In order to promote consumer’s safety, the government of India had come up with a law known as the Consumer Protection Act 2019, which replaced the 1986 Act. The consumer is defined as any person who buys goods or hires/avails any services for some consideration. It includes any user of such goods or beneficiary of such services other than the owner of such goods or services but has taken the approval of the owner. However, it does not include the person who has obtained such goods for the purpose of resale/commercial purpose or has availed the services for any commercial purpose. The consumer has a right to file a complaint against the seller or service provider if there is any defect in goods or deficiency in services. The consumer can serve a legal notice to the seller or service provider and ask him to rectify his mistakes within an appropriate period of time. Sending a legal notice is non-complicated and less time consuming, and hence, it is advisable to send a notice before filing a complaint in the Consumer Court.
A consumer notice is sent by the consumer to the seller or service provider of the goods or services in case if there is any defect in goods or deficiency in services that have been provided by them. The consumer must send this notice by registered post. The consumer notice must include the information relating to the name, description and address of the seller or service provider, detailed description of the defective goods, deficiency in service and non-providing of services. The notice must specify the date of the issue and the detailed facts and grievances. The notice must specify the legal course of action that the consumer might take in future if there is non-compliance of such notice. In case if there is any previous communication made relating to the same grievances, then that information should be mentioned in the notice. The consumer notice must give an appropriate time period to the seller or the service provider to settle the matter and remove the defects in goods. The notice must also specify the effects of seller’s irresponsibility in providing quality goods or services.
The consumer should also register the complaint if the service provider has any website for registering the complaint or a redressal portal. Non-compliance of consumer notice results into a legal proceeding against the unfair trade practices and deficiency in services of the seller or service provider. Hence, the consumer notice is considered as a last and final communication of the consumer complaint before initiating the legal proceedings in the Consumer Court. If the seller or the service provider does not comply with the notice, then the complaint must be filed by the consumer within two years from the cause of action, and if there is any delay in filing the complaint, then the reason of delay must be stated in the complaint.
Reasons for sending a Consumer Notice
The reasons for sending a consumer notice are as follows:
- If the goods or services of the seller or service provider are unable to fulfil the responsibility of supplying or providing quality goods or services.
- Non-satisfaction of the consumer is also an element. If the consumer is not satisfied with the goods or services that have been provided by the seller or service provider.
- In the situation, where the consumer is deprived of the quality of goods or services provided by the seller or the service provider.
- In case the consumer has not received the goods or services concerning his monetary value.
A consumer notice is considered as a piece of good evidence for showing that the consumer has taken a primary step before filing a consumer complaint. It also gives an opportunity to the seller or the service provider to rectify the mistakes or error made by them. It is not mandatory to issue consumer notice before filing a complaint in Consumer Court; however, it is always advisable to first issue a legal notice. Hence, in case if the company takes action on the consumer notice, then the issue is resolved without initiating legal proceedings. It saves time, money and energy for filing a complaint in Consumer Court.