BEFORE THE DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM AT PUDUCHERRY
Consumer Complaint No.18/2007
Dated this the 8th day of August, 2007.
R. Mani S/o M.A. Raman, having a job typing centre at No.80,
Siara Systems rep. by its Proprietor, 23, Vallalar Salai, Kamaraj Salai,
THIRU A. ASOKAN, B.A., B.L.,
TMT. K.K. RITHA,
FOR THE COMPLAINANT: M/s R. Thiroumavalavan &
FOR THE OPPOSITE PARTY: M/s L. Vinoba & B. Kumaranand, Advocates.
O R D E R
(By Tmt. Selliammal, Member.)
This is a complaint u/s 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter called the “Act”) praying to direct the opposite party to pay Rs.1,200/- paid towards annual maintenance contract charges, Rs.190/- being the cost of SMPS component, Rs.1 lakh as compensation for deficiency in service and negligence, Rs.10,000/- as compensation for mental agony and for costs of Rs.5,000/-.
2. The gist of the complaint is as follows:
The complainant submits that he took training under the self-employment scheme and afterwards he obtained loan from a bank and set up a job typing centre for his livelihood. In order to improve his work procedure, he took loan from Indian Bank,
3. In the reply version filed by the opposite party, the opposite party denies all the complaint averments of the complainant in toto as false, frivolous and fictitious. The opposite party specifically denies the averment that the complainant never took a loan from Indian Bank,
5. To establish their respective cases, CW1 was examined and Exs.C1 to C11 were marked on the side of the complainant, whereas no oral or documentary evidence was adduced on behalf of the opposite party.
6. The points for determination are:
1) Whether the complainant is a consumer or not?
2) Whether there is deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party?
3) To what relief the parties are entitled?
7. POINT No.1:
The complainant entered into an AMC with the opposite party as per Ex.C4. Towards the AMC payment, the complainant paid to the opposite party a sum of Rs.600/- and Rs.3,000/- and for processor charge as found in Ex.C3. Thus, since consideration is paid by the complainant to the opposite party, he is a consumer and he is entitled to file the complaint before this Forum.
The point is answered accordingly in favour of the complainant.
8. POINT No.2:
The complainant took training under the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana Training Programme conducted by the Pondicherry University Community College is proved through Ex.C1. As a job typist, he obtained loan of Rs.55,250/- from Indian Bank, Pondicherry, in order to modernize his job typing centre as seen from Ex.C2(1). Ex.C2(2) dt.08.06.2005 is the invoice bill issued by the Electro Point Services for the purchase of the computer Intel P3@550 Mhz. by the complainant. Since a problem arose in the system, the complainant approached the opposite party and they sent their service persons who inspected the system and assessed that a complaint namely P-III Processor got damaged and had to be replaced. On believing their words, he paid a sum of Rs.2,400/- towards the replacement under Ex.C3. The opposite party alleges that in order to maintain a continuous service over his computer persuaded him to enter into an AMC under Ex.C4 with effect from 01.07.2005 to 30.06.2006. Ex.C5(5) is the service reports of the opposite party. Within ten days of the replacement, the system became defective and the opposite party’s service persons came and inspected and stated that SMPS was to be serviced after replacing a spare one to the complainant’s computer and took the said component. But the complainant contended that within a few hours computer went off and on intimation to the opposite party, their service persons came and took his computer for repair. After replacing the SMPS which was worth RS.190/- as seen from Ex.C6 delivered the computer to the complainant on 09.09.2005 but on 10.09.2005 the next day itself the problem recurred and the opposite party took the computer to their place and delivered it after four days. As a result of it, the complainant was not able to do his work and as it was his only source of income, due to necessity he was forced to purchased another computer on 24.09.2005 under Ex.C7(2). The complainant submits that the opposite party delivered the computer to him on 01.10.2005 after twenty days. But within a few hours, the system got struck and on intimation, the opposite party’s service persons came and inspected the computer but they were unable to detect the fault and went off without a single word. So, the complainant called the opposite party’s several times who in turn turned a deaf ear and failed to respond, though they are bound to attend and repair the system as per the AMC. Frustrated by the acts of the opposite party, the complainant gave a representation under Ex.C8(1)dt.21.12.2005 stating the deficiency and negligence of the opposite party and they sent Ex.C9(1) to him. Then again the complainant sent Ex.C8(2) dt.31.12.2005 and Ex.C8(3) dt.21.01.2006 respectively for which the opposite party replied through Ex.C9(2) dt.19.01.2006 and Ex.C9(3) dt.15.02.2006 with evasive replies and false allegations. Ex.C10 dt.15.04.2006 is the Advocate notice issued by the complainant to the opposite party and Ex.C11 is the acknowledgement card. The opposite party in the reply version denies all the averments of the complainant except the AMC entered by both parties. But during the course of the argument, the learned counsel for the opposite party alleges that the complainant’s computer Intel P3@550 Mhz. was not purchased from them but in July 2005, the complainant had approached them to rectify the defect that crept in his computer. Thus, it is an admitted fact by both the complainant and the opposite party. The opposite party submits that as soon as they received the intimation from the complainant, their service persons approached him and identified that the processor got damaged and on the insistence of the complainant replaced it with a new one and also states that the complainant paid the AMC amount on two instalments which is also admitted by the complainant during the course of cross-examination. The opposite party also contended that after having satisfied with their service only the complainant enquired about AMC and entered into it and afterwards only he paid the second instalment of Rs.600/- towards AMC. The fact that the complainant had not repaid the sum of Rs.190/- towards the replacement of the spare of SMPS, whereas the complainant has filed Ex.C6 which is the invoice of it issued by the opposite party. If the complainant had not paid it, the opposite party could not have issued Ex.C6. On 21.09.2005 when the complainant called them to rectify the problem in his computer, their service persons attended and found the system was hanging due to the problem occurred due to keyboard and mouse and so they gave a standby and replaced them on 01.10.2005 which was taken for service on 21.09.2005 and took back the standby components. They also contended that at each and every time when the complainant called them to attend the defects, at once they attended and rectified it promptly by replacing the standby components and thus they were keen in maintaining the AMC. Hence, the complainant’s income was not affected in any way because he purchased a new computer. They further allege that the complainant did not permit their service persons to perform their service as per the AMC. Thus, there is no deficiency in their service. They also admit the letters Ex.C8(3) issued by the complainant and their replies Exs.C9(3) and Ex.C10.
