When a service is found deficient by a consumer, they can lodge a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Thus, the prime requirement is that the matter must fall within the "definition of service", and it must entail a deficiency as per the requirements provided under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
What is "Deficiency of Service"?
- According to the definition under Section. 2(11) of Consumer Protection Act 2019 ("the Act"), any sort of imperfection, or defect in the feature, quality, amount, worth, authenticity, its capacity or potential, and standard which is obligatory to be maintained and regulated as per the laws and statutes in function or any agreement/contract claimed by the seller, with respect to the products and goods, is known as deficiency.
- Willful and deliberate concealment of important information, omission or negligence of acts by seller which may lead to injury or loss to the consumer(s), also comes under the ambit of deficiency of service.
- Any act(s), which a prudent seller is supposed to do or is supposed to omit, but deliberately does the contrast, such actions amount to 'deficiency of service'.
Deficiency of service can be witnessed in any service sector where there is buyer-seller relationship, such as, railways, banks, legal aid, electricity, construction, education, transportation, aviation, hospitality, restaurants, entertainment etc. Deficiency of service can have minor to grave consequences, ranging from inconvenience or harassment to mental or physical injury to death, thereby leading to legal consequences.
The Consumer Protection Act (both old and new) is a legislation enacted in India with the sole purpose of protecting and safeguarding the interests of consumers. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which came into effect on July, 20 2020, not only covers within its ambit physical platforms for buyer-seller relationship but also recognizes services provided by E-commerce platforms.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.