Customers should lodge a complaint with the Legal Metrology Department via phone or email if he is charged more than MRP

Do you suspect foul play by shop owners? If so, you can now lodge a complaint by sending an SMS to the Legal Metrology Department. People are being cheated by shop owners every day, and the practice can be curtailed to a great extent only when customers come forward and lodge complaints, Controller of Legal Metrology R.P. Thakur said on Wednesday.

Customers can lodge complaints by calling the toll-free number, ‘1860-425-3333’, or by sending an SMS to ‘094901 65619’ or by e-mailing to ‘clm@ap.nic.in’, Mr. Thakur said.

Shopkeepers usually sell a product for more than the quoted Maximum Retail Price (MRP), and the customer should lodge a complaint if he comes across such practices, he said. Even taxes should be inclusive of the printed MRP rate, and customers should not be charged more on the pretext of imposing Value Added Tax (VAT), he added.

The rules also stipulate that shops should not affix stickers with a different MRP over the original label. In the event of offering a rebate, shop owners should not put the new price tag over the original one.

“It is a common practice in many shopping malls to affix new MRP stickers over the original labels. Also, there have been incidents where cartons did not have labels printed by manufacturers, and shop owners affixed their own price tags. These practices are illegal and are punishable,” he said.

Mr. Thakur also urged customers to ensure that jewellers reduce the weight of stones used in the jewellery while buying ornaments.

“Customers should also ensure that the weighing machine being used is calibrated and has 1 mg accuracy,” he said.

With electronic weighing machines becoming the norm, customers should also ensure that these machines are checked and sealed by Legal Metrology Department personnel.

The department is launching a drive to check such malpractices, and consumers should come forward to lodge complaints, Mr. Thakur added.

The department has already booked more than 1,000 cases in the city for various violations and has also lodged court cases on 50 petrol pumps and 20 weigh bridges in the last three months. The department has also received 236 complaints on helpline, 18 e-mails and 101 SMS complaints during the same period.

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