Hyderabad: The Karimnagar District Consumer Forum had ordered Big C, a chain that sells mobile phones, to pay Rs 18,000 to a customer who lost his phone which was insured. The forum also ordered costs and compensation.
The complainant had purchased a Samsung Galaxy mobile for Rs 18,000 and paid an additional Rs 300 to get an All-risk fasttrack protect from Big C for a period of one year.
He lost the cell phone while boarding a bus and informed personnel at the phone outlet who asked him to file a complaint with the police. Despite providing the shop with a ‘loss of phone’ certificate, the outlet refused to refund the money or provide him a new phone.
The justification given was that the insurance aspect was covered by New India Assurance Company and that they were merely a proposer. Their job was only to forward the claim to the insurance company.
Big C stated that the New India Assurance had denied the claim on the basis that the police had given a ‘loss of phone certificate’ and not a ‘theft of phone certificate’. They rejected it on grounds that the customer delayed in intimating the service provider. With these points they contended that the deficiency was on the part of the insurance company.
The court observed that the insurance document entered into between the consumer and the mobile outlet made no mention of the ‘insurer’, which shows that the transaction took place between Big C and the complainant.
While finding New India Assurance Company’s repudiation “flimsy” and “frivolous”, the court stated that the shifting of burden on the insurer by Big C for insurance clearly amounted to deficiency in service.
The complainant was thus given a compensation of Rs 4,000 as well as Rs 1,000 towards costs along with a full refund of Rs 18,000.