• Posted by CERC India
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Youth lured by misleading mobile ad gets refund

Meena Patel is a widow who gives tuitions to support her family. Much to her dismay, her son Manan was lured by a misleading print advertisement for a mobile phone and purchased the product for Rs. 2800 from QS Hot Deals, Mumbai branch. Incidentally, in the advertisement the phone’s price was put at Rs. 2499. When the product arrived, Manan found that it did not have the features advertised. He wanted the product that he had ordered. Numerous requests for a replacement went unheeded. Tired of the inaction, he asked for a refund. QS Hot Deals refused to refund the money and spoke very rudely to him. When he said he would take action against the company, its representative said: “Do what you want.”

Harried, mother and son approached CERS for help. They also told CERS that the company kept changing its contact number in advertisements perhaps to avoid being tracked. CERS took the matter seriously as it sensed a fraud. It told the company that it would take the legal route. This frightened the company officials who agreed to refund Rs. 2750. The mother-son duo thanked CERS for its timely intervention.

Student obtains college fee refund after struggle

Harsh Andharia, a resident of Bhavnagar in Gujarat, took admission to the USB Group of Colleges in Abu Road, Rajasthan. He paid Rs. 55,000 towards tuition fees and hostel charges on 18 September 2013. Due to difficulties in medium of instruction, he sought cancellation of admission and refund of fees two days later. The college regarded his application for cancellation of admission sympathetically and returned his original documents. However, in spite of making repeated requests for a fee refund, he did not receive the money. His father contacted a Bhavnagar based consumer organisation for help which in turn sought CERS’s intervention.

CERS staff wrote several letters to the Ahmedabad and Abu Road branch of the college for resolution of the problem. They also spoke to key persons following up the matter continuously. Eventually, the college refunded first Rs. 30,000 in June 2014 and the remaining amount of Rs. 20,000 (Rs. 5,000 was deducted as per norms) in September 2014. A relieved Harsh made a donation to CERS in appreciation of its efforts.

Finally, Club Mahindra cancels membership, gives refund

P. Satyanarayana, a resident of Rourkela in Odisha, had taken a Club Mahindra membership for 25 years by making an initial payment of Rs. 21,900 on 30 December 2012. The whole experience of being a member was very disillusioning. So many promises were made by the company and then broken. For instance, he received the welcome kit four months after becoming a member. That too, after sending several reminders. Satyanarayana made a holiday booking in April and October 2013 but there was no response to his requests. He had made rail and air bookings which he had to cancel at the last minute and incur cancellation charges. Ironically, Club Mahindra had been bombarding him with messages saying: “Don’t let your holidays vanish! Book one before 31 December 2013.”

Fed up, Satyanarayana decided to cancel his membership and asked for a refund. He was told that as per clause 6.1 of the membership rules he was not entitled to a refund. He contacted CERS and asked it to intervene. It told the company that the clause was not applicable as he had received the rules four months after becoming a member and two months after paying 3 EMIs. CERS asked Club Mahindra to settle the matter amicably. After persistent follow-up by CERS the matter was finally resolved and Rs. 21,900 was credited to the account of the complainant. On 14 November 2014, he received a membership cancellation letter and the balance amount.

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