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From Flipkart to Shah Ghouse: Five cases won by Hyderabadis that prove customer is king

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Consumer awareness has reached new heights in Hyderabad.
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Hyderabad is seemingly fast emerging as a hub for the ‘awake’ consumer as several cases have been taken to court in the past month and have been won by petitioners fighting for their rights.
Here are a few of them.
1. Just this week, a district consumer forum in Hyderabad ordered e-commerce site Flipkart to pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 to a customer for selling a faulty mobile phone charger to him.
According to the petitioner, the wires in the charger got burnt and damaged his phone, on the very first day that he used it.
“Flipkart cannot shirk their liability on the grounds that they did not charge any consideration from the complainant. The complainant purchased the product through Flipkart and therefore there exists a relationship of a consumer and the service provider between the two,” the court said in its statement.
Read the full story here.
2. Last week, popular Hyderabad restaurant Shah Ghouse was fined Rs 10,000 by the Legal Metrology Department for charging more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) for a soft drink.
An activist who visited the hotel, was charged Rs 20 for a 300ml bottle of Thumbs Up, instead of the MRP of Rs 16.
For charging just Rs 4 above the MRP, the Legal Metrology Department awarded a fine of Rs 10,000 to the restaurant.
Read the full story here.
3. On the same day that a court fined Shah Ghouse, a district consumer forum in Hyderabad directed a private hospital to pay Rs 75,000 as compensation, and for medical expenses, to a patient who underwent a surgery under the Aarogyasri scheme.
The scheme is supposed to provide free treatment for a period of one year post surgery, but failed to do so.
“The hospital collected fees from the government with an understanding that they would provide free treatment to the patient after discharge via the same doctor who conducted the surgery and also medical testes, but failed to do so. So it is unfair trade practice,” the court ruled.
Read the story here.
4. A week before that, on March 12, a consumer forum directed the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) to cough up Rs 10,000.
The forum took the decision after a 64-year-old man was forced to stand in a bus, as he was not allotted a senior citizen seat, despite several requests.
The forum ruled in the petitioner’s favour, and termed it an act of ‘negligence’ and ‘deficiency in service’.
Read the story here.
5. Earlier this month, a finance firm was also directed to pay Rs 50,000 to a customer after they denied him a chance to repay his loan, and seized his car and sold it without giving him a notice.
The forum also asked the firm to pay Rs 5,000 towards the petitioner’s legal cost.
Read the story here.
Stating that consumer protection was progressing at a brisk pace in the city, Dr PJ Sudhakar, Additional DG, PIB, Hyderabad, recently wrote, “We are a young country with more than 70% population under 35 years of age. The youngsters are using the internet in a big way for various purposes and also happen to be the major consumers.”
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