The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Sonipat, Haryana recently ruled in favor of an online shopper who received a damaged iPhone XS from e-commerce platform Tata Cliq in 2019. The court directed Tata Cliq and Apple India to refund ₹1,11,356 with interest to the buyer, along with additional compensation.

The complaint highlighted that despite receiving a damaged product, Tata Cliq failed to refund the purchase amount or replace the item. The court found this conduct to be deficient in service, causing mental anguish, humiliation, and financial loss to the buyer. Consequently, the commission ordered a refund of the entire amount paid for the iPhone.

The case emphasized the buyer’s experience of unboxing a damaged iPhone XS after its delivery, following which the complainant promptly notified Tata Cliq and requested either a refund or a replacement. Although the product was picked up for replacement, the buyer did not receive either a refund or a new product.

Tata Cliq’s defense centered on the claim that the product returned by the buyer was not the same one delivered, resulting in the rejection of the replacement request. Similarly, Apple India supported this stance before the forum. Tata Cliq clarified its role as an intermediary, stating that the actual transaction occurs between the consumer and Apple India.

However, the commission refuted the companies’ claims, asserting that they failed to substantiate the argument that the complainant returned a different product for replacement. The absence of evidence supporting their case prompted the commission to rule in favor of the consumer.

The commission, comprising President Vijay Singh and members Shyam Lal and Deepa Jain, observed the deficiency in service by both companies, terming it as malpractice. Their failure to fulfill the consumer’s request for a replacement or repair resulted in mental agony, humiliation, and financial loss, warranting compensation.

Advocate Bijender Singh represented the complainant, highlighting the buyer’s plight caused by the damaged product and the subsequent lack of adequate resolution from the companies. Tata Cliq was represented by Advocate SK Kaushik, while Advocate Sourabh Chug represented Apple India during the proceedings.

The final ruling mandated Tata Cliq and Apple India to reimburse the purchase amount of the iPhone XS, along with accrued interest, totaling ₹1,11,356. Additionally, the complainant was awarded ₹10,000 for mental harassment and ₹5,500 for litigation costs.

This ruling sets a precedent emphasizing the accountability of e-commerce platforms and product manufacturers in ensuring quality products and satisfactory customer service. It underscores the importance of addressing consumer grievances promptly and adequately, reinforcing consumer rights protection within the retail sphere.

The case stands as a reminder to companies to prioritize consumer satisfaction and take responsibility for their services, especially concerning product quality, timely redressal of complaints, and fair dispute resolution.

In conclusion, the commission’s verdict serves as a significant milestone in upholding consumer rights and accountability in the realm of e-commerce transactions, urging companies to prioritize customer satisfaction and deliver quality services.

This summary encapsulates the essence of the ruling, highlighting the consumer’s struggle, the companies’ failure to address the issue adequately, and the commission’s decision to ensure justice for the aggrieved party.

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