Jagoinvestor

December 1, 2011

Resolve your Consumer complaints in India in Personal Finance

Have you been mis-sold any financial product? If yes, then you must be confused about how to approach the consumer forum and talk to the company’s customer care to get justice. While there is no guarantee, neither there is any magical formula on getting justice. There are a few rules and some tips which you can keep in mind while trying to resolve consumer complaints and approaching consumer forums in India. So I asked Ankur Singla of Akosha.com, to share some tips and tricks which you can use. Akosha.com works in the area of resolving consumer complaints in India against large brands. So here is what they have to share –

Consumer Complaints in India

Customer Care escalation

If a bank or insurance company (or any other company for that matter) mis-sell a product or provides a deficient service, you are entitled to get relief from the consumer forum. Before you decide to file a complaint, make sure you have done the following –

  • Spoken to the company‘s customer care,
  • Escalated the call (simply ask the junior customer care representative that you would like to speak with his senior) and tried reasoning with them
  • Approached the industry ombudsman – our experience with banking and insurance ombudsman is mixed. Sometimes you don’t hear from them for months, sometimes they are prompt and the bank or the insurance company back down simply upon the matter being sent to them.
  • If none of these have worked for you, and you are still unhappy, you can consider approaching a consumer forum. Here is how:

Approaching Consumer Court Forum in India

Step 1

Send the company a notice. A notice is a letter, hand-written or printed on plain paper which explains what exactly happened, what you are unhappy about, what you would like the company to do and what you would do in case the company does not resolve the issue. Here are some tips on writing this letter:

1. Do not misstate facts. If there has been some lapse from your side, please expressly state it.

2. Specify all the details which would enable the company to resolve your complaint faster (who you spoke to, invoice number, request number, product id, date of purchase etc.).

3. Do not use foul language or threaten. However, be firm.

4. Provide a 15 day period for them to resolve your complaint.

5. Make sure that you mention a line to the effect that if the company fails to resolve the issue, you would be forced to file a consumer complaint and take other action as well.

6. Send this letter by registered post acknowledgment due or by courier. Make sure you tell the courier company that you would be requiring the proof of delivery (POD) from them. It usually comes to you in 15-20 days of sending the letter.

Step 2

At this stage, usually, the company will call you back or email you and start taking your complaint seriously. If they offer you relief or some kind of incentives, coupons, free products or services, do consider their offer seriously. Don’t try to over-optimize (we have had a lot of customers who ask for ridiculous amounts of compensation – which would not even be given by the consumer court forums. Therefore, the company decides to wait and let the consumer approach the forum).

There is also the possibility that the company will not reply to your notice or reply to say that they would not be able to solve your complaint. In such a case, you are left with no option but to go to the appropriate consumer forum.

Step 3

Consumer Forums are divided into 3 levels – District Level, State Level, and the National.

If the total amount involved in your complaint (worth of the goods or services and the compensation you ask for) is below Rs.20 lakhs, then you will have to approach a District Forum. Typically, you have to file your complaint at the District Forum under whose jurisdiction the company or its dealer or its authorized agent carries on business. To understand which forum you can file your complaint in; please see this article – Understanding Jurisdiction of Consumer Forums.

Typically it will take about 6-18 months to resolve a complaint through the District Forum. If the stakes involved are high, either side may appeal to the State Forum and the matter may take longer. You have the option to appear before the District Forum yourself or through a lawyer. Usually, people do not have the time to appear themselves, so they hire a lawyer. A lawyer can charge anywhere between Rs.2000 to Rs.20000 for a consumer complaint depending upon the complexity of the case, his/her experience, and your willingness to pay.

During the course of the case, you might have to appear 2-4 times in the District Forum. Don’t be intimidated by this – the judges are generally customer friendly and you are only required to state the facts.

Tips on writing the complaint

  • Here is a link to the format in which the complaint has to be written. It is pretty simple and you can do it yourself.
  • Make sure all the paragraphs are numbered and you state all the relevant facts properly.
  • Make sure you have supporting documents to prove your case.
  • Please add a simple clause saying that the consumer forum you are approaching is the correct one and has jurisdiction over the matter.
  • You can also go directly to the nearest consumer forum and ask at the helpdesk to help you with your complaint.

