Pushing aside the giant glass door of your favorite store you move through the different aisle, picking up dresses, bracelets, & oh let’s add those pretty pair of sandals too. Now, comes the final stage of shopping checking out hence, bills are paid and things are collected. But hey! there’s a question Mam! Would you like to take a carry bag? Of course, or else how shall you carry all the stuff? Mam kindly pay for the carry bag! The scene is relevant enough, isn’t it?
Is it really apt to charge Rs 5-Rs 10 for carry bags?
Consumers in the present scenario are aware of the malpractices that are being practiced by these huge brand stores but still are unable to take an action against them. Either they pay for it or carry their items in hand. This really should not be seen. Many big shopping stores are seen practicing this malpractice of charging for the carry bags. On being asked why they are charging it, they have some silly replies to entertain their customers.
According to legal experts if the goods is purchased from the same store, the stores are prohibited from charging customers a separate fee for the bag. The Consumer Commission also stated that if businesses were offering eco-friendly bags in order to safeguard those eco-friendly bags in order to protect the environment, then those businesses should be offering free eco-friendly bags to their clients. Additionally, because the carry bags have their brand and name, the merchants are not authorized to charge customers for them because doing so would constitute advertising for them. Giving customers free carry bags for carrying things they bought from the same store is an essential component of the customer satisfaction standard under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
In order to reduce the use of plastic bags, cloth bags and paper bags were introduced. But shopkeepers started minting money out of it by charging buyers. It is totally unethical to charge customers for it as they are already paying for the brand. Several customers have displayed their unhappiness at this malpractice. Here are some valuable opinions of the consumers on being charged for carry bags:
“It’s spurious and falls under unfair trade practices. The store has its logo printed on the bag and the customer is actually paying for the store’s advertisement. It’s totally deceptive and illegal. Since cheap plastic bags are banned, the stores have come up with this marketing strategy which not only gives them profit but can also cover the expenses of their advertisement from customers. Secondly charging for bags not having their names is also a way of avoiding legal consequences and gaining more profit. Bag without logo costs Rs 1-2 but they charge Rs 7-8 from customers which is more profitable” states Usman Siddique.
Kanika Sharma adds “I think it should come as a moral duty to them. If you can’t offer a carry bag, how can you say you’re respecting your customers, who will walk out carrying stuff in their hands? I never understood this idea of charging for as basic thing as this”.
File a case if you experience any such thing. Here is the way to file a case:
A person may file a complaint in a consumer forum or court if they believe their rights as a consumer have been violated. Consumers should make sure to carry a bill for the bag they paid for along with the carry bag as proof if they believe they have been unfairly charged for a bag. After that, consumers can go to the consumer forum on their own or hire a lawyer to get a refund and compensation.
You could present the required paperwork to start a case by going to the closest consumer court. A different option is to file a complaint about a business online using the government’s consumer complaints portal (https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/). To make a complaint against a vendor, follow a few simple procedures in the grievance redressal system operated by the Consumer Coordination Council and the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India.
You must first fill out a registration form on the website with your name, email address, home address, and phone number. After logging in, the website will guide you through a series of pages where you can address your complaint, provide information on the parties involved in the trade practice, and upload supporting documentation. Following submission, the website would issue a randomly generated number so that the user could follow the progress of the complaint until it was handled.
It is important to be aware of the rights that a customer holds and it is equally important to exercise them in a proper way. Happy Shopping!