Any flaw, imperfection, shortcoming, or inadequacy in the calibre, nature, or mode of performance that must be maintained by or pursuant to any currently in force law, or that has been undertaken to be performed by a person in accordance with a contract or otherwise in relation to any service, is referred to as a deficiency. The flaw must relate to the provision of service. In the definition, the phrase “…in respect to any service” indicates that the inadequacy is always in terms of service. Therefore, the idea of deficiency would not apply if the complaint relates to an issue that does not fit under the definition of service.
If the service is deemed to be lacking based on the aforementioned standards, it is often held to be lacking and compensated. However, there can be unusual situations that are out of the service provider’s control. A person shouldn’t be punished if such conditions prohibit them from providing the service in the required quality, type, or manner.
For instance, A consented to provide B with water for agriculture irrigation. A transformer fire caused a power outage, preventing him from doing so. Crop was subsequently harmed. A was sued by B for offering subpar service. The National Commission held that it was duty of A to get the transformer repaired immediately. Since he was negligent in doing so, he is liable for the deficiency in service – Orissa Lift Irrigation Corpn. Ltd. v. Birakishore Raut  2 CPJ 213 (NC).
The case of Ravneet Singh Bagga v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – 2000 (1) SCC 66 highlights the difference between a failure in service and carelessness. Without assigning fault, imperfection, insufficiency, or inadequacy in the quality, character, and method of performance which is needed to be performed by a person in accordance with a contract or otherwise in regard to any service, the deficit in service cannot be asserted.
It is the individual making the allegation’s responsibility to support the lack of service. On the basis of the circumstances, it has been determined that the complaint has not proven any purposeful mistake, flaw, weakness, or deficiency in the respondent’s performance of his or her duties.
It is necessary to make a distinction between the failure in service and the respondent’s torturous actions. The harmed party may pursue damages under common law if there is no deficit in service, but they cannot insist on receiving remedies under the Act for claimed acts of commission and omission attributed to the respondent that would not otherwise constitute a defect in service. It cannot be said that there was a lack of service if it is determined from the facts that the person or authority providing the service took all reasonable precautions, took into account all pertinent facts and circumstances during the transaction, and acted or made the final decision in a good faith.
There is no failure of service that entitles the aggrieved person to make a claim for remedy under the Act if the respondent’s action is determined to have been taken in good faith. There are no hard and fast rules that can be established, thus each case must be examined and its outcome determined based on its unique facts. Ineffectiveness, negligence, lack of bona fides, rashness, hurry, omission, and the like may be the reasons to determine the service’s lack of quality.
Unfair trade practice
Unfair trade practises are any techniques used to solicit customers and advance the sale of products and services that are dishonest, fraudulent, or immoral. The producer, seller, and distributor employ illegal and illicit methods, such as deceptive pricing, false free-gift or prize offers, and noncompliance with manufacturing standards, as well as false advertising, misrepresentation of a good or service, and false representation or misrepresentation of it. Deceptive trade practises are another name for an unfair business conduct.
According to the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, the Consumer Protection E-Commerce Rules establish guidelines for unfair business practises. All markets, inventories, e-commerce platforms, and other organisations, including international organisations that are based outside of India but provide products and services to Indian consumers, are subject to these guidelines. The application of these Rules does not apply to professional or non-professional activity.
These regulations mandate that e-commerce businesses provide information on payment alternatives, warranties, refund policies, exchange policies, tracking data, shipment details, and other topics. In this case, merchants are required to accept back or exchange any items or products that do not live up to the standard or quality that was represented. If a problem emerges, it is required to respond to any customer inquiries or complaints within 48 hours of receipt and to properly address such complaints within one month of receipt.
Consumer complaint redressal mechanism
In the event of any service deficiencies, the customer may file a complaint with the Consumer Courts established under the Act. The Consumer Protection Act of 2019’s method can be followed to file the complaint. A complaint is a set of written claims alleging fault with the product, the seller, the manufacturer, or the service provider. One or more consumers, registered voluntary consumer associations, heirs, or the customer’s legal representatives may submit such complaints, as well as the federal or state governments. In the event of a juvenile, the minor’s parents or legal representatives might file the complaint on their behalf.
Consumer complaints can now be online filed. By allowing electronic filing and giving District and State Consumer Forums the authority to address, review, and advise mediation requests, the whole adjudication process has been streamlined.
There are three levels of consumer courts in India: national, state, and district levels. whereby the harmed customers can go for dispute resolution and remedy based on the value of the problem in question. Understanding the case’s financial jurisdiction comes next after recognising the subject of contention.
- International Journal of Research, A Critical Analysis of Deficiency in Services under Consumer Protection Act, 1986, by Anil Kumar
- Analysis on deficiency of services under Consumer Protection Act, 2019(2021),https://blog.ipleaders.in/analysis-deficiency-services-consumer-protection-act-2019/
- Ravneet Singh Bagga v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – 2000 (1) SCC 66
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