Complaining in consumer forum
Consumer Protection Act 1986 gives rights to the consumers to file their consumer complaints in the Consumer Court at a different level according to the amount of claim levels such as district, state or national level. Consumers have to be the approach to this complaint forum along with the documents required for filing the complaint. Any consumer can file his/her complaint in the consumer complaint forum as the Act has provided a very simple process for consumers to filing the complaint. Moreover, there is no need to hire any lawyer to file a consumer complaint in the consumer court. A consumer has to go through the following steps to file the complaint against the grievance with him.
The complaint should specify:
- The cause for your dissatisfaction related to the product or any service
- The consumer complaint should be filed within two years from the date on which cause arises.
- Name of product or service with proper details.
- Convincing and supporting documents and evidence.
- Name and address of the organization which you feel is responsible for the same.
- Explain the circumstance or event which has caused you dissatisfied.
Steps to file the complaint in consumer forum:
Step 1: Draft Consumer Complaint
Firstly it is necessary to have the name and address of the company against which you want to file the complaint in consumer forum. The information about the company can easily be retrieved from the invoice or bill which might have received from the company or from the company online portal. Your consumer complaint should specify the cause for the dissatisfaction related to the product or any service. It should also mention the cost, damages, compensation, or refund amount and the circumstance or event which has caused you dissatisfied.
Step 2: Send Legal Notice
After drafting your complaint, it is now time to send a legal notice to the company against which you are going to file the complaint. Sending a legal notice to the opposite party is mandatory before filing a formal consumer case. This is done in order to provide an opportunity for the opposite party to settle the case and to send a signal that the consumer is seriously planning to file a consumer case against the opposite party. You should send this legal notice to the company via registered post and wait for at least 30 days for any response from them. If the opposite party refuses to resolve the complaint or simply not reply to the notice, then you can approach the consumer forum.
Step 3: Approach Consumer Court
Any consumer can file his/her complaint in the consumer complaint forum as the Act has provided a very simple process for consumers to filing the complaint. Moreover, there is no need to hire any lawyer to file a consumer complaint in the consumer court. You have to mention all the details of the case on a paper, attach legal documents and submit it in four copies, plus additional copies for the company against which you are going to file the complaint.
Jurisdiction of Forum
You need to ensure that your case falls within the jurisdiction of the particular District / State commission where you are planning to file the consumer complaint in the forum.
If the amount of the claim is less than Rs. 20 Lacs, then the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has got the jurisdiction to hear the complaint
If the amount of the claim is more than Rs. 20 Lacs but less than Rs. 1 Crore, then the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission will entertain the complaint.
If the amount of claim is more than Rs 1 Crore, then the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission will hear the complaint.
Required Forum Fees to file the complaint
You need to deposit the required court fees for your consumer case in different consumer forums. The amount of court fees is evaluated on the basis of the compensation claimed.
For District forums
Up to Rs.100,000: Fees is Rs.100
Between Rs.100,000 – Rs.500,000 : Fees is Rs.200
Between Rs.500,000 -Rs.10,00,000 : Fees is Rs.400
Above Rs.10,00,000 and up to Rs.20,00,000 : Fees is Rs.500
For State forums
Above Rs.20,00,000 – Rs.50,00,000 : Fees is Rs.2,000
Above Rs.50,00,000 – Rs.100,00,000 : Fees is Rs.4,000
For National forums
The fees is Rs.5,000
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