Big Bazaar Slapped With Rs 18,000 Penalty For Charging Rs 50 For Carry Bags
The Chandigarh District Consumer Commission has charged Big Bazaar with a penalty of Rs 18, 000.
The Indian retail-chain charged Rs 48 and Rs 12 for carry bags from two city residents.
Read on to find out more…
What Really Happened?
On August 3, 2019, a resident of Sector 30 of Chandigarh, Neha Sharma said she purchased items worth Rs 9,881 from a Big Bazar store at Elante Mall, Chandigarh. She alleged that on the billing counter she was charged Rs 48 for two paper bags. She opposed these charges and asked the cashier to refund the amount of the paper bags but the employee refused.
Similarly, Preeti Kalia was charged Rs 12 each for two carry bags.
The complainants then approached the District Consumer Commission, and filed 3 separate complaints.
Big Bazaar’s Reply!
Big Bazaar in a written statement pleaded that the amount was rightfully charged from the complainant for the carry bag as the same was displayed in the store.
Also the complainant had given consent before the store charged her extra for the carry bag.
Big Bazaar also said that a part of its responsible and environmentally conscious business policy, consumers are requested to carry their own bags and a separate charge was to be charged in case the consumer wished to obtain a new carry bag.
The same initiative is displayed through advertisement, posters and notices at prominent locations of the concerned store.
After hearing the arguments, the commission ruled that “the opposite party (Big Bazar) had miserably failed to produce on record any cogent, convincing and reliable piece of evidence in the shape of any rules or instructions authorising it to levy charges additionally for the carry bag from the gullible consumers. In this backdrop, charges of such things (carry bags) cannot be separately foisted upon the consumers and the same would amount to unfair trade practice on the part of the OP.”
The Commission directed Big Bazar–
- refund the cost of the carry bags charged from the complainants.
- to pay Rs 100 to the respective complainant(s) towards compensation for harassment and mental agony.
- to pay Rs 1,100 as litigation expenses for each complaint.
- to deposit Rs 5,000 in the Consumer Legal Aid Account, for each complaint.