We take immense pride in being a literate and being ‘aware’ of issues that relate to our well being. But, most of us turn into downright ‘illiterates’ when it comes to consumer rights, leaving vast scope for unscrupulous elements to dupe us in terms of quality, high price and other unfair business practices.

Panuganti Krishna Reddy of Ashok Nagar area in Vijayawada reminds us of the option to be assertive.

He purchased a Skoda Fabia car in December last year but the vehicle developed unusual sound in the running condition. Since the warranty period had not yet elapsed, Mr. Reddy handed over the car to the M/s. Mahavir Auto Diagnostics Private Limited on April 6 for rectifying the defect. The dealer promised to deliver back the car on the same evening as the repair was ‘minor in nature’. But, Mr. Reddy was forced to visit the service centre continuously for a week regularly in a hope to get back his vehicle in vain. Peeved by the inordinate delay, he sought an explanation from the dealer, who said that use of adulterated diesel in the car had damaged the engine and that the warranty doesn’t cover any damage on account of the use of substandard and contaminated diesel.

Mr. Reddy’s plea to the dealer to give the same in writing was turned down. Interestingly, the dealer did not think it necessary to take the sample of the diesel in Mr. Reddy’s presence to prove his contention. Sensing foul game, Mr. Reddy filed a consumer case in the District Consumer Forum with the assistance of the city-based Consumers Guidance Society against the dealer and the manufacturer, the Skoda Auto India Private Limited, as the latter had endorsed the former’s contention.

The Forum, after hearing the arguments of both the parties and examining the evidence furnished by them, directed the opposite parties to repair the car at their own cost and pay a compensation of Rs.30,000 and an additional sum of Rs.3,000 by way of costs. The order was delivered on Tuesday in the open court.

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