A Chandigarh resident informed the consumer forum that despite levying charges on the paper bag, Bata was endorsing its brand on it, which is not fair,
A Chandigarh consumer forum has penalised retail brand Bata India Ltd for asking a consumer to pay Rs 3 for a paper bag. Apart from levying a fine of Rs 9,000 on the company, the regulator also censured the company for harassing customers.
Dinesh Prasad Raturi, a resident of Chandigarh, wrote to the consumer forum that when he had bought a pair of shoes from a Bata store in Sector 22D in February, the store charged him Rs 402, including charges for a paper bag. But when he sought a refund of Rs 3 and also sought compensation for the deficiency in services, he was denied both.
Raturi informed the regulatory body that despite levying charges on the paper bag, Bata was endorsing its brand on it, which is not fair, reported India Today.
Although Bata junked all allegations of deficiency in its services, the consumer forum refused to exhibit any leniency and upheld the fact that forcing a consumer to pay for a paper bag was indeed a black mark in Bata's customer services.
It also maintained that the store is duty bound to provide free paper bags to customers who purchase their products. Not only was Bata India then asked to refund the Rs 3 paid for the bag, but also had to pay litigation charges of Rs 1,000.
The retail brand paid another Rs 3,000 as compensation to the customer for causing mental distress by deficiency in services; Bata was also asked to pay Rs 5,000 in the legal aid account of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Going forward, Bata India has been asked to provide free paper bags to all customers. The forum has observed that if companies are really so concerned about the environment, they should provide environment-friendly bags to their customers for free.