Big Bazaar Slapped With Rs 5 Lakh Penalty For Charging Rs 12 For A Carry Bag From Chandigarh Customer
Big Bazar, one of the biggest Indian retail chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores, has been fined with Rs. 5 lakhs for charging its customers with Rs. 12 for a carry bag.
The Consumer Forum also reprimanded Big Bazar, saying, “Big Bazaar does not mend their act and behaviour.” This was said since this is the second time when Big Bazaar has been fined for such action.
Find exactly what happened here? Keep reading to find out more!
Rs 5 Lakh Penalty On Big Bazaar: The Reason
A customer of Chandigarh, Neha Goel, was told to pay an extra Rs. 12 for a carry bag at the Big Bazar’s Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh branch.
The customer had purchased goods from the store of about Rs. 1198, but she resisted against the charges and explained that it was illegal for them to charge her for a carry bag.
When her resistance went unheard, she filed a complaint with the consumer forum against Big Bazar. The Chandigarh Consumer Forum directed Big Bazar to pay a fine of Rs. 5 lakh, which will be deposited in the account of Poor Patient Welfare Fund of PGIMER.
The retail store was also told to refund Rs. 12 that were charged from Goel, Rs. 100 as compensation, and Rs. 1100 as cost of litigation.
Big Bazar has objected to this ruling, stating that the amount was rightly charged as the was displayed in the store and that the plaintiff had agreed to pay the amount that was charged. However, the consumer forum has slapped the penalty nonetheless, proving that this concept of charging extra from customers for carry bag is unethical indeed.
The forum said, “…the big stores like the OPs (Big Bazaar) never allow the customers to carry bags in their hands within their store premises knowing very well that if they are allowed then the customers will not easily give their consent for the purchase of the carry bags. The OPs (Big Bazaar) are, therefore, taking advantage of their dominating position…”
Big Bazaar Second Such Offense
In October last last, Big Bazaar was penalized Rs 11,000 by the Consumer Forum, for enforcing Rs 3 extra charge on the customer for a carry bag.
Infact, the same trend is being witnessed in other supermarkets as well.
Recently, Aditya Birla Retail was slapped with a penalty of Rs 8000, for charging Rs 9 from a customer, for a carry bag.
Will such penalties and fines stop the super market chains and retail czars to mend their ways?
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.