Make Fines Heftier by Consumer Forums

Currently, magnitude of fines by consumer forums is laughable. Usually, it's loss amount, with interest of 6% per year, plus few thousands of litigation costs. No wonder people don't go there.

If I make 1000/- daily then do you think it's worth the hassle to take company to consumer forum for 10k loss if after 6 months of court visits, days off, paper work, stamp paper, application, mental hassle, my compensation is 20k? If I don't go, and others think like that, then it makes sense for companies to cheat their customers. If they cheat 10 customers for 10k and even if 1 customer wins 20k case against them, then they are still in profit for over 50k. And remember that while 10k is big for one customer, it is often trivial to corporations against which case happens.

Consumer Forums should be granted power to get compensation to the magnitude that it hurts the corporation and becomes deterrent next time around. For instance, for my above example, customer can get 2-3 lakh but company should pay 10 lakh and rest 7-8 lakh government can keep it's kitty as either general tax revenue or funding towards more consumer forum. Penalty amount should be big enough to compensate the time-value to customer and hurt corporation significantly, say 100-1000 times penalty amount. More penalty when there is proof that customer has raised issue politely before at appropriate level of escalations and yet company refused to settle.

This will empower customers. more  

View all 49 comments Below 49 comments
Consumer forums instead of lingering for weeks and months must address the issues at most by a fortnight. Secondly the the fine imposed should be a spine breaking one, then only a correct message will go to the offenders. more  
The Fine should be a handsome quantum to compel the offender to think over the issue twice. more  
very good idea. more  
First of all, there must be accountability on consumer forums to dispose off cases in time bound manner. Consumer forums should not go for hearing like courts. All parties must give deposition in writing and thereafter, case should be disposed off after one or two hearing. Other things will start falling in line. more  
Consumer complains registration are made online but I have never got reply lately the case was closed without intimation to me in case of Indane Gas. more  
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