When a consumer is dissatisfied about a product or service he or she has a right to file a complaint in the respective consumer court regarding the same. The first step before even filing a complaint is to send a notice to the opposite party stating the facts of dissatisfaction regarding the availed service or product or of unfair trade practices and so on.
A legal notice is to give the opposite party a chance to compensate for the loss suffered by either replacing the commodity or returning the value of the purchase. In case the opposite party refuses to serve the notice then the consumers needs to approach the respective Consumer Court.
Step 1: The consumer needs to identify the Jurisdiction of the Forum where the complaint is to be filed.
The Consumer needs to take into consideration both the territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction of the tribunal.
TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION OF THE CONSUMER FORUMS:-
A complaint shall be instituted in a District Forum or State Commission or National within the local limits of whose jurisdiction,—
a) The opposite party resides or caries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain, or
b) If there are more than one opposite party, then any one of the opposite parties resides, or carries on business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain,
c) The cause of action arose.
PECUNIARY JURISDICTION OF CONSUMER FORUMS:-
Sr. No. Forums Amount
1 District Forum Upto Rs. 20 Lakhs
2 State Commission Rs. 20 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore
3 National Commission Exceeding Rs. 1 Crore
Step 2: A nominal fee along with your complaint has to be paid before the District Forum, State Commission & the National Commission as the case may be.
Step 3: Draft a complaint stating all facts and sign the complaint. In case any other person is authorized to file the complaint then complaint has to be accompanied with authorization letter. You will also have to mention the name, description and address of the complainant and the name, description, address of the opposite party or parties against whom relief is claimed.
Step 4: Attach all documents to support your complaint including the copy of the bill of the goods bought, warranty and guarantee documents and also a copy of the written complaint and notice made to the trader requesting him to rectify the product.
Step 5: Mention your compensation costs. Besides the compensation cost, a consumer can also ask for the refunds, damages, litigation costs, and interest amount. You must give the breakup for the amount to be claimed under different heads.
Step 6: Complaint must clearly state as to what relief is one looking for against the opposite party.
Step 7: The Act provides a limitation period of two years from the date of cause of action. In case there is delay in filing the complaint, please explain the delay which can be can be condoned by the Tribunal.
Step 8: Also, file an affidavit along with the complaint stating that the facts stated in the complaint are true and correct.
Step 9: The complainant can present the complaint in person or by his/her authorized representative without engaging any advocate. The complaint can be sent by registered post. A minimum of 5 copies of the complaint is to be filed in the forum. Besides this you have to file additional copies for each opposite party.