Consumer court asks Reliance Fresh store to pay for charging extra on 3 packets of cookies

Charging a rupee above the maximum retail price (MRP) for a packet of cookies has cost a retail store dearly.

A consumer court asked it to pay Rs. 7,000 to a buyer as compensation and costs. Acting on a complaint, the district consumer forum ordered the store to pay the amount within six weeks, and said that otherwise the amount would carry an interest of 9 per cent until the day the payment was made.

The consumer, C. Chandrasekaran, had purchased three packets of Unibic butter cookies for Rs. 39 — each packet being billed at Rs. 13, from Reliance Fresh, Villivakkam. After buying the product, he looked at the cover and found the maximum retail price marked was Rs. 12 per packet.

In his complaint before the district consumer forum, he said the retail store had collected one rupee extra per packet. When he asked the store staff to refund the amount, they refused.

He also said he had sent a letter asking the retail store to refund the excess amount and to refrain from selling products at higher prices.

Further, he said, the same biscuits were being sold by other shopkeepers at Rs. 11 per packet. To substantiate this, he attached a bill issued by another store.

Even after receiving the notice, the retail store failed to appear.

After perusing the bills and proof provided by complainant, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (North) comprising its president R. Mohandoss and member A. Dayalan said, “The complainant established the unfair trade practice, negligence and deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party. The retail store had resorted to unfair trade practice of selling the product at higher price than the actual maximum retail price printed in the packet of the product.”

The forum directed the retail store to pay the complainant Rs. 7,003 – towards the excess amount charged (Rs. 3), Rs.5,000 as compensation and Rs. 2,000 as costs.

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