A consumer court in Bengaluru warned electronic goods manufacturer LG and a local dealer of the same brand after it sold a faulty refrigerator to one of its consumers saying that a “no-warranty and guarantee clearance sale” is no excuse to sell a defective product. According to a report by The Times of India, the consumer court has ordered that the product must be taken back and the customer should be fully refunded along with expenses incurred during the litigation procedure.
Unfair trade practices through clearance sale
A resident of Hoskote, Firoz Abdul Rahim bought an LG frost-free refrigerator on 12 September 2016, from a clearance sale in Maya Traders, an outlet based out of Mathikere, Bengaluru. The product was delivered without a warranty card. Rahim requested the LG dealer to give him a warranty card but his request was never met. After a month’s usage, the refrigerator began showing signs of faulty working. Rahim immediately contacted the seller, but there was no response.
He then sought the help of a local technician. To Rahim’s dismay, the technician said the main filter of the fridge was not an original LG product but it was a local substandard part. Rahim conveyed this information to Maya Traders, but it elicited no response. In November 2016, the refrigerator completely stopped functioning as its cooling system failed. The customer again visited the outlet and did not receive any positive response.
He got in touch with the LG customer care unit and they sent a technician in December. The technician said that the refrigerator was out of production and that spare parts weren’t available. The technician also told Rahim that the dealer from Mathikere had sold an LG product with assembled parts.
Lodging a complaint
Rahim contacted the showroom once again only to be told that in a clearance sale there is “no warranty and guarantee”. He then lodged a complaint against LG electronics and Maya Traders with the Bengaluru Rural and Urban 1st Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on 1 February 2017.
LG representatives failed to appear in the court in this case. The city-based dealer appeared in the court and stated that the customer was informed that products under the clearance sale don’t have any warranty or guarantee and that the company is not liable for damages.
The consumer court said LG Electronics India and its dealer are clearly at fault. The judges also said that clearance sale doesn’t mean that a seller can sell a defective product to the customer as there must be some value for the money paid. They said that selling a faulty product is an unfair trade practice and it is further condemnable that a major electronics brand like LG remained absent at the court hearing without answering the rightful claim made by the customer.
In the order passed on 11 October 2017, the court finally said that LG Electronics India and its dealer, Maya Traders from Mathikere, Bengaluru, were liable for selling a faulty fridge to the customer. The court further directed both the parties to jointly pay Rs 18,000 to the customer after taking back the faulty refrigerator. It also ordered the parties to pay Rs 1000 to the complainant towards litigation charges.
The Logical Indian Take
The Logical Indian urges its community members to ensure the validity of guarantee and warranty cards when they procure any item on a clearance sale. A clearance sale often is attractive owing to the heavy discounts on the items which are put up on sale. The Logical Indian urges the community members to be well assured of the product before buying it.
We condemn the actions of the LG dealer from Bengaluru. Selling a fridge with faulty assembled parts without guarantee and warranty is condemnable. It also asks the community to members to seek redressal for their grievances in consumer court of their respective areas in case, if they are going through a similar plight like Rahim from Hoskote did.