Table Of Content
- When does a customer need a Consumer complaint Board?
- What does the Indian consumer complaint forum work for?
- Is the Consumer forum helpful in India?
- What happens if a customer complains in a consumer forum?
- What is the process of filing a consumer complaint?
- What happens after filing the consumer complaint?
- What if I lose the case in the Consumer Forum?
To make a Business work and grow, making their consumers happy and satisfied is important. As the flowchain of the products and services grows the big-shots companies start to take consumer complaints lightly. A consumer may file a complaint with the relevant authorities and complaint forums as specified by the consumer protection law in the event that their rights are violated. District, state, and national commissions for consumer disputes exist at three distinct levels. It is the duty of each of these forums to listen to and treat serious concerns from customers.
When does a customer need a Consumer Complaint Board?
The aggrieved consumer goes to the Consumer complaint board when the company is continuously not addressing their complaint and no solution is being forwarded to them. The consumer may file a written complaint that may be submitted in the following situations:
- The consumer has suffered loss or damage as a result of an unfair or restrictive trade practice by a trader or service provider;
- The consumer’s purchased item is defective; the consumer’s used services are deficient in any way;
- A trader or service provider, as applicable, has charged a price for the goods or services mentioned in the complaint that is higher than the agreed-upon price;
- Goods or services that, when used, will endanger life or property are being offered for sale to the general public.
What does the Indian Consumer Complaint Forum Work for?
Customers may bring a claim against a vendor or service provider in a consumer court if they have been harassed, received a defective product, or received poor service. The Indian government is in charge of the judicial proceedings on consumer complaints. There are basically three types of Customer complaint boards where the consumer can go to seek justice, we have discussed them below:
In accordance with the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 a complaint may be made in the:
- The DCDRF is the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. If the claim is worth up to – 20 lakh
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): In the event that the claim qualifies for a settlement but falls outside of a crore.
- The claim must be filed with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) if its worth is more than – 1 crore.
- There is a District Forum in each district.
- The District Forum is made up of three people.
- The President is the only one of the three who is or has been eligible to serve as a District Judge.
- A female member will be present.
- It considers complaints with a maximum claim amount of 20 lakhs.
- There is one State Commission in each state.
- Its members include two women and the President, who now serves as or has served as a High Court judge.
- If the value of the claim exceeds twenty lakhs and does not exceed one crore, complaints may be filed with the State Commission.
- The State Commission is another place to file an appeal against a District Forum’s order.
- Third National Commission
- The National Commission is housed in Delhi and is composed of a minimum of four members, one of whom must be a woman and a President who now serves or has served as a Supreme Court judge.
- The National Commission accepts appeals against orders made by the State Commissions and receives complaints for claims valued at more than one crore rupees.
- The Supreme Court Commission is the only forum for challenging this Commission’s orders.
What if I lose the case in the Consumer Forum?
There are fewer chances of a Consumer losing a case if it isn’t baseless. If the complaint is built baseless then there is no way for that consumer to win the case. But on the other hand, if the consumer has strong proof to show in front of the court then the tables can turn and the aggrieved consumer has the most chance of winning the case. For example, In Kerala, a 67-year-old man sued Indulekha and his brand ambassador for Mammootty claiming the false reality of the beauty product and for running a false & misleading advertisement. The tagline of the soap of Indulekha claims soundarya ningla thedi varum which means the beauty will seek you out. It also stated that whoever uses the soap will have glow-up in minimum days but the 67 years didn’t. Hence he filed the complaint in the customer complaint board and won the case since he had the proof of what he said.
Is the Consumer Forum helpful in India?
The consumer forums can be helpful and effective in India since it provides the consumers an online platform to keep forward their grievances. The consumers can keep all types of complaints and seek legal help from them. They act according to the consumer’s preference and type of complaints and take strict follow-ups until the grievances of the particular consumer are solved.
What happens if a Customer Complains in a Consumer Forum?
Within one month of the purchase date, a disgruntled customer has the option to appeal state commission rulings or directly submit a complaint with the national commission. The demand draft must be made out to The Registrar, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, and there is a court fee of Rs 5,000 or might be more depending upon the consumer’s complaint how serious and deep it is.
What is the process of filing a Consumer Complaint?
Step 1: Intimation Via Notice:
The aggrieved party needs to send a notice to the service provider who supplied the goods or services. This notice tells the company that the unhappy person might take legal action if things aren’t fixed. It also explains what’s wrong with the goods or services or if the company did something unfair. The Notice is also a way to try to solve the problem without going to court, like if the company offers money or something else to make up for the problem.
Step 2: Get the consumer complainant drafted:
If the company doesn’t agree to fix the problem or offer compensation, the next step is to make a formal complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Your Complaint should include:
- Your name, address, and description, as those of the company you are complaining about.
- What happened, when, and where it happened?
- All the important facts about what happened
- What do you want to happen to fix the problem?
- Your signature and confirmation that what you are saying is true.
Step 3: Attached Relevant Documents:
It’s crucial to have copies of important documents and evidence to support your case in the Consumer Court. These documents might include:
- Receipt or invoice for the product you bought.
- Records of delivery, or packaging details.
- Any warranty or guarantee certificate.
- Copies of the complaint letter or notice you sent to the company or seller.
Step 4: Appropriate Forum:
Pick the right place to file your complaint based on the amount of money involved in your case, including the value of goods or services you bought and how much compensation you are asking for.
Step 5: Pay Requisite Court Fees:
You’ll need to pay a specific fee when you file your complaint, and the amount depends on where you are filing it and how much money is involved in your case, including the value of what you bought and how much compensation you are asking for.
Step 6: Submit an Affidavit:
Before filing a case in the Consumer Court, you need to submit a written statement called an affidavit. This affidavit confirms that the information and statements you are presenting are true, to the best of your knowledge.
What happens after filing the consumer complaint?
After filing the case in the Indian consumer complaint forum the case is moved forward and the executives of the Consumer complaint scrutinize the whole case of the aggrieved consumer and then connect with the concerned company majorly an email is sent to the Company at fault from the side of the forum. The company acknowledges that there is a consumer who is not satisfied with the services or product so they are required to take necessary steps to resolve the issue. Mainly there are companies who resolve the issue and move on with but there are some who don’t acknowledge the mail. Then there are other steps which a consumer forum can take.
There are many more cases where the consumers have won cases where the allegations put by them were actually acknowledged and the companies have to pay compensation in return to the customers who were harmed by the products of the companies. There are uncountable numbers of consumers who fail to file a complaint against the company because there are high chance that many of them are not aware of their consumer rights.