher cost of paper carry bags compared to plastic bags, which have been banned by the government. The commission upheld Malhotra’s complaint, noting that the additional cost was an unfair trade practice and a deficiency of service.

The primary concern brought before the commission was whether it was permissible to charge customers an extra fee for carry bags without prior notice. The consumer court asserted that customers had the right to be informed of additional charges before making a purchase, including the specifications and price of the carry bag.

The court condemned Lifestyle for imposing undisclosed charges on customers, causing them undue inconvenience and additional cost while limiting their ability to make informed decisions.

The court cited a similar 2020 order by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission involving Big Bazaar, further emphasizing the importance of informing customers of any additional charges.

Consequently, the district consumer court ruled that Lifestyle was not permitted to charge customers extra for carry bags without informing them, and ordered the company to compensate the customer for doing so.

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