A consumer may file a lawsuit in consumer court to recover damages when they feel cheated by a trader, manufacturer, or service provider. Depending on the size of the claim, the consumers should select the district, state, or national consumer forum.
In the modern market, the consumer is the ruler. Every business can only succeed if you, the customer, are satisfied. Every manufacturer or provider of goods must prioritise customer satisfaction.
Who May Make Complaint?
The following people or organisations are qualified to file a complaint in the consumer forum:
- Consumer: According to Section 2(7) of the 2019 Act, a consumer is any person who exchanges his money for goods or services, excluding any consumer who does so with the intention of reselling the goods or services or using them for a profit-making venture. According to the definitions, buy any goods or avail any services also includes digital communication-based online transactions, direct selling, daily shopping, and multilevel marketing. Online transactions are a distinct aspect of this act that was added in response to the growing e-commerce sector and technological advancement.
- Voluntary consumer Association bracket (VCA): The VCA must be registered under the companies act of 2013 or 1958, or any other current applicable law.
- A group of customers with a similar interest. A complaint about a consumer cannot be made on behalf of the general public, which consists of unidentified consumers, or by a group that is not officially recognised by the Companies Act or other applicable law.
- Government at the state or Central level.
- A consumer or consumers with similar interests.
- In the event of a consumer’s passing his legal heir or agent.
What Are The Grounds To Make File Complaint?
Only after serving the accused party with a legal notice and giving them a chance to compensate for the loss the aggrieved parties suffered, either through replacement or return of value, are the parties eligible to file a consumer court complaint. If the accused party refuses to make good after serving a legal notice, the customer may, if dissatisfied, file a complaint:
- Using unethical business practises.
- Using traders practice that limits trade.
- If the consumer base or agree to be goods that have one or more flaws.
- If the consume and obtain defective services.
- If the Seller charged the consumer more than the government’s net price for the goods or services.
- Selling or offering to sell hazardous goods or services that, when used or availed of endanger life and safety, provided the trader is aware of the hazards through due diligence.
The Steps for Filing the Consumer Complaint in the Court
- Send Legal Notice
A notice that must be delivered to the company that supplied the goods or services by the party who is dissatisfied The notice notifies the recipient of the complainant’s intention to sue as well as any unfair practises or defects in the goods and services. If the service provider is willing to offer compensation or other remedies, the notice also serves as an attempt to resolve the complaint peacefully without involving the forum.
- Prepare the Consumer Complaint
The next step is to file a formal complaint under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. The filling of the complaint does not always necessitate the use of a lawyer. The aggrieved party may file a complaint.
The complaint must contain the following details:
- The name, description and address of the complainant, as well as the name and address of any opposing parties.
- The kind of action, as well as a rough idea of the day, hour and place.
- The information relevant to the claim.
- The relief or remedy the complainant is seeking in light of the circumstances.
- The complainant’s or his authorised lawyer’s signature and verification.
- Include Necessary Documents
Copies of relevant documents and material evidence that support your case in consumer court are essential. these documents are as follows:
- A copy of the bill, a delivery receipt, product packaging and record of online booking of the gods purchased.
- Certificates of warranty/guarantee
- A copy of the written complaint and notice was delivered to the manufacturer/ seller.
- Select an Appropriate Forum
Select the proper court to file the complaint in accordance with the pecuniary jurisdiction, which is calculated based on the total cost of the goods and services purchased or used and the requested amount of compensation.
- Pay the Court fees
Depending on the forum, a prescribed fee must be paid along with the complaint when it is filed. The court fee is determined by the cost of the purchased items and the amount of damages requested.
- Submit an Affidavit
Affidavit must be submitted to the court by anyone who wants to file a case in the consumer court. The affidavit must state that, to the best of the consumer’s knowledge, the facts and statements made in it are accurate.
- Delay and Limitation Period
Only two years have passed since the cause of action first surfaced for the complainant to file a lawsuit. Additionally, within 45 days of the District Commission’s decision, an appeal must be filed with the state commission. The lower court’s order must be appealed to the national commission within 30 days of receiving it.
It is entirely the complainant’s responsibility to provide a clarification when the complaint is filed late in order to make up for the reasonable and not malicious delay.
- Final Submission
The complainant, her/her representative who has a letter of authorization, or her /his lawyer can all address a consumer complaint in person.
Complaints Can Be Filed Online With the Consumer Court
The following are the steps for filing a lawsuit in consumer Court
You must file a complaint on official website- http://ncdrc.nic.in/.
- Provide personal information as requested.
- Create your username and password after registry.
- Summary of complain portal view online.
- Select the type of service provider or company based on the services or goods sold.
- Enter the pertinent information, evidence, and details about the problems with the goods and services provided.
- When you submit the form, the complaint is processed.
The mechanisms for consumer complaint filing and dispute resolution are intended to promptly protect the interests of consumers while discouraging dishonest business practises. The government had advanced its efforts to immediately address the complaints of consumers by introducing an online complaint form. Particularly during the pandemic, the online procedure is one of the friendliest and most advantageous procedures, and it will have a greater long-term impact on consumers by saving them from time-consuming and exhausting procedures.