The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Pune, recently directed mobile phone manufacturer OnePlus Pvt. Ltd. to pay ₹47,000 with interest to a customer, for refusing to repair a mobile within its warranty period.
The complainant, Omeya Limaye, had purchased a OnePlus One mobile worth ₹22,000 though online retailer Amazon in September 2015. In August 2016, Mr. Limaye approached the authorised service centre of OnePlus after the lower touch pad of his device stopped working abruptly.
The technician opened the device and informed the complainant that some internal screws were missing from the handset. Despite confirming that the device had never been opened before and that it was within the warranty period, the service centre told Mr. Limaye that they cannot repair his mobile, unless he bears the expense of replacing the missing screws.
The complainant contacted the customer care service of OnePlus and upon request, emailed a photograph of the missing screws, only to receive a similar response. He then filed a suit against the manufacturer for recovering ₹20,000 in damages and ₹ 5000 as litigation costs, in addition to ₹ 22,000 at 18% interest as cost of the mobile handset. A legal notice was served to OnePlus, however they intentionally failed to reply. Hence, the complaint proceeded ex parte against them.
The forum, comprising President Anil Khadse, members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Deshmukh, determined that the complainant was entitled to compensatory relief. Mr. Limaye had purchased the device for personal use and benefit, but was deprived of its proper use because of inherent defects. He was also caused undue mental stress and agony for no fault of his.
Since all claims of Mr. Limaye had gone unchallenged and failure to provide adequate service (despite the mobile being in its warranty period) amounted to deficiency in service, the forum stated that the complainant was entitled to recover the cost of the mobile and damages as sought, with 9% interest from the date of fault detection.