How to file a customer complaint in a consumer court against a company and procedures that need to be taken?

Earlier, company’s use to offer replacement for a malfunctioned product, but as time ensued things have changed. Though there has been a spiked increase in the number of customers purchasing the product, so has been the increase in competitors and complaints from customers. Also, there are few companies as well, which don’t provide the best after sales service, which is a downfall for a consumer. Over the year, things have changed and today customer has more power than he ever did. Today, there are consumer forums or consumer courts, which have been established to cater to a customer’s complaint.

In this consumer-oriented age, every customer when purchases any item or avails any service and he feels dissatisfied, he can complain to get his due rights. The first step in this direction of lodging a complaint is reporting the owner of the company/organisation which has produced that product or provided that service. Every organisation today, has put a complain Redressal system in place to ensure that all the consumer-related issues can be given proper attention and resolved in time, without any further delay.

It can be directed to the court if the desired owner does not respond positively. One can approach the consumer court through online numbers available for the common man to file the complaint. There are certain privileges and precautions to be taken before filling in any form. Similar to our civil/criminal judicial system, consumer forum is also segregated on the basis of amount involved in a Redressal. One can approach District Consumer Forum when the cost is less than 20 lakh rupees, but if it exceeds than this amount, he has to approach State commission of the state if the cost is more than one crore approach National commissions in New Delhi.

How to file a complaint in Consumer court:-

  1. First of all, we need the invoice or bill for the item purchased
  2. Any warranty card provided by the shopkeeper.
  3. The address proof
  4. Registration no. of company
  5. In case the bill is not provided, the entry in the accounts section of the company may be searched.
  6. Any impairment may be searched in bank statements.

First of all, he may need a photocopy of all the above necessary documents, identification proof like PAN/AADHAR CARD etc. which should be signed and sealed by a notary. DD should be attached for the court fee: 100 rupees up to one lakh, 200 rupees for 1 to 5 lakhs, 300 rupees for 5 to 10 lakhs and 400 rupees for 10 to 20 lakhs. For the transactions between 20 to 50 lakhs, he has to be present at the State commissions and pay the amount 2000. A stamp paper for ₹ 4000/- has to be issued, for the Redressal amount between 50 lakhs to 1 crore, and ₹ 5000/- rupees for the amount above one crore. But the person belonging to ‘Antyodaya Anna Yojana’ card need not pay a fee. The customer needs to be present in all the legal proceedings. Also, he needs to mention the relief he wishes from the judgment, like replacement or repair or refund. He can claim even the cost involved in this procedure. All the procedure may take up to two years from the date of filing the case. If the case persists, he may take help of the advocate with an additional cost of his fee. Moreover, if many people have the same complaint, they can lodge it in a single one.

How to file a customer complaint against a company?

A consumer complaint can be expressed as a type of grievance lodged by any consumer over dissatisfaction over a product or service. The complaints are at first dealt with the company the products are from. However, it can be directed to the government as well, when the said company fails to take any measures regarding the issue. The consumers need to know how to file customer complaint. There are several consumer helpline numbers available for the customers to file the complaint. Also, there are a set of rules which the consumer must adhere to before filing any grievances.

If the relief is less than 20 lakh rupees, the issue should be addressed at District Consumer Forum. When it exceeds 20 lakh but is less than one crore, it will be filed in the State Commission of the particular state. Beyond, one crore the complaint will go to National Commission in New Delhi.

Documents required while filing

While filing any consumer complaint, some documents are necessary for the legal procedures such as bill or invoice for that buy, if any warranty card is given while purchasing, proper address proof to show whether the company is registered. It can be acquired from the website bill or other things. However, if the bill was not available during the purchase, usually the details can be found in the accounts section of the company where all the information are entered. Other details that bring forth the negligence of the company can be provided, such as e-mails, telephone calls or SMS-es. Evidence such as bank statements can also be given.

How to file the Complaint?

While filing the complaint, you should attach all necessary photocopies of the documents. Identification proof is needed of the complainant such as PAN, Adhar Card, etc. Documents need to be notarised by seal and signature before filing the complaint. The court fee needs to be paid along with them as Demand Draft.

The fees differ in certain categories. Up to one lakh rupees, the fees is Rupees 100, from one lakh to five lakh rupees you have to pay 200 rupees, from five to ten lakh you need 300 rupees, above ten to twenty lakh rupees the amount needed is 400 rupees. Further, you have to visit the state commission which accepts amount between twenty to fifty lakh rupees where you have to pay 2000 rupees and above fifty lakh to 1 crore rupees fee required is 4000 rupees. When the amount exceeds one crore rupees, the fee needed to pay is 5000 rupees. People below poverty line having ‘Antyodaya Anna Yojana’ card do not have to pay any fee.

You have to make at least five copy of the complaint and keep one copy for yourself. It has to be ensured to visit all the hearing date to follow the proceedings. It has to be mentioned in the complaint the relief you are seeking, such as replacement of goods, removal of defects or refund of the products. The cost of the complaint can also be asked from the complaining party.

Conclusion

The limitation period from the lodge of the complaint is two years from the date of filing. In case of delay of proceedings, the complaint might still be taken weighing the gravity of the case and the reason for its delay. If several people have the same problem, they can file a single complaint. While filing the complaint, the customer might take the help of an advocate for advice; however, it comes with a fee.