Amazon, publisher told to pay Rs 10,000 compensation to book buyer

Clipped from: Mr Pawar approached the court and also included the publisher as a respondent.

Mumbai: A city consumer court has directed Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd.
and publisher to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 for mental agony and Rs
5000 for legal expenses to a buyer who had purchased a book from the
online portal. The consumer had approached the court, as the book he
had bought was of MRP of Rs 525, but it was sold to him above the MRP
even after a discount of 69 per cent.

Surendra Pawar had approached the Consumer court at Bandra Kurla
Complex (BKC) against Amazon and USB Publishers saying they sold a
book to him above the maximum retail price.
The matter was heard and decided by a bench comprising members S.V.
Kalal and Shivcharan Shere.

Mr Pawar contended that he had purchased a book called “Legal drafting
– do it yourself” because the online selling portal had claimed that
it was giving this book for whopping discount of 69 per cent and due
to this discount, the book valued Rs 1,595 was up for grab with the
discount of Rs 1,093.

However, when Mr Pawar received the book he noticed that the original
value of boom was Rs 525 and not Rs 1,595. He then shot a mail to the
web portal complaining about the same and alleged that he was misled
about the amount of book and discount.

Amazon in reply to Mr Pawar’s mail said that its role is only limited
to information of products up for sale on its website for consumers.
Following this, Mr Pawar approached the court and also included the
publisher as a respondent.

However, the publisher didn’t appear before the bench. After hearing
arguments from both the sides, the bench observed that misleading
information about discount on sale of book was published on
defendant’s web portal till November 17, 2017. It also noted that even
though the defendant is not responsible for the sale of the book, the
web portal as a guarantee had published “100 per cent purchase

The members of the Consumer forum also stated that the bench is of the
opinion that Amazon was responsible for what was published on its
website especially at a time when it has not complained against
publishers for putting up misleading information about sale of the
book on its web portal. Furthermore, though the publisher was not
present before the forum, considering the bill issued to the purchaser
the bench held the publisher equally responsible for selling the book
by giving misleading information.

With above observations, the bench directed Amazon and the publisher
to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to Pawar for mental agony and Rs
5000 for legal expenses within 30 days.

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