Chandigarh: The Chandigarh Consumer Commission recently imposed a fine of Rs. 9,000 for charging Rs. 3 from a customer for a paper bag to carry the shoebox.
As per the experts, the order is legally valid across the country and that stores cannot charge consumers additional charges for the bag, if the product is purchased from the same store.
The verdict of the forum came when a consumer Dinesh Prasad Raturi, complained that he had purchased a pair of shoes on February 5 from the shoe store located in Sector 22D. The store charged Rs. 402, which also included cost for the bag. He sought a refund of Rs. 3 and compensation for deficiency in services.
Reprimanding Bata for charging an additional amount for the paper bag the forum said, “A customer cannot be compelled to pay for the bag, and that it was a clear lack in service. It was the store's duty to provide a free bag to the customer who purchased their product.”
The forum directed Bata India Ltd to refund the cost of the bag (Rs. 3) and proceedings charges, i.e. Rs. 1,000 along with Rs. 3,000 as compensation to the customer for the mental pain caused by deficiency in services. They also directed Bata to deposit Rs. 5,000 in the legal aid account of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.