Once the consumer complaint is filed, the consumer forum sends a notice to the company asking them to respond to your complaint. A lot of times the company will realize that you are serious and probably, to avoid spending 10-15k on their own lawyer, simply resolve the complaint. However, in banking, insurance and financial sector, most of the large players prefer to take the customers through court and often keep appealing against successive defeats in front of consumer forums.

So, why don’t people file consumer complaints?

Despite the ease of using consumer forums, a lot of customers don’t end up filing a consumer complaint.  It’s a quick cost-benefit analysis – it sounds like too much time, money and effort to pursue it. Sometimes the stakes involved are not that great; also Indian customers have a Chalta Hai Attitude. Once their issue is resolved, they move on with their lives. However, if you are really frustrated with something, it is important to know how to file a consumer complaint.

Just like the RTI, filing a consumer complaint is a powerful tool for consumers. If you are unhappy with a product or service, just follow this process and you should come out happy on the other side.

5 important lessons from solving consumer complaints

1. As a customer you can be wrong as well. So make sure you understand the terms and conditions when you buy financial products and services. A simple Google search like “5 things to know about mediclaim insurance” could lead you to some useful articles.

2. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If something is too good to be true or sounds like a great deal, simply avoid it. It’s most likely something that will end up scamming you.

3. Escalation of your complaint to higher authorities of the company is an art. Don’t write angry emails. Don’t do a version of the Delhi-style “Jaanta Hai Mera Baap Kaun Hai”. Remember there are human beings on the other end. Write politely, reasonably and not very long emails/letters (unlike this article).

4. Some banks/insurance companies’ CEO has an escalation department of their own. So if you can find their email id or guess their email id, just copy them in. Their secretary will check it and probably your complaint will be heard quickly.

5. Prevention is the only cure. Life’s too short to waste time talking to customer care. Avoid such situations.


You can reach Ankur at Ankur @ akosha.com. Ankur is a graduate of the National Law School of India, Bangalore and worked at a corporate law firm before starting Akosha. I am sure your Consumer Complaints will be solved

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Akanksha Negi
Akanksha Negi
3 years ago

My mom served LIC for a year, years back. She did get a client who agreed to go ahead with a policy. Now after almost a decade, when my mom has left the job and is a housemaker, she is now threatening my mom in a money fraud case when she did not get the interest amount from LIC.

nagaraju
nagaraju
7 years ago

Respected And Hon’ble Sir,

I am a poor Un-employee. And I am searching for Job. I went
to A local Placement in Warangal, Telangana State. And they Demanded
me Amount for Job and They took Rs.70000 (Seventy Thousand Rupees).
From Many days they not showing job to me. And not returning my
Amount. In this situation, What can I do & How to get return my money
from them?

Thanking You Sir,

Pardon me If any mistake done in sending in this mail.

Waiting for Your Kindly Reply & Suggestion Sir

Your Faithfully,
S.Nagaraju, Warangal

Jagoinvestor Admin
Jagoinvestor Admin
Admin
Reply to  nagaraju
7 years ago

Hi nagaraju

Thanks for asking your question. However, I dont think I am eligible to answer your query as its either out of scope of my knowledge or its not related to money matter directly

Manish

Vicky
Vicky
7 years ago

dear sir,

        i am writing this letter regarding the pick up that is done by mistake from your courier person,

                        i am giving the details and mistake done by you 

i have ordered one product name play YOU SMART TO WHEEL SELF BALANCING SCOOTER WITH FREE BAG ON 09.04.2016 AND SUBORDER ID – 15986616226 BUT THIS PRODUCT WAS NOT DELIVERED. BUT BY MISTAKE YOUR COURIER PERSON HAS PICKED FROM ME THE SAME PRODUCT WHICH WAS DELIVERED ON 25.3.2016 ORDER ID-12499783475  NOW I HEREBY REQUEST YOU TO RETURN THE PRODUCT OR GIVE MY MONEY BACK,AND I AM REQUESTING TO SOLVE THIS ISSUE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR ALREADY MY CASE HAS BEEN DELAYED 

           FOR FURTHER DETAILS I AM SHARING THE IMAGE OF PICK UP RECEIPT AND THE REFUND TICKET ID-21756026

             FILES ARE ATTACHED 

WARM REGARDS

H

VICKY MATANI

9822110745

adarsh
adarsh
8 years ago

hello, I have booked a row house in pune with a pre lounged scheme. its being three years since than but on the site there is still only farming is going on. i inquired about the builder also and he is invovle in so many police complaints related to fraud and false promises. he and his father were continuously promising me to refund all the money i paid them but not keeping their promise as its their nature. I have all receipt, all record of cheque I paid him by and all the email exchanged after canceling the project. but i haven’t got any money back. what can i do now?

