The Odisha State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission on 11 January 2021 directed Amazon to pay Rs 45,000 for cancelling a confirmed order of a laptop.
How did a customer get compensated for order cancellation, you ask? Here’s what transpired.
In 2014, Supriyo Ranjan Mahapatra, then a first-year law student at the Tamil Nadu Law University, Trichy needed to purchase a laptop. Upon browsing through Amazon, he found that one of the sellers was selling a laptop, without a bag, for Rs 190.
The original cost of the Asus 14-inch laptop was Rs 23,499 and post a promotional discount of Rs 23,309, the cost of the laptop was just Rs 190. Not wanting to let go of such an offer, Supriyo placed an order and agreed to pay cash on delivery. However, within two hours Supriyo received a call from an Amazon customer service agent who mentioned that due to a price recession issue the order stands cancelled. Despite several phone calls and emails made to the customer care helpline, Supriyo did not get a satisfactory response and was forced to place another order for a laptop, which cost him Rs 22,899.
Speaking to The Better India, Supriyo, who is currently practicing law before the Odisha High Court, says, “I had placed the order after checking on the delivery date and since I was in an urgent need of a laptop this sudden cancellation put me in a lot of trouble.” He continues, “I did not hear from Amazon for close to three weeks after the issue cropped up and therefore in 2015 I sent a legal notice mentioning all the trouble that I had to ensure because of this sudden unilateral cancellation,” he says.
With no response forthcoming from Amazon, Supriyo went ahead and filed a consumer complaint in November 2015 at the District Consumer Forum in Ganjam at Behrampur, seeking compensation of Rs 60,000 for the deficiency of service, unfair trade practice, and litigation cost.
Three years after Supriyo filed the case, in 2018, the District forum issued an order awarding Supriyo compensation of Rs 12,000. “Not satisfied with this order I decided to appeal against it since I had already spent more than 20,000 on purchasing another laptop. So, I felt the need to appeal for a larger compensation,” he says. The State Consumer Commission then passed an order awarding compensation of Rs 45,000 to Supriyo.
“Post 2019 there have been significant changes made to the consumer protection legislation through the enactment of Consumer Protection Act, 2019, and it has been made even more consumer friendly. As consumers, one needs to be vigilant, and in case one is a victim of any sort of fraud or unfair trade practice, immediate action must be initiated,” says Supriyo. He also urges consumers to not give up on issues that they feel strongly about. Issuing a legal notice must be the first step and if the matter does not get resolved then filing a case with the consumer forum should be the next logical step.
“Make use of the legislation that is pro consumers,” he says in conclusion. If you have been a victim of any such consumer issues, you can read this article here, to understand how you can take up your own matter in a consumer forum.
To access the order copy, click here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)