This is a discussion on Accel front Line within the Judgments forums, part of the General Discussions category; ORDER SMT. BEENAKUMARI.A: MEMBER Complainant in this case purchased a Sony Ericsson Mobile phone “Z 500 i”from the 1st opposite ...
ORDERSMT. BEENAKUMARI.A: MEMBER
Complainant in this case purchased a Sony Ericsson Mobile phone “Z 500 i”from the 1st opposite party on 30.01.2007 for Rs. 7,550/-. The complainant purchased this phone for his daughter who is working as a Software Engineer in Technopark. While using the phone in A/C office room the phone automatically switched off. Then the complainant informed the complaint to the 1st opposite party, the dealer. The 1st opposite party directed him to approach 2nd opposite party the authorized service centre to examine the defect. The daughter of the complainant approached the 2nd opposite party with the phone. The service centre examined the phone and suggested that the mother board of the phone has to be replaced and for that Rs. 4,800/- is required or otherwise the software has to be upgraded. Accordingly the daughter of the complainant paid Rs. 149/- and upgraded the software. But the defect was not cured. Again the complainant approached the 2nd opposite party then they cleaned the phone and returned to the complainant. But the same defect continued. The complainant had no other way and so she bought another phone for her use. The complainant sent notice to the opposite parties that the defect occurred during the warranty period, hence the opposite parties are liable to replace the phone or refund the price of the phone. The opposite parties received charges from the complainant for repairing the phone, but the defects were not rectified. Though the opposite parties accepted the notice, they did not respond. Hence the complainant approached this Forum for the redressal of his grievances.
The 1st opposite party accepted notice from this Forum, but never turned up to contest the case. 2nd opposite party filed version and contested the case. In the version 2nd opposite party stated that the complainant has admitted that the mobile phone is functioning normally under room temperature and in an A/C room it got automatically switched off. They stated that when the complainant brought the mobile phone for repair there was corrosion on the PCB which is the mother board and costs almost 80% of the cost of mobile. Corrosion means liquid damage, in other words the mobile has come in contact with moisture which renders the board irreparable. Under these circumstances a repair declaration form is obtained from the customer since this condition is not warranted for under the manufacturer's policy to safeguard the rights of the service provider. They further stated that the complainant's daughter signed the same and a service charge was taken for clearing the PCB as the complaint was not covered under warranty. So non-warranty repairs are charged as per manufacturer's policy. They stated that the complainant was well aware of all the above stated facts and they were not willing to change the mother board. So a service of the PCB was done and the mobile returned to the complainant in working condition. Hence they prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
In this case the 1st opposite party, the dealer remained exparte. Complainant has filed proof affidavit and was examined as PW1. 5 documents were marked as Exts. P1 to P5. The location in-charge of the 2nd opposite party has filed proof affidavit and produced 6 documents. The documents were marked as Exts. D1 to D6. Commission report filed by the expert was marked as Ext. C1.
Points that would arise for consideration are as follows:
- Whether the defect occurred due to liquid?
- Whether there is deficiency in service or unfair trade practice from the side of opposite parties?
- Reliefs and costs.
The main complaint of the complainant is that the mobile got automatically switched off in an A/C room. The main contention of the opposite party is that the problem of switching off in A/C room occurs due to the liquid damaged PCB which is an act of carelessness on the part of complainant. As per the warranty condition warranty does not cover any failure of the product due to liquid. Both parties adduced evidences in support of their contention. As per Sec. S13(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act expert opinion is necessary to decide this case. Hence this Forum appointed Mr. Jasveer. U.R as the expert commissioner to examine the phone and to report the cause of the defect. The commissioner examined the phone in the presence of the complainant and 2nd opposite party and he filed report and his report was marked as Ext. C1. As per the report the defect was not due to liquid or moisture. The defect has occurred due to the defect of the PCB and software, the commission stated that the main board and software of the mobile were substandard. Due to that reason the mobile was switched off automatically. In this case from the side of complainant 5 documents were produced to prove his case. The 2nd opposite party also produced 6 documents. Ext. P1 is the copy of bill dated 30.01.2007 showing that the price of the mobile phone is Rs. 7,550/-. The complainant exchanged his old phone for Rs. 1000/- and he paid the balance amount Rs. 6,450/-. The 1st opposite party reduced Rs. 100/- from the actual price to the complainant. Ext. P2 is the copy of job sheet dated 26.12.2007 and service invoice dated 28.12.2007. As per this document the 2nd opposite party charged Rs. 149/- from the complainant as service charge. Ext. P3 is the copy of notice issued by the complainant to the opposite parties dated 24.01.2008. Ext. P3 is the copy of postal receipt and acknowledgement card. Ext. P4 is the copy of invoice for the purchase of Nokia mobile phone for Rs. 12,700/-. Ext. P5 is the copy of warranty terms of the disputed mobile. The 2nd opposite party has filed 6 documents. Ext. D1 is the copy of customer acknowledgement slip. Ext. D2 is the copy of job card. Ext. D3 is the copy of repair declaration form. Ext. D4 is the copy of job sheet. Ext. D6 is the copy of warranty manual. As per Ext. P1 document the complainant had purchased the phone on 30.01.2007. As per Ext. P2 the complainant entrusted the phone to the 2nd opposite party on 26.12.2007 for repair. As per Ext. D6 warranty conditions, the phone has one year warranty. From the documents we can see that the defect has occurred within warranty period. As per the 2nd opposite party the defect of the mobile was due to liquid. Hence the warranty was converted into non-warranty period. But as per the Ext. C1 commission report the defect was not due to liquid. The defect was due to the damage in the PCB and software of the phone. At the time of cross examination the complainant asked the 2nd opposite party that “ഈ പരാതിയെ സംബന്ധിച്ച് Sony Ericsson Company-യെ അറിയിച്ചിരുന്നോ? (Q) Non-warranty period- ലായതൂ കൊണ്ട് service centre ആണ് ചെയ്യേണ്ടത്. അതു കൊണ്ട് അറിയിക്കേണ്ട ആവശ്യമില്ല”. ഈ set warranty period-ല്* അല്ലേ damage ആയത്? (Q) അതെ, liquid damage PCB corrosion ആയത് കൊണ്ട് warranty conditions void ആയി. അതുകൊണ്ട് non-warranty-യിലേയ്ക്ക് convert ചെയ്തു.” In this case the 2nd opposite party has converted the warranty period as non-warranty period and they themselves have taken the liability, they have no contention that the manufacturer is the person who has the liability.
From the above said discussions we have concluded that the defect was not due to liquid. Hence the opposite parties are liable to cure the defect within the warranty period free of cost. In this case the 2nd opposite party the authorized service centre simply evaded from their liability on the ground that the defect was due to liquid and hence they have no liability. But actually the defect was due to the low quality of PCB and software. From the materials on record we have found that there is deficiency in service and unfair trade practice from the side of opposite parties and hence the opposite parties are held liable for that.
In the result, the complaint is allowed and direct the opposite parties to refund Rs. 6,450/-, after deducting Rs. 1,000/- from the purchase price of Rs. 7,450/- as depreciation of the mobile phone and Rs. 149/- as the service charge charged from the complainant during warranty period and shall also pay Rs. 2,000/- as compensation and Rs. 2,500/- as costs to the complainant. The complainant shall return the mobile phone to the opposite parties after receiving the above amounts. Time for compliance one month. Thereafter 12% annual interest shall also be added to the above said amounts.
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