MD RAZI HAIDER
MD RAZI HAIDER
8 years ago

Dear Mr.Manish
I Lodged a case with district consumer forum at Ranchi(Jharkhand)
But the judge didn’t care for my hearing and gave the judgement in company favour.
How to open that case with District consumer forum or state consumer forum.
Is there any online option.
Because I got transferred from Ranchi to Bhagalpur(Bihar).
I would like to get it hearing again for my case of Life insurance with Maxlife Insurance

kamalakkannan
kamalakkannan
8 years ago

From
R.Kamalakkannan,
s/o M.Ramasamy,
470, Mariyyamman koil street,
Ezhuthur post,
Tittagudi Tk,
Cuddalore Dt, PIN 606303
Tamilnadu, India.

Respected sir,
At our village a ration shop keeper, G.Sekar has corrupted a lot for the past ten years. I have complained it to PGPORTAL, CORE and so on. Now he has found out that I have complained against him. So, always,he scolds me and my mother R.Sellammal, with very bad words and raises hand to beat me. he always roams about our house. he feels he cannot earn the crooked sum narby Rs 50,000 a month any more. so, he is very aggressive to attack us with his groups. so, now, I have left Ezhuthur for Trichy. My mother alone stays in our house at Ezhuthur. Please protect her from G.Sekar. Please warn him severely and stop his attempts. He possesses the blank stamp paper signed by me and my mother. He tries to grab our house now.

Yours simcerely,
R..Kamalakkannan

Vijayaraghavan
Vijayaraghavan
8 years ago

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you to get your opinion on how I can proceed further on an issue that I am currently experiencing with Hyundai service at Bangalore.

Earlier this month I met with an accident with my car because there was some problem with the wheels and the vehicle went out of control. I believe that either one of the front wheels (left wheel) went out of alignment and did not synchronize with the other wheel or otherwise both wheels did not steer around as you would expect when you steer the steering wheel. I had to toe the vehicle to the service center. Below are the challenges I have experienced/experiencing with them now:

1) They did not care to accept my version of the problem and simply downlplayed it.
2) They did not care to give me a repair estimate sheet for more than 2 days.
3) They also are not responding to my queries regarding the parts they are replacing and I feel that it is highly exaggerated.
4) They have refused to even check for any possibility of mishaps like I had encountered.
5) They claim that the wheel went out of alignment because of the accident though there was not damages on the wheel whatsoever.
6) I engaged Hyundai but before they visited the service center the service center folks intentionally damaged my wheel cap and made some scratches on rim so as to prove that there was some impact on the wheel.
7) When Hyundai visited the service center for inspection they said that there was indeed an impact on the wheel because of which it went out of alignment and the same is clearly visible from the damages (damages look quite original but I am 200% certain that they were man-made)

The vehicle is 5 – 6 yrs old now.

Kindly advise on how I can take this up as Hyundai and their service center are clearly downplaying a matter that could have been very fatal to self or someone else.

Rajender
Rajender
8 years ago

I live in Ajmer and had an Asus mobile phone put to service on the date of 04/09/2015 at Asus‘ Jaipur Service center. During this period of Asus Customer-care kept on replying my phone calls/email correspondence that the required spare part was not available in India this was causing delay.
After 39 days on 12/10/2015 I received information that the phone had been repaired. I reached the service center on 15/10/2015 but found that the phone showed the same problems it had before servicing. So the technician took the device into service again. Now as of 27/10/2015 Asus Support reports that the phone is now repaired to their satisfaction. Also they have offered me 1 month of extension of warranty on my device.
But by today’s date 54 days have already passed since my phone is under repair, so I am unhappy with Asus’ resolution of extension of warranty by only 1 month. During the whole process I have incurred mental and physical troubles and Asus have been quite irresponsible and unresponsive to my calls/email correspondence. Other than this I have suffered financial burdens of my travel to and fro Jaipur Service Center twice. I have written to them requesting compensation in the form of warranty extension by 9 months or to come out with befitting negotiations, to which they have denied.
Now I am in a complete mindset to bring this issue to Consumer forum and seek redressal. I feel my case is quite valid because they made me wait for so long (nearly 45 days) and also are reluctant to extend the warranty (towards compensation) by at least equal no. of days.
I have the required evidences to prove the financial, physical and mental losses I incurred. Please advise whether my demands are legitimate or not.

