Bata India has been fined Rs 9,000 for asking a customer to pay Rs 3 for a paper carry bag, The Indian Express reported. The footwear major has also been asked by the Chandigarh-based forum to provide carry bags to all its consumers free of cost, the report added.
The consumer forum has rejected the company’s claim that the bags are being provided to the shoppers for the purpose of environmental safety saying, “if Bata India is a environmental activist, it should have given the same to the complainant free of cost”.
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In addition, the global footwear firm was directed to refund Rs 3 wrongly charged from one Dinesh Parshad Raturi, and also Rs 3,000 as compensation and Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses. The company was also asked to deposit Rs 5,000 in the “Consumer Legal Aid Account” in the name of Secretary, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UT, Chandigarh.
The complainant in his complaint had said that he was charged Rs 402 for a purchase worth Rs 399 by a Bata outlet in Sector 22, Chandigarh on February 5. The customer had no intention to buy the paper bag.
He alleged that at the cost of the consumer, he was being used as the advertisement agent of Bata India. Replying to the complaint, Bata India said that the customer was charged for the purpose of environmental safety.
“there is unfair trade practice on the part of Bata India in compelling the complainant to purchase the carry bag worth Rs 3 and if Bata India is an environmental activist, it should have given the same to the complainant free of cost” and “it was for gain of the company”, the forum also said.
“…By employing unfair trade practice, opposite party [Bata] is minting lot of money from all customers…”, it added.
The company has henceforth been directed by the forum to issye free carry bags to the customers.