Hyd IKEA asked to pay customer Rs. 6K for charging Rs 20 for carry bag

IKEA has been asked to pay Rs. 20 (the cost of the carry bag), Rs. 1,000 as compensation for causing mental agony, and Rs. 5,000 in Consumer Legal Aid account as a token for creating awareness on Consumer Protection Act.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  17 Aug 2022 1:30 AM GMT
Hyd IKEA asked to pay customer Rs. 6K for charging Rs 20 for carry bag

Hyderabad: IKEA Hyderabad has been asked to compensate a customer for charging him for a carry bag. Deciding on partial compensation, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Rangareddy asked IKEA to pay Rs. 20 (the cost of the carry bag), Rs. 1,000 as compensation for causing mental agony, and Rs. 5,000 in Consumer Legal Aid account as a token for creating awareness on Consumer Protection Act. It further asked IKEA to file the proof of the deposit to the Commission.

IKEA has been given 45 days to comply with the order failing which the deposit amount of Rs. 5,000 will carry an interest of 24% per annum from the date of default till the date of deposit.

More importantly, the Commission has asked IKEA to stop charging for carry bags containing its logo.

The complainant, Kevin Sukruthy, a law student, visited IKEA located in Hitech City Main Road on 26 January 2020 and purchased a few items worth Rs. 1,071. As Kevin was not carrying a bag, he had no option but to buy a carry bag being offered at the billing counter for Rs. 20 that had the logo of IKEA. He said that it accounted for unfair trade practice citing that the apex court had said so in several consumer cases.

He requested the Commission to direct IKEA to provide free carry bags, refund Rs. 20 charged for the carry bag, and pay Rs. 5,000 as compensation for causing mental agony and physical harassment, Rs. 2,000 for litigation expenses, and Rs. 10,000 as a deposit in Consumer Legal Aid for punitive damages.

In response to the complaint, IKEA also submitted its version in writing. It said that the carry bag was charged only after giving prior information that it would be charged. Only after the complainant had consented to purchase the carry bag was the customer charged. "It is submitted that the opposite party has charged and billed for carry bags with prior consent and intimation of the complainant and as such, there is no deficiency of service or unfair trade practice on part of the opposite party," read IKEA's statement.

It also alleged that the complainant did not file any authenticated documents before the Commission to prove his case beyond all reasonable doubts.

However, Kevin had the invoice which discloses that IKEA had collected Rs. 20 for the carry bag, his bank account statement which discloses the amount that he paid through debit card, and the third proof that discloses that the said carry bag contained IKEA's logo.

IKEA also argued that the purchase of the carry bag is entirely optional and that the customers can bring their own bags. But the Commission noted this argument is unsustainable.

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