Flipkart told to compensate customer for faulty phone

Flipkart told to compensate customer for faulty phone

An online shopper who received a faulty phone through Flipkart will get a refund, thanks to the Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum here.

Headed by P V Singri, the forum directed the e-commerce giant to pay Vijay Jain (26) the full cost of the phone with interest.

Jain bought a Lenovo Sisley S90 on April 4, 2015 for Rs 17,680. After about four months of use, it stopped working.

He took it to the Lenovo authorised service centre, but was denied service on the grounds that the invoice issued by Flipkart made no mention of the phone's IMEI (international mobile equipment identity) number.

He emailed and sought help from the online store, but it did not address his concerns for three years and a half, according to his petition. He then approached the consumer forum.

Defence argument

Bharath Babu, advocate for Flipkart, contended it only provides a platform for sellers and buyers, and was not liable for defective products.

Flipkart's services are similar to those offered by a shopping mall. In case a product is defective, the shop owner and seller are held liable and not the owner of the mall, he argued.

The consumer forum, however, ruled that the defective product was delivered by Flipkart, which had also given, by its own admission, a replacement guarantee.

"The act of Flipkart in selling the mobile handset without an IMEI number in the invoice… amounts to deficiency of service and unfair trade practice," the forum observed in its order.

Since Jain has already bought a new phone, the forum asked Flipkart to reimburse the price of the Lenovo phone with 6% interest since February 2016.

It will also have to pay Jain Rs 4,000 towards litigation costs.

BoX

Incomplete invoice

* Customer bought a Lenovo phone online for Rs 17,680

* It stopped working after four months

* Lenovo refused to service it, saying Flipkart's invoice did not mention the  phone's  IMEI number

* Court ruled Flipkart was liable to compensate the customer with interest and costs

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