The District Consumer Forum has penalized a mobile manufacturer company for not getting a customer’s defective mobile repaired. Of the Rs4,000 penalty, the forum — comprising its president GK Dhir and member Jyotsna Thatai — ordered Messrs Sony India Private Limited, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Estate on Mathura Road in New Delhi to pay Rs2,000 as compensation for mental harassment and agony, and an equal amount as litigation expenses to customer Sudesh Kumar of Amar Pura in Ludhiana.
As per the complainant, he purchased a mobile Sony make C-4 from Messrs Advance Electronics at Bagh Sufian in Janakpuri on 11 November 2015 through an invoice by paying Rs24,390, and on behalf of the manufacturer, the seller gave a one-year warranty at the time of purchase. Extended warranty of another one year was also granted on charge of an additional amount of Rs1,090. Assurance was given that Sony India Limited was the manufacturer of mobiles of quality, and a mobile purchased by the complainant was free from any defect or problem.
However, the complainant faced a problem because the touch of the mobile was not working properly, and the battery used to discharge very fast. It was claimed that these defects were manufacturing defects. The service centre of Sony in BRS Nagar market refused to accept the mobile to remove the manufacturing defect during the period of extended warranty, and as such by claiming that Sony and its service centre provided deficient services, Sudesh filed a complaint, seeking refund of the price of mobile set (Rs24,390) with interest at the rate 12% per annum from the date of purchase until payment. Compensation for mental pain and agony of Rs50,000, and litigation expenses of Rs5,000 were claimed.
The seller, in a written reply, pleaded that the complaint was not maintainable, more so when the complainant had not approached the forum with clean hands, but had suppressed material facts. It claimed that the seller was the distributor and not the manufacturer. If there were any manufacturing or functioning defects, then those were to be resolved by the company (Sony) and not by the distributor (Advance Electronics), and as such it claimed there was no deficiency in service on the part of the seller. The manufacturer was ex-parte in the case.
The forum, after going through the evidence on record, observed that the complainant was unable to prove the manufacturing defect in the mobile phone, and as such, he at the most was entitled for repair of the mobile phone, free of costs from the manufacturer, or its authorized service centre. As the grievance of the complainant regarding removal of the above pointed defects had not been redressed by the manufacturer or its service centre, the complainant Sudesh Kumar was entitled to compensation for mental agony and harassment, and also to litigation expenses, but only from the manufacturer Sony.
The forum dismissed the complaint against the seller, but allowed it against Sony in terms that it would repair the mobile set in question within 30 days from the receipt of the order, provided the complainant presents the mobile set in question with the service centre of the manufacturer within 15 days of the receipt of the copy of order.―Times of India