Consumer Court imposes Fine of Rs.18,600 on Big Bazaar Store for charging Rs.12 for carrybag in upmarket Mall

Consumer Court imposes Fine of Rs.18,600 on BigBazaar Store for charging Rs.12 for carry bag
Consumer Court imposes Fine of Rs.18,600 on BigBazaar Store for charging Rs.12 for carrybag in upmarket Mall
consumer right
in upmarket Mall

The consumer forum has ordered a store in Elante Mall, Industrial Area, Phase I, to pay Rs 18,600 for charging money for carry bags from three different customers.

In each complaint, Big Bazaar has been directed to deposit Rs 5,000 as penalty to the forum for each case & Rs 1,200 as compensation to each complainant.

The complaints were filed by Bhawna Gupta, a resident of Sector 48, Tanu Malik of Phase I, Mohali, & Chetan Goyal of Sector 47.

Bhawna, in her complaint, said she was charged Rs 12 when she purchased clothes & articles worth Rs 1,466 on July 1, 2017. Malik was charged Rs 12 when she purchased articles worth Rs 1,188 on July 1, 2017.

Goyal was charged Rs 18 on Mar 31 when he purchased certain articles from the store. The store was also told to refund the amount paid for the carry bags.

The Big Bazaar authorities filed a written reply stating there was nothing wrong in charging the amount as the same was displayed in the store. It was stated that the complainant had given their consent to be given the carry bag for additional charge.

“It has further been pleaded that through advertisement /posters/notices clearly displayed at prominent locations of the store stating that as a part of its responsible & environmentally conscious business policy, consumer are requested to carry their own bags & that a separate charge was to be charged in case the consumer wished to obtain a new carry bag,” the Big Bazaar said.

The forum, however, said, “We aren't impressed with this argument because big stores don't allow customers to carry bags in their hands within their premises, knowing very well that if they are allowed, then customers will not easily give their consent for the purchase of carry bags. The store is, therefore, taking advantage of its dominating position.”

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The forum further said the store has miserably failed to produce on record any cogent, convincing & reliable piece of evidence in the shape of any rules/ instructions authorizing it to levy charge additionally for the carry bag from the consumers.

“In this backdrop, charges of such things (carry bags) can't be separately foisted upon the consumers & the same would amount to unfair trade practice on their part,” the forum observed.

“Besides, if the store claims itself to be responsible & environmentally conscious, it should have given the carry bags to the customers free of cost because in our considered view, the price of the carry bag has generally been included by them in the profit margins of the product(s).” They were then directed to pay up.

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