Consumer court directs Zomato to pay ₹8,362 as compensation to law student after food orders worth ₹362 not delivered or refunded

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The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Kollam (District Commission/ Commission) recently ordered online food delivery app Zomato to pay compensation of ₹8,362 to a law student after food orders worth ₹362 placed by him were not delivered and the amount was not refunded [Arun G Krishnan v Deepinder Goyal].

The president EM Muhammed Ibrahim, members S Sandhya Rani and Stanly Harold found that the customer was entitled to a refund of ₹362 with interest. Additionally, ₹5,000 was awarded as compensation for the complainant’s mental agony and ₹3,000 was ordered as cost of proceedings.

Pertinently, the imposed by the commission will have to be paid by Zomato as well as owner of the restaurant from where the food was ordered jointly.

“Opposite party No. I to 3 are directed to comply with the directions within 45 days from today failing which the complainant is entitled to recover the amount with interest @ 12% except for costs from opposite party No. l to 3 jointly and severally and from their assets”, the order said.

The complainant Arun G Krishnan, a final year law student at Faculty of Law, University of Delhi had placed two orders through Zomato in Thiruvananthapuram on the same night.

Both the orders were not delivered and the money spent by him was also not refunded despite being debited from the his bank account.

The complainant also claimed that he faced a similar issue in Delhi as well.

Further, it was stated that Zomato gave two reasons for failing to deliver the order.

Firstly, the complainant was unavailable to collect the food at the given address. Secondly, there was an issue with the address and thus, he was directed to correct the same in the Zomato application.

The complainant claimed that this amounted to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. It was also stated that the manager of the restaurant from where the order was placed admitted to the complainant that Zomato indulges in such unfair, restrictive, fraudulent trade practices during heavy rush, rain etc.

Therefore, the complainant sought a refund along with a compensation of ₹1.5 lakh as well as ₹10,000 as cost of proceedings.

While notice was served to all opposite parties, none of them appeared before the commission. Consequently, the order was passed ex-parte, without their presence.

The commission, on examining the documents, held that the case of the complainant was proved and he was entitled to compensation.

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