sandeep
sandeep
9 years ago

Hi sir.
rohit kumar is the person of ahemdabad ph7069953549 is outsoursing project.i found it on internet.when i contact him he agreed me to deposited the amount for the project when i depsotth.e amount he not providing any project to me nd blklist my no.can i tk any legal action on that concern person.plz sugest me

Myshikayat
Myshikayat
Reply to  sandeep
8 years ago

If you are frustrated with seller don’t worry us are here to solve your problems. You can online complaints in India with us. For more details Visit our web site @myshikayat and you can call me on this number 0172-503114.

Natasha
Natasha
9 years ago

can a trust file a consumer complaint?

Shikhar Ambastha
Shikhar Ambastha
9 years ago

I have filed the consumer complaint in consumer forum Ranchi, & the forum accepted my case on the basis of “cause of action”, because company is mumbai and ambala based. I am asking can I send Forum notice through e-mail for hearing to opposite parties as they have now changed their address. I just know their old address, current contact number & e-mail through their website but not their new address. Can court help me in this issue.
Company is registered through “Ministry Of Corporate Affairs” and was showing “active company” & I have the address shown at that.

MANJUNATH
MANJUNATH
9 years ago

Hi i had hsbc loan which is settled .Also when i checked in cibil report score is 593 due showing Rs16661 i raised complaints with hsbc bank after providing all documents they told it will take some time make balance 0 also i took a 8 gold loan which is due from lost last months till i get cibil report not paid anything if i clear all gold loan my cibil report is going to improve or not ok thank you

MANJUNATH
MANJUNATH
Reply to  Jagoinvestor
9 years ago

Thanks for reply manish .In HSBC a/c as said earlier days past due it is showing 900 800 859 828 798 is showong in decreaing order Till 169 in all colum how to remove ,how manys days it will be there .In that payment end date is 01/09/2011.somebody say that it will there till 7 years ,afterwards become zero .For home loan this is negetive if my score improve. How to overecome plz suggest me
Thanking you

nafisa
nafisa
9 years ago

Hi
We took a mortgage loan on our property which is a flat in July 2013 in one of a private finance company.my husband used to pay the monthly EMI through ECS.he paid regularly till September 2014. He passed away in November. I am the main applicant.my husband is co applicant.Now I want to close the loan. I have the insurance cover from ICICI Lombard. They said the insurance will cover for both of us.but on the insurance paper only my name is there.my husband is the earning member. I am house wife.how much % wave off will I get on the loan closer.my husband has taken loan for 15 lakhs. Till now he paid in total 4 lakhs. Now I want to close the loan and pay the amount in a single payment. Could you please suggest me if I can get %reduction in the money. I would appreciate if you could give me a fast reply. Thank you very much in advance sir.

asifa
asifa
9 years ago

i took morteggeloan in private finance. property is on my name. me&my husband are applicants. he is used to repay loan. he has been passed away. i want to close the loan. can i get any waveoff benifits for loan closer? please suggest me. reply soon

arun
arun
9 years ago

maine apni bike 22 feb ko service k liye service station ko di thi
jab main use bapus lene gaya to wo damage thi uska margaret tuta huya tha
or wo use change karne k liye mana kar rhe hai
bike ab bhi service station par hai or slip mere pass hai
kya main is case ko consumer court me daal sakta hu
agar haa to kaise
please send me answer hurry

arun
arun
Reply to  Jagoinvestor
9 years ago

thanks

Paramjot Kaur
Paramjot Kaur
9 years ago

I had booked a courier from Okhla Head, Delhi to Ludhiana, from Trackon Courier AWB No. 430380740. The courier was booked on 22nd Dec,14 but it has not been delivered till today. Neither have they updated the status of consignment. Despite repeated calls to the company’s customer service centre, the matter has not been taken up seriously. The service is really very pathetic and I would advise people to refrain from choosing this courier service. Please help me.

