Hyderabad: The Hyderabad consumer disputes redressal forum has directed Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to pay a compensation of Rs. 1.15 lakh to a customer for grave negligence and deficient acts.

The complainant, Bhuvanagiri Mallikarjun, purchased a Samsung LED TV from Bajaj Electronics in Saroor Nagar, Hyderabad, for Rs. 1,79,900 in October 2016. Along with the TV, he had also purchased the CPP Asset Care membership provided by CPP Assistance Services for Rs. 22,411 for an extended warranty of three years till October 2021. The latter had obtained the extended warranty as part of its group insurance from Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

In March 2019, Mr. Mallikarjun noticed a glitch in the TV and notified Samsung of the same. Technical experts from the company inspected the TV and told him that it was not covered by the warranty. Mr. Mallikarjun contacted Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. The insurer sent a technician who asked him to change the TV’s panel board. “I obtained the quotation from Samsung authorised service center for Rs. 57,729 for the panel board and forwarded the same to the technician. After that, they took my TV,” said Mr. Bhuvanagiri, a resident of Kothapet.

The technician repaired the TV and returned it to Mr. Mallikarjun. But to his shock, he found that the back cover of the television set was totally damaged. He asked the technician to take it back and replace the cover with a new one. After several calls, they finally replaced the back cover of the TV and assured him that they would deliver it to him. “They promised to deliver the TV the same evening. However, the delivery executive informed me that he had received instructions from higher authorities asking him not to deliver the TV. Later, when I visited the workshop with my wife, the TV was in good condition. It has not yet been delivered to us and is still with the insurer,” said Mr. Mallikarjun.

He filed a complaint in the consumer forum seeking compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs from Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for deficiency in service and adoption of unfair trade practice.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, however, denied all the allegations and in a statement said “voluminous evidence and complicated questions” were involved in the consumer’s complaint and the better course was to direct the complainant to approach the civil court. It also said it was only liable for Rs. 57, 800.

After examining the evidence provided by Mr. Mallikarjun, the forum said, “The insurer shall not be excused for its deficiency of the service, despite attending repairs to its panel board and receiving the repair cost from the consumer. These acts amount to deficiency of service apart from the adoption of unfair trade practice.”

It added that the complainant was entitled to get his TV back in a working condition and without any damages. The court also asked the insurer to pay a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh for grave negligence and deficient acts upon its part. It also said the company shall pay Rs. 15,000 to the complainant for his costs and if the TV is not returned Rs. 30,000 till the date of delivery.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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