In the light of the recent events, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has taken an action against the Future Retail Ltd running supermarket store ‘Big Bazaar’ selling carry bags without customer’s consent.
What Actions Are Taken Against Big Bazaar?
The NCDRC has forfeited Future Retail Ltd imposing additional costs for carry bags at the time of payment without informing the customer beforehand.
Dinesh Singh one of the presiding members of NCDRC said, “As a matter of consumer rights, the consumer has the right to know that there will be an additional cost for carry bags before he exercises his choice of patronising a particular retail outlet and before he makes his selection of goods for purchase from the said retailer outlet”
Validating Chandigarh district forum decision, state commission’s had ordered the company to pay compensation to a group of buyers. However, the NCDRC chose not to meddle in that matter.
What Is Big Bazaar’s Reaction?
Future Retail Ltd defended itself by justifying that they provide eco-friendly cloth bags to their customers without any intention of making profits out of it. They also claimed that it has stopped the polythene bags long back.
“Carry bags, sold at a particular price to the consumer, are in themselves ‘goods’. It cannot be that the said goods (i.e. the carry bags) are imposed without disclosing their salient specifications, at a fixed price, without prior notice or information that (additional) cost will be charged for them” the company stated.
Is This Really A Big Deal?
We had reported a couple of days back, a 39 year old customer filing a complaint against a mobile retailer for charging additional Rs 17.5 for a carry bag. The customer claimed that he did not want to be a medium of ‘live advertisement’ for the retailer. After one year of jurisdiction, the retailer was charged.
The problem is not about providing eco friendly bags here. The main issue lies in the retailers and shops adding the price of bags which is often ignored by the customer. Charging money for anything without customer’s consent is strictly unethical and does not comply with consumer rights.
With NCDRC’s orders, the Chief Executive Officer of Big Bazaar will have to make sure that the customers are informed about the additional carry bag charges through notices, signs, announcements, advertisement or warnings.