Most consumer cases leave us amazed and here comes another one. In a bizarre case, a consumer forum in Tamil Nadu paid Rs 1 lakh to the customer for packing one biscuit less than advertised on a packet of Sunfeast Marie Light.
In a consumer dispute case, renowned FMCG brand ITC has to pay Rs 1 lakh to a customer for a missing biscuit. One of the packets of the company’s biscuit brand ‘Sunfeast Marie Light’ contained only 15 biscuits, and not 16 as was promised on its wrapper.
Dillibabu, a resident of MMDA Mathur, Chennai purchased 24 packets of “Sunfeast Marie Light” from a retail store in Manali to feed stray dogs.
After opening the biscuit, he discovered only 15 biscuits instead of the advertised 16 biscuits. He reached out to the store and the FMCG brand for the same but didn’t get any response.
Dillibabu wasn’t just upset about one missing biscuit. He believed that with ITC producing nearly 50 lakh packets daily, the company could be deceiving the public by over Rs 29 lakh each day, as each biscuit cost 75 paise.
In his complaint, Dillibabu had requested a penalty of Rs 100 crore for the FMCG giant and the store that sold the biscuit packet, along with Rs 10 crore as compensation for what he claimed were unfair trade practices and inadequate service.
ITC defended itself by claiming that it sold the product by weight, not by the number of biscuits. The packaging stated each packet’s net weight as 76 grams. However, an investigation found that unwrapped packets with 15 biscuits actually weighed only 74 grams.
“It is argued by the learned counsel for the first opposite party (the company) that the product was sold only based on the weight and not on the number of biscuits. Such arguments cannot be accepted as the wrapper clearly provides the information to the buyers/consumers to purchase the product only based on the number of biscuits,” the Court stated.
While finding the FMCG brand guilty of engaging in unfair trade practices, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered ITC to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to Dillibabu and also directed to discontinue the selling of the disputed biscuits ‘Sunfeast Marie Light’ in Batch No.0502C36 with the specific endorsement.
The Court has also issued directions to pay another 10,000 rupees for the legal expenses that he incurred during this case.