The district consumer dispute redressal forum recently held Sony Mobile Communication and one of its service centres guilty of providing faulty services to a consumer, thus asking the mobile company to refund the cost of the handset, at 9% interest from 2012, to the complainant. It has also directed the company to pay an additional amount of Rs3,000 to the complainant towards his litigation cost.
As per Sachin Padad, the complainant, in October 2010, he had bought Sony Ericsson Aspen M1i worth Rs14,950 from a store in Thane. After using the handset for 12 days, Padad realised there was a fault in it and approached the service centre. "After repairs, it was returned to the complainant, but the problem continued. Thereafter, several times, the complainant approached the service centre and other offices of Sony, but his problem was not solved," reads the forum's order copy.
Finally, because the fault was irreparable, the complainant was offered a new handset. However, he realised that the fault existed in all handsets of that particular model. The forum's order copy reads that Sony had accepted the fault was there in other handsets of that model. When the complainant asked the firm to refund the cost of the handset, it refused to do so. Hence, Padad approached the forum and filed a complaint.
The forum, after going through Padad's complaint, asked the firm to file its reply. The firm, in its reply, claimed, "There was warranty for one year. The handset was replaced as a goodwill gesture. After receiving notice from the forum, offer was given to the complainant for replacement or refund. However, there was no response from the complainant.
Therefore, the complaint is liable to be dismissed with cost."
The forum, however, held that no doubt the company had offered him the payback option, but the option was given after the complainant had approached the forum. "The offer should have been given before itself. Thus, the firm should refund the amount along with nine per cent interest from the time the complainant approached the forum," it held.