9. It is quite clear from the complaint averments and oral evidence and version of the opposite party that the dispute between them is pertaining to the AMC only. So, here we have to discuss whether during the AMC period the opposite party had rendered their service fully or not and whether the AMC period is in existence or not. The complainant’s Ex.C5(6) is to be taken up first for deciding it. Ex.C5(1) shows hanging problem, Ex.C5(2) shows hanging and system is taken for service, Ex.C5(3) shows that the system was taken for service, Ex.C5(4) shows problem in keyboard and mouse and taken up for service after replacing standby. But Ex.C5(5) reported as system hangs. Fault diagnosed and service rendered columns are left blank and the AMC box is ticked. It shows that the opposite party’s service persons approached and looked after the computer of the complainant but as per the plea of the complainant since they could not find out the defect in it, they have left the 2nd & 3rd columns empty. In Ex.C5(6) also the opposite party had left blank the problem reported column and diagnosed column but in the service column stated that the system keyboard and mouse returned after service, standby KBD and mouse taken on back on ‘01.10.2005’. During this period different engineers appeared. In Ex.C5(5) problem is reported as system hangs and no diagnose is made and hence no service is rendered by the opposite party is proved and the period covers in AMC only. In Ex.C5(6) the first two problem reported and the 2nd diagnosed columns are left blank by the opposite parties. But the period covered is mentioned as AMC. In the service column entered as “system, keyboard and mouse returned after service standby KBD and mouse taken back.” So, it shows clearly that the opposite party’s personnel came to the complainant’s business place but they never looked after the system and made diagnose of it. Just they came and took back their standby placed in the complainant’s computer as per the oral evidence and plea of the complainant. The opposite party in Ex.C9(1) dt.30.12.2005 and C9(2) dt.19.01.2006 had stated that: “ 20.12.2005 tiu vd;Dila fzpzpia rhp bra;ahky; cs;sPh;fs; vd;W Twpa[s;sPh;fs;. v';fSf;F ,;f;fojk; Kyk;jhd; ,j;jfty; bjhpate;jJ .” The opposite party is under the liability to render their service to the complainant as they have entered into the AMC. During the AMC period it is the bounden duty of the opposite party to have the knowledge about the repairs of their customers and they should take immediate effective steps to rectify it without fail. AMC was entered by the complainant with the utmost good faith that the opposite party would render their service without fail which will be very helpful to earn his livelihood. But the opposite party had failed to do so while the AMC period is in existence. This shows the carelessness of the opposite party and their deficiency in service. For nearly two months they have failed to render their service during the AMC period. Since the system had often became repaired, the complainant due to necessity he is forced to purchase a new one because he is earning his livelihood through his job typing centre only. During the repair period, he had lost his customers and there is a loss in income and suffering for which the opposite party is liable to pay compensation with costs. Since the opposite party has failed to render his service during the AMC period as per the contract, there is breach of contract and hence they are also liable to render their service, which they had failed to do so.
The point is answered accordingly.
10. POINT No.3:
Since Points 1 & 2 are answered in favour of the complainant, this point is also answered in favour of the complainant.
11. In the result, the complaint is allowed and the opposite party is directed to:
i) Extend the Annual Maintenance Contract for a further period of six months for the amount already paid by the complainant;
ii) Pay a sum of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees five thousand only) towards compensation for the deficiency in service and loss and suffering by the complainant; and
iii) Pay a sum of Rs.2,000/- (Rupees two thousand only) towards costs of the proceedings.
CW1 – Mani (complainant)
OPPOSITE PARTYIES’ WITNESS: NIL
Ex.C1 – 26.03.2001 – Copy of certificate of training issued by DIC,
Ex.C2 – 07.06.2001 – Copy of advanced stamped receipt for purchase of computer given by Electro Point Services.
Ex.C3 – 05.07.2005 – Copy of invoice issued by opposite party for purchase of component.
Ex.C4 – 01.07.2005 – Copy of annual maintenance contract between complainant and opposite party.
Ex.C5 – (series) - Copy of service reports (6 Nos.).
Ex.C6 – 08.09.2005 – Copy of invoice issued by opposite party for purchase of computer.
Ex.C7 – 24.09.2005 – Copy of bill for purchase of computer.
Ex.C8 – (series) - Copies of representation by complainant to opposite party (3 Nos.).
Ex.C9 – (series) - Copies of replies by opposite party to Ex.C8 (3 Nos.)
Ex.C10- 15.04.2006 – Copy of lawyer’s notice issued by complainant to opposite party.
Ex.C11- - Postal acknowledgement signed by opposite party.
OPPOSITE PARTIES’ EXHIBITS: NIL.