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Cookie crumbles for courier firm for ‘neglect’ in delivery.
The Times of India May 22, 2019

When a south Mumbai ophthalmologist couriered cookies as Diwali gift to his 105 friends, relatives and clients six years ago, 23 of the intended recipients could not see them. Their eyesight was intact, the cookies were not. They reached as crumbs fro some while others did not get the packets at all.

A consumer district forum recently held the courier company guilty of neglect and deficiency in service for the loss caused to the doctor and directed it to refund him the cost of the cookies at Rs. 150 per box and delivery charged at Rs. 25 per box for the 23 undelivered or broken cookies packets.

Dr. Deepak Garg from Kemps Corner moved the south Mumbai district consumer redressal forum in April 2015 against the courier company whose services he had engaged in October 2014.

The forum’s certified copy, made available earlier this month, shot down the courier company’s argument that the doctor cannot be termed a “consumer” and also observed that it had parceled off the task to different courier companies without the consumer’s consent.

The forum directed the courier company to pay Dr. Garg Rs. 3,450 towards the discrepancy in delivery with 6% annual interest from October 16,2014, and Rs. 575 as refund of delivery charges at Rs. 25 per packet as well as Rs. 10,000 towards mental agony. The doctor had sought Rs. 4 lakh as compensation for mental agony. Garg’s lawyer Dhruti Kapadia said on Tuesday that her client had received over Rs. 20,000 from the courier company last week.

The order passed by the forum’s president Sneha Mhatre and members D S Paradkar and M P Kasar also directed that the courier company pay Garg Rs. 5,000 as litigation cost.

Kapadia argued that her client was “misled” into believing that the packets were delivered and not in piece. It amounted to “unfair trade practice and deficient service”, she argued. The doctor even sent a notice through the International Consumer Rights Protection Council to the courier company to compensate him for the “Stealing and damage of cookies”.

The forum, in its order, said “by accepting the amount” from the doctor for the courier service, the firm is a “service provider” and he complainant its “consumer” under the Consumer Protection Act. Since, the contract was only with the courier company, the doctor is entitled to seek relief from it alone, held the forum. Also, since the cost of the cookies was not mentioned by the doctor on the receipt or consignment list, “ in the interest of justice” the forum decided to mark them at Rs. 150 per packet.

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