Naair
Naair
Reply to  Jagoinvestor
7 years ago

Hi Manish,
My home from SBI is sanctioned but not disbursing due to home loan property insurance and two blank cheques to be deposited with the bank for which I am not comfortable. I asked in writing and the manager is denying to give anything in writing. At last I have to succumb to their wishes I think. They told it will hardly take a week and now it’s almost 35 days. I being a govt servant each and every document is perfect and no objection in that. But they are delaying the same with one reason or the other. Kindly advise.

Baban Banerjee
Baban Banerjee
10 years ago

Hi
You advised us to lodge a complain as it was a cheque bounce issue. I have got in touch with an advocate he will be sending a legal notice to the CCLIVE institute & will take it further from there.

Baban Banerjee
Baban Banerjee
10 years ago

Hi Manish,

Thanks so much for your reply. But my question is I stay in Bangalore and this institute is based in Delhi so will the Bangalore police handle this?

Baban Banerjee
Baban Banerjee
10 years ago

CCLive claimed to have collaboration with institutes such as IIT and the likes. I had registered for a course : “Executive Programin General Management from IIT Delhi DMS (CEP) 2013 ” with them some 5 months back and deposited the registration money, first instalment etc of approximately INR 33, 708. After the money was transferred after few days, on 20th Oct’2013 I received an email from them that the course has been cancelled and my money will be returned. the email read this : “Dear Sir. Greetings For the day!!! This is to inform you that EPGM Program From IIT Delhi (DMS) has been cancelled due to some unfortunate circumstances. In lieu of the above, we have started the refund process and every candidate who paid will be refunded within 30 – 45 days. So kindly revert with your bank details so that the amount can be transferred into your account. We would also request to kindly provide the payment detail (i.e. Transaction ID/ DD No./ Date/ Amount) so that we can also reconcile our account in order to avoid any inconvenience. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. For any further query feel free to contact us.” On 29th October received an email with the below text : “We have received the bank details from all of you. We shall be processing the refund and the same shall be credited to all of you in the account details mentioned by you . You shall receive an update of the same shortly.” Since then I have sent them 4 emails but nobody responded then on 7th Jan I told them that I am going to complain this to consumer court & they responded back on 9th Jan : “Extremely sorry sir, Refund Courier sent today.” After this I did receive a cheque submitted it in my bank but it bounced and didnt get the money. Send them an email back on 22nd Jan. They replied back on the same date : “Let me check this out. with accounts dept will revert shortly by EOD.” after that again no response for several days I kept sending them email . On Feb 3rd they replied : “please deposit the cheque on the date it is to be presented. Please don’t be frustrated.” Again on 19th Feb they replied “It is to inform you that due to some problem with our Bank we are not in position to make your payment through the cheque we issued you. Kindly send us your Bank Detail so we will deposit directly into your Bank Account. we will inform you after deposit in your account.” Today its April 7th and I haven’t received the money yet.
Before they were atleast replying to my emails but now they are not even doing that. Please let me know what would be my next step. Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Baban

Sudhir Deo
Sudhir Deo
10 years ago

Hi,
I have some what different problem.
I took car loan from HDFC bank in 2008 on 5 yrs term, paid EMIs regularly till the term ends in yr 2013. In yr 2009 I had taken home loan of Approx 12L and repaid it in year 2011.
In year 2011 I had taken home loan of 27 L from SBI and paying my EMIs regularly. I yr 2013 I took Home loan plus of 8L from SBI again and paying it regularly. I have been using three Crd cards, Axis Bank, Stnd Chrt & ICICI bank for last 5 -6 years without any defaults.
Recently I received a call from HDFC bank asking me to pay a due amount of a credit card aprrox 2.15 L. It was quite surprising as I do not hold any HDFC credit card ever. I also do not have any bank a/c with HDFC . It is a case of unauthorized issuance of credit card on my stolen ID. The card has been issued on wrong address.
I have never checked my credit rating before as I never required to do so. Now what would happen to my Credit rating and how to check it.

Regrds.

Sudhir Deo