We are living in a world where our interaction with fraudulent products and services is very much possible. You never know the product that you are buying is legitimate or not unless you use it for a while. There are instances when buyers end up with a fake or low-quality product and then wonder about their money that they have invested for the same. In most cases, buyers plead for money recovery or the retention of their customer’s right went unheard. And that is where Consumer Protection Act, 1986 comes into the picture. It was enacted by the Government with the sole aim to safeguard customer’s rights in case of unethical trading. It also allows the victim to file a consumer complaint against the defaulter for compensation of losses triggered by unlawful trade practices. This write-up will guide you on how to send a legal notice to the defaulter in case of any consumer compliance. But before we unveiled this very topic, let’s get into some fundamentals first.
Who is a Consumer as per Consumer Protection Act 1986?
A consumer is an individual who purchases goods for their consumption or avail services against a consideration which has been already paid or partly paid & partly promised or under any system that supports deferred payment but not for commercial or resale purpose. It also encompasses the beneficiary of such product purchased or services availed.
Rights of Consumer Cited Under the Consumer Protection Act
- Right Safety:-Corresponding to the goods and services that are potentially harmful to life and property,
- Right to Information: – Emphasis the quality & quantity of goods being sold,
- Right to Choose:-Vesting customers with legal rights to opt for desirable products at competitive prices,
- Right to Seek Redressal:-Allowing the customer to file a complaint before consumer court,
- Right to be Heard:-Ensures due recognition in redressal forums or consumer courts,
- Right to Consumer Education:-Talks about the right to avail the required know-how regarding the customer’s rights.
Legal Notice: A Legit Way to Tackle Violation of Consumer’s Right
You will have to stick around with a standard process if you wish to take your complaint to the consumer court. The victim is required to file a petition within two years from the date of occurrence of default. Any violation of this condition can strengthen the chances of case rejection from the respective court. Thus, sticking to the said timeline is mandatory for successfully filing the case before the court.
Read our article:Is a Dishonoured Cheque Qualifies to be a Criminal Offence?
Sending Legal Notice to Defaulter(S) Against Falsified Act of Trade
Let’s say you are planning to visit the respective jurisdiction in the quest for justice against the person who has infringed your customer’s right. You may have contact customer care and lodge your complaint, which hasn’t been appropriately addressed, or you may not have been appropriately entertained by the company in response to your concern.
Before you lodge your grievance, it is advisable to give 15 days’ notice to the concerned defaulter (s). In this notice, which should ideally be typed out & preferably be sent by speed post, you must narrate;
- The concern manifesting your issue,
- A timeline of concerned encounter,
- Type of remedial action you seek from the defaulter (s) and
- Kind of compensation you expect, if any.
You should keep the copy of the same and all other correspondence.
How Should a Legal Notice Look Like?
Take the following points into consideration while framing the legal notice for the defaulter
Preferably, your grievance must be outlined on the typed form and should enclose an index page manifesting the page numbers of given inclusions;
The complaint must cover your details such as name, address, contact numbers, and email ID. Apart from that, it should also encompass the information for the opposite party or parties.
The facts regarding the case must be cited in chronological order. The inclusions like dispute occurrence date, your signature, and supporting documentation are vital here.
You should enclose a photocopy of all the supporting documents that strengthen your claim.
The section must explicitly manifest what you seek, such as additional damages, refund, or replacement.
You will also require enclosing an affidavit manifesting that the facts are legit to the best of your knowledge. In the District Forum & State Commission, you were required to furnish three copies of your complaint. On the other hand, the NCDRC shall seek four copies to be filed. The supplementary copies may be needed depending on no. of opposite parties.
Redressal Agencies Comes Under the Ambit of the Consumer Protection Act
- District Forum- Matters up to Rs. 20 Lakh
- State Forum- Matters above Rs 20 lakhs but below 1 Crore
- National Forum- Matters above one crore
What Mentioned Under the Category of Defective Goods?
“Defect” implies any imperfection, fault, or downside in the quality, purity, quantity, standard, or potency which is needed to be maintained by or under prevailing law or under any contract, implied or express, or as is claimed by the trader in any way whatsoever regarding any goods.
Eligible Candidates for Filing Consumer Complaints in India
- Beneficiary of the goods or services
- Legal heirs of the deceased customer
- Legal representative of the deceased customer
- A relative of the customer
- Insurance company
INGRAM: Online Portal for Registering Customer’s Grievance
Given the increased customers’ exploitation in the country, the Department of Consumer Affairs introduced the online portal viz Integrated Grievance Redress Mechanism (INGRAM) for creating awareness among the consumers to safeguard their rights & inform them of their accountabilities.
The portal helps the aggrieved customers to lodge their complaints through an online mode. Upon successful uploading of the complaint, the same will then send to the concerned authority for verification. According to this portal, the authority might take around three months to resolve the complaints.
Despite a substantial law framework in place, the customers across this country often came across a situation where they find it hard to intact their customer’s rights against unlawful trade practices. India is a vast marketplace and a genuine destination for people who seek to make a good profit through unfair trading.
Therefore, it is up to the consumer to remain watchful while investing their hard-earned money into specific products and services. Being informed about the customer’s rights is the best way to avert such happening. In case of injustice, the victim can leverage legal notice and send it to the defaulter(s) in the manner mentioned above.
Read our article:How to Send a Legal Notice for Cheque Bounce?