heatherdobbie7
in Consumer Law
Asked April 28, 2016

refund for online purchase

  • 1 Answer
  • 251 Views

I purchased a watch in online and i Paid the amount as cash on delivery. After seeing the item i didnt like that so I returned the item and seller is accepted the return and he has taken it back via courier service. I asked for refund, seller told me it will take 8-15days. But it has been nearly 1 month I didn't received any refund. If i call to the seller he is not picking my calls nor replying my mails. How can i proceed against him legally?

Answer 1

In this case, the question of prosecuting the seller depends on the ‘return policy’ of the seller.

If the ‘return policy’ clearly states the period of refund to be 1 month or less then you can take legal action against the seller. This is important because a legal action cannot be taken based on an oral confirmation of an individual.

Now, to initiate any legal proceeding against the seller, the first step is to establish yourself as a consumer and to prove that there has been deficiency of service on the part of the seller. 

So, as per Consumer Protection Act, 1986[1], a consumer is any person who buys any good for a consideration or who avails any service for a consideration. In this case, the watch being the ‘good’ and the amount paid by you for the same being the ‘consideration’, it is clearly established that you are the consumer of the seller in question.

“Deficiency” in service is any inadequacy in relation to any service. [2] In this case, the seller has not adequately provided his service by failing to provide refund without any intimation or communication. Hence, it can be evidently established that there has been deficiency of service on the part of the seller.

The Court has held that ‘warranty’ has been considered as a part of service provided by the seller and failure of the seller to provide with replacement within the prescribed time was held by the Hon’ble court to be ‘deficiency of service’.[3]

The most important thing in case of grievance of the consumer against any party in default is negotiation or correspondence between the parties. However, as you have tried contacting the seller plenty of times, with no response, you can give a ‘Notice’[4] to the seller conveying your intention that if he does not settle the matter amicably, as desired by you, you will be left with no other alternative than to initiate a legal action against him. Although such a Notice is not mandatory, it is considered to be an advisable step before a legal action is brought. Such a notice can be given either by you or by your lawyer, but it is observed that the party at fault often provides relief and need of a court action ends, if the notice is sent by the aggrieved person himself, as it is less rigid. A copy of such Notice must be recorded for subsequent reference. There is no particular format for such Notice.

 

It should, however, convey-

  • The details of the transaction complained of;
  • Earlier negotiation or correspondence in that connection;
  • The specific grievance of the consumer; and
  • Relief expected by the consumer from the other side.
  •  

    If you are not satisfied with the seller’s response to your notice you may file a complaint against the seller before the District Forum[5], or the State Commission[6] or the National Commission[7], based on their respective jurisdictions and the present case.

     

    A complaint is to consist of the following parts[8]:

  • Heading and Title:       i.  Heading includes name of the Forum/Commission in which the complaint is made and the no. And year of complaint.       ii. Title includes the name, description, place of residence of the opposition party/parties.
  • The body of the complaint
  • Jurisdiction of the respective Forum/Commission
  • Relief claimed
  • Signature and Verification:       i.  Signature of the Complainant/Advocate       ii. Verification of the Complainant       iii. Mention of place and date of signing. 6. Affidavit, accompanying the complaint (not mandatory but preferred).
  • A copy of the complaint is to be forwarded to the opposite party, i.e., the seller in this case, so that they can know about it and reply the same.  

    [1] S. 2(1)(d); Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1516524/.

    [2] S. 2(1)(g) of Consuer Protection Act, 1986.

    [3] Blue Star Ltd. v. District Rural Development Agency I (1999) CPJ 143 (Punjab SCDRC).

    [4] http://www.consumergrievance.com/icrpc.org.notice.htm

    [5] S. 11 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986; Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1094200/

    [6] S. 17 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986; Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1749394/

    [7] S. 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, Available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/86602/

    [8] Model available at: http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/agreements/consumerlaw/3.php

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