Lifestyle International Ltd. has been ordered by the Chandigarh consumer forums, to pay Rs. 3000 each to two consumers for charging them Rs. 5 each for carry bags!
Pankaj Chandgothia and Sangeeta Chandgothia had gone to Lifestyle International Ltd. where they bought some items. When they went to pay for their goods they were charged Rs. 5 each for the carry bags that the store gave them. It refused to give them the bags free.
They complained to the Chandigarh district consumer forum which found Lifestyle International guilty of deficient service and also of unfair trade practice. It ordered the shop to refund their Rs. 5 each, wrongly charged, to pay Rs. 1500 each for harassment and mental agony, to pay also Rs. 1500 each for court costs and finally to deposit Rs. 10,000 in the Consumer Legal Aid Account maintained by the Secretary of the Chandigarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
This forum also told Lifestyle International to provide free carry bags to all customers forthwith who purchase goods from them!
The shop went in appeal to the higher court, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission claiming that there was a Government rule banning the use of plastic bags which made it necessary for them to make paper bags which cost them money and hence they had to charge for them.
But the Commission ruled that the consumers were giving them free advertisement by carrying their paper bags, and hence it was wrong to charge them. It dismissed their appeal!