April 22, 2015 3:12:33 am
By: Kartik Kumar
The Chandigarh district consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered Snapdeal, an online marketplace, to pay Rs 17,000 in compensation to a consumer who bought a gift voucher worth Rs 30, offering 30 per cent discount on a meal at a restaurant, but the restaurant refused to honour it.
In his complaint, Ankur Verma, a resident of Kharar, said that he ordered a product on October 5, 2013, from the ‘Snapdeal’ website and paid Rs 30 extra for a gift voucher, which was on offer with the deal. The voucher entitled him to a 30 per cent discount at ‘Buffet Lounge’ at KLG Hotel in Sector 43, Chandigarh.
The next day, he went to the hotel for lunch with his family. At the time of payment, the hotel officials refused to give him a discount, saying that the voucher was invalid. Therefore, he had to pay the full amount. Later, he sent complaints and a legal notice to Snapdeal, but to no avail. Following which, he filed a complaint with the consumer court.
In its reply, Snapdeal said that their website was an online marketplace where product and inventory information was provided by a number of sellers. It admitted that the discount voucher purchased by the complainant was through its website. However, it only acted as an intermediary through its web interface and provided a medium to various sellers all over India to offer their products for sale to the public. The discount vouchers were sold by third party sellers and not by them directly.
In his order, forum president PL Ahuja said, “From evidence presented before the court, the discount voucher was purchased by the complainant through the Snapdeal website and sold by a third party, as alleged by the respondent. Simply, taking shelter by acting as an intermediary would not let them escape from liability and they should have named the third party on this account.”
Holding Snapdeal responsible for deficiency in service, the forum ordered it to pay Rs 11,900 as compensation and Rs 5,100 towards litigation costs within 30 days with 12 per cent interest.
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