A consumer court on Saturday has imposed fines on a leading Pakistani online retailer Daraz.pk for providing a faulty product to a customer.
Daraz.pk to pay Rs50,000 has been directed by the judge of the consumer court (South) Mukesh Kumar Talreja to the claimant/complainant in damages and compensation and also pay a fine of Rs15,000 in the government treasury account.
Furthermore, the court also asked the online retailer to replace the product in question with a good and useful one or alternatively return the amount (Rs7,795) paid against the purchase of the product by the claimant.
The consumer court also directed the online retailer to improve its services with regard to reasonable standards as per the expectation of consumers.
The court ruling further says that if the defendant failed to comply with these orders within a period of one month, he or she will be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than one month which may extend to three years or with fine, not less than Rs50,000 which may extend to Rs200,000 or with both.
Complaint against Daraz.pk was filed by a customer named Dania Kashif, through Daraz.pk’s managing director under Section 26 of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014. The complaint said that she ordered one Play-Doh DohVinci from the defendant’s website against the consideration of Rs7,795 which was delivered in a sealed parcel in November, but the product was dry and in bad condition and the price mentioned on the box was Rs6,730 instead of Rs7,795.
The complainant further contended that she felt severe stress, agony, and mental infliction and had filed a complaint through the defendant’s helpline, but they did not entertain it.
The court in its order also said that it is a settled principle that when mental torture, agony, and emotional stress was made out then the court has to grant damages as compensation and therefore, the court quantified the general damages for suffering mental agony and emotional distress as Rs50,000.
However, the defendant party (Daraz.pk) denied the allegations and argued that the claim was filed past the statutory period of 30 days and the complainant made the order by agreeing to terms and conditions of the defendant, which said that the defendant was not a party to the contract with either the seller or any other third party.
The defendant further stated that they, vide the purchase summary, charged an amount of Rs99, and its service was limited to delivery only and the remaining payment went to the account of the seller. It further submitted that the defendant replied via email and apprised the complainant about the procedure of refund and return, but that was not availed by the complainant.