Chandigarh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered the food delivery company Zomato to pay Rs 10,000 to a customer for deficiency in rendering service and unfair trade practices. Also, the Commission has ordered the company to give one free meal.
The complainant, Ajay Sharma has ordered a pizza under Zomato’s promotional policy “On Time or Free”. He filed a complaint with the consumer forum after the food delivery platform cancelled his order.
The Commission noted that it has caused immense physical harassment and mental agony to the complainant and therefore amounts to deficiency of service and unfair trade practice.
“The appellant (complainant) was deprived of food at late night hours, which he specifically ordered for his children. The feelings of the appellant would have definitely got hurt, when he came to know about the cancellation of the order by the respondents on their own and at that time, how he would have, with heavy heart, told the same to his children who were already waiting for the meal at late night hours,” the Commission noted.
Chandigarh Consumer forum observed that if there was any difficulty in delivering the order, the respondents should not have confirmed the booking. It was also noted that when Zomato is charging Rs 10 under “On time or Free” campaign, the company is expected to deliver the same. The company failed to deliver and simultaneously cancelled the order on their own which amounted to a deficiency in rendering service and unfair trade practice.
The Commission added, “such alluring advertisement or campaigns should not have been published or launched by the respondent, in case, they cannot fulfill the same.”
Ajay ordered a pizza from Zomato at 10:15 pm and made the payment including the cost for on-time delivery. However, the food delivery app cancelled the order at 10.30 pm. The company initiated a refund which was to be made up within 2 business days.
As the complainant files a complaint, his case falls under unfair trade practice as per Section 2(1)(47) of Consumer Protection Act as Zomato failed to deliver in time despite charging Rs.10/- extra for the scheme “ON TIME OR FREE”.
Ajay stated, “Had there been any difficulty in delivering the item at the relevant time, the respondents should not have made the booking, which they cancelled later on. Thus, grave deficiency in rendering service is attributable on the part of the respondents on this account.”
He added, “When the respondents charged Rs 10 extra for the “on time or free” campaign launched by them, they were expected to deliver the same on time and in not doing so and simultaneously, cancelling the order on their own, amounted to deficiency in rendering service and unfair trade practice on their part.”