After a Chandigarh based customer filed a complaint with the Consumer Forum against shoe maker Bata India Ltd. the company was penalised for asking customers to pay for paper bags. The major retail brand Bata has been asked to pay Rs 9,000 to a consumer for asking to pay Rs 3 for a paper bag.
Rejecting the plea of Bata India that it charges Rs 3 for paper carry bag for the purpose of environmental safety, the Chandigarh Consumer Forum stated that “if Bata India is a environmental activist, it should have given the same to the complainant free of cost”. The forum also directed the company to provide free carry bags to all customers who purchase its articles.
The forum directed Bata India to refund Rs 3 wrongly charged for the paper carry bag from Chandigarh resident Dinesh Parshad Raturi, pay him Rs 3,000 as compensation and Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses. The forum also directed Bata India to deposit Rs 5,000 in the “Consumer Legal Aid Account” in the name of Secretary, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UT, Chandigarh.
According to the reports, complainant Dinesh Prasad Raturi told the consumer forum that he had purchased a pair of shoes on February 5 from a Bata store located in sector 22D. The store charged him Rs 3 extra for the paper bag and put the final bill at Rs 402. The complainant, Raturi, told the forum that by charging Rs 3 for the bag, Bata, was also endorsing its brand on the bag which was not justified.
Raturi stated that it was the duty of the store to provide the carry bag, but he was forced to pay price for the paper bag, which was being used as advertisement by Bata. He added that “Bata Surprisingly Stylish”, “Barcelona Milan Singapore New Delhi Rome” was printed on the paper bag.
Raturi alleged that at the cost of the consumer, he was being used as the advertisement agent of the Bata India Limited.