Byju’s Ordered To Return Rs 99,000 To Customer Due To Bad Services; Will Pay Rs 30,000 Compensation As Well
A man who recently sued BYJU’S for providing poor quality learning material and tablets was awarded a refund of ?99,000 that he had paid as fee and also a compensation of ?30,000
Convinced to pay.
Manju R’s Chandra was approached by representatives of BYJU’S last year, convincing them to subscribe to the app.
The representative also said that the children would be given two tablets worth ?25,000.
They promised the customer that the subscription fee would be converted into an EMI.
After this Manju and his cousin, Madhusudhana B used a credit card to pay them ?99,000.
Poor quality material, tablets
But soon after they found that the study material and the tablets they received was not worth the money they had paid.
Also, conversion of the fee paid into the EMI never happened.
They also realised that the tablets they were given were of low quality.
Following this, Manju and Madhusudhana demanded that they be allowed to unsubscribe and also asked for their money back.
Emails and phone calls made to BYJU’S were in vain.
Approaching consumer forum
They then approached the Bengaluru Rural and Urban 1st Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum with a complaint against Think and Learn Pvt Ltd, which runs BYJU’S.
Despite being served a legal notice, BYJU’S failed to appear before the forum and was declared ex parte.
The consumer court gave its verdict that there was service deficiency on the company’s part.
The court directed the company’s MD to repay the customer the fee of ?99,000 with 12% interest, ?25,000 towards damages and ?5,000 towards litigation expenses borne by the customer.
Similar case in Pune
This is nothing new for BYJU’S, which has made the news several times over unhappy customers who complain of coercion into paying large sums of money.
Just last December the Pune Consumer Court slammed the edtech company for not providing education services after accepting the payment.
Supriya Neralkar of Chinchwad in Pune had filed a complaint that BYJU accepted ?15,000 through online payment for the course for classes 4 to 12 and was asked to pay the remaining amount of ? 1,10,000 through EMIs.
The complaint also stated that BYJU’s had already taken a ? 1.1 lakh loan without her consent.
No one from BYJU’S appeared in court despite receiving notices- sound familiar?
Eventually the court directed BYJU’s and others to refund ?15,000 with nine per cent interest from October 14, 2018, the date when she had made the payment along with ? 50,000 as compensation.
How it’s like working at BYJU’s
A BBC news report chronicled the several problems plaguing the company both inside and outside.
Earlier, two separate customer-facing incidents were described.
However, even employees at the startup seem unhappy.
Former employees spoke of “pushy managers” and a high-pressure sales culture that gave people aggressive targets.
The company’s meteoric rise in the last few years due to the pandemic has come into question- exactly how was this achieved?
Shady tactics to extort customers
Some say that they deployed psychological tactics that have fed into parents’ insecurities and added to their debt burden.
The company would also knowingly push the product even if a child didn’t need it or parents could not afford it.
BYJU’S made several statements to the BBC denying all the negative claims against it.
But there is something to be said for the string of consumer lawsuits filed by unhappy or duped customers.
There is an undeniable pattern.