In the fast-paced internet-driven world, customers are the most powerful amongst all.
If customers have positive feedback, they will definitely share this experience with friends, family and relatives, which in turns brings in new customers at zero marketing cost.
But, what happens if you fail to provide positive customer service? The answer is simple: they will complain. Furthermore, only 1 in 25 unhappy customers will approach you directly with their complaint. And those who don’t complain will not use your products and services in future.
There is a silver lining here!!
Consumer complaints give companies an insight into the problems faced by the consumer in the marketplace. This also helps organizations regulate consumer products and services under existing consumer laws. This also empowers and educates the customer to make streamlined & informed decisions. These complaints reflect in real the hindrances faced by the people every day in the products and services they avail from the companies.
A consumer is an individual who buys the products or avails the service for his own use or to earn his living by being an employee in an organization. There are three considerations: paid, promised and partly paid & partly promised. If you are a customer and you have a complaint with a product or service, keep on reading the following article and know in detail how to file a consumer complaint online.
Also Read: 15 Questions to Ask Personal Injury Lawyer
What Is a Consumer Court?
Consumer court is a type of special court in India that deals with cases in regards to consumer grievances, disputes and conflicts. This is a judiciary setting formed by the government to protect consumer rights. But the question is how to file a case in consumer court?
Well, if the customer has been cheated or exploited by the seller, they can file a case against the seller in consumer court. The main aim of the court is to maintain the fair practices and contracts by the sellers based on the consumer complaint online. The court gives its decision in favor of the customer/s based on the proofs provided. If the consumer fails to provide the proper proofs it becomes difficult for the customer himself to win the case.
Rights provided by the consumer court include:
● Right to Safety – Stay protected from all hazardous goods and services
● Right to Information – Stay fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services
● Right to Choose – Feel free to choose the goods and services of your choice
● Right to Heard – Have a say in all decision-making processes related to consumer interest
● Right to Redressal – Right to receive compensation if consumer rights have been infringed
● Right to Consumer Education – Gain knowledge about all the rights you enjoy as a consumer
Proofs Required to Lodge Complaint in Consumer Court
Following materialistic evidence and documents are required to be produced in consumer court online to support your complaint:
● Copy of the bill, delivery receipt, record of online booking, and packaging
● Warranty or guarantee card whichever is available
● Copy of the written complaint and notice
Eligibility terms to lodge a complaint in consumer court:
● Unfair practices by a service provider
● A defective product which has been already bought
● Deficiency in service whether availed or confirmed to be availed
● Overcharging of good, over and above what is fixed by the judiciary
● Selling goods that are hazardous to life and safety
How to File a Case in Consumer Court?
Following is the step by step procedure to know how to file a consumer complaint:
Intimation – The angry party sends a legal notice to the product or the service provider. The notice informs that the customer is about to take against the substandard or defective product he has received. It is the first attempt of settlement between the seller and the buyer without going to consumer Forum.
Drafting the complaint – If the seller is not ready for a settlement based on the sent legal notice, under Consumer Protection a formal complaint is lodged. The consumer himself can deal with this step. The following information needs to be provided in the complaint:
● Name, address and the in brief about both the parties
● Approx date, cause, action, place and time
● The reasons behind the action
● The compensation the consumer wants to claim
● Signature of the authorized lawyer or the complainant
Attach the required documents – Provide the court with the aforementioned documents in the section proof required to lodge a complaint.
Appropriate commission – According to the total value of the product purchased or the service availed, the consumers have to choose the respective consumer complaint forum to file the complaint. This is also termed as pecuniary jurisdiction.
Pay the requisite court fee – A certain amount termed as “fee for consumer court to file the case” is required to be paid along with the complaint. The amount varies from consumer forum to forum, the compensation you’re looking forward to, and the value of the product bought.
Submit Affidavit – While filing the complaint in consumer court, you are also required to submit an affidavit. It is a statutory declaration that the facts mentioned in the complaint are true to your knowledge and any wrong information can lead to further consequences.
Why Opt for Consumer Complaint Online Instead of Offline
Following are the advantages of lodging the consumer court online:
● It is a time-saving process
● You can file the complaint from any device be it mobile, tablet or desktop
● Irrespective of the location, you can file the case
● Consumer complaint specialists will assist you always
● The legal notice to the service providers are sent on your behalf
● Your data is both safe and secure
● Fast-paced and on-time service makes the whole procedure easy
Consumers should receive quality goods and standard services for they pay for them. However, often they become victims of flawed goods and services. To compensate the customers and provide a redressal, the Consumer Protection Act came into force in 1986.