Many of us buy books online but how many times have you checked to see if the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) is mentioned on the back? Baglekar Akash Kumar (21), a fourth-year law student of Osmania University, Hyderabad, not only checked for the MRP, but when he found it missing, he filed a consumer complaint and was awarded Rs 12,500 as damages.
Here’s what he did to get the compensation
Akash purchased the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell on an online portal and found that the book had no MRP mentioned on it. Upon further investigation, he found that various online portals were selling it at different prices. He then decided to file a complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II.
According to the order issued by the forum, “As the opposite party failed to establish the reasons as to why they have not printed the MRP on the book, supplied to the complainant, it amounts to adoption of unfair trade practices. For this, both the opposite parties are found to be guilty.”
Furthermore, the forum awarded a compensation of Rs 10,000 towards compensation for causing mental agony and for unfair acts and additionally, Rs 2,500 as costs.
What is MRP?
Maximum Retail Price or MRP is the highest price at which a product can be sold in India. This includes the cost of production, transportation, profit and all applicable taxes. So, as consumers, please be aware that no product can be sold to you above the MRP mentioned on it.
Also, ensure that the MRP is printed on the product. If not, that is also a violation and will amount to an unfair trade practice.
What is an unfair trade practice?
An unfair trade practise refers to malpractice of a trader that is unethical or fraudulent, causing an inconvenience or grievance to the consumer. These are defined under Section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
According to the definition, it is a trade practice carried out for the promotion of the sale. It is the distribution or utilisation of any goods or services by adopting a deceptive method or practice.
In this case, by not mentioning the MRP on the book, the publisher was carrying out an unfair trade practice and therefore Akash’s petition was upheld and damages were awarded accordingly.
If this has happened to you and you wish to file a consumer complaint, this article will help you file a consumer complaint and also fight it by yourself.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)