Bajaj Finance ordered to pay compensation for wrongful insurance premium deduction

DIST. CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESAL FORUM, NORTH 24 Pgs., BARASAT

C.C. 454/2013 – Asish Kr. Nath, Vs. Bajaj Finance Ltd.

The fact of the dispute is that the complainant bought a LCD Television set from Great Eastern Trading Company at a price of Rs 13200/- out of which he paid a down payment of cash amount of Rs 4600/-, and on payment of the remaining amount of Rs 8600/-, by availing of loan arranged by the OP, Bajaj Finance Ltd, with a processing fee of Rs 200/-.

The EMI amount was fixed at Rs 1100/- per month for 8 equal installments with 0% interest.

Within a few days from the arrangement of the said loan one lady representative of the OP telephonically offered the complainant a life insurance policy with a premium of Rs 236/- . She did not divalge the actual premium of Rs 1882.03 nor other details of tenure. Failing to understand the terms of the policy the complainant somehow consented over telephone.

But in reality once he noticed the deduction amount as effected by means of ECS, from his SB a/c, he understood the terms of the policy was somewhat different than he assumed that it was simply a one time payment of premium of Rs 236/- only.

On this situation the complainant immediately informed the OP to cancel such a policy, as it was not compatible to and desired by him, though a mere telephonic consent was accorded on being misunderstood, without going through any documents nor signing any thing.

Despite the complainant’s request for cancellation of the said policy the OP’s Pune office on the contrary sent a policy paper without any terms and condition in it, and as such the same was returned back to them by the complainant.

Observing that OP was not in a mood to cancel the said policy, and adamant in effecting ECS debits from his SB a/c, the complainant in order to prevent such an action of the OP, he made his a/c with installment balance.

Thereafter, the OP is continuously chasing the complainant by sending several recovery notices, even though the complainant had duly paid back the loan amount of Rs 8800/-, by means of several cheques issued to the OP.

Hence being aggrieved the complainant has filed this case.

In response the OP has not taken any step neither to appear nor to contest. Hence the argument was heard exparte.

Decision with Reason

On perusing the documentary evidence filed with us, we observe that a sum of Rs 1336.00/- has been debited from the complainant’s SB a/c in the month of July 2012.

This shows that apparently the OP had recovered the EMIs of Rs 1100/- and Rs 236/- through ECS transaction from the complainant’s A/C.

Thereafter, as documentary evidence suggests that the complainant had duly made cheque payment each amounting to Rs 1100/- and further the statement of a/c of the OP also proves that the OP had duly received those payments made by the cheques issued by the complainant.

Hence it is tangibly clear that the complainant is not the defaulter.

Now the question of perusing the complainant, telephonically and deriving the contest telephonically without the dispatch of proper documents, and giving incomplete information, and thus confusing the other side, and effecting ECS deductions without the complainant’s written consent, amounts to highly irregular activity on the part of the OP.

Further despite repeated appeals of the complainant for rejection of the said policy, since inception of the policy, the OP stubborn attitude, and insistence for its continuance, and thereafter issuing recovery notices is an act of Unfair Trade Practice.

There is not even a single documentary evidence portraying that the OP had at least once in a while has bothered to reply to the complainants request for cancellation of the policy, or explain their position.

It is matter of anguish that the OP has adopted a “hit and run policy” and has played a one-sided game, where in they had forced to sell their goods and services by some trickery, but not listening the other side.

In the above noted situation the OP is liable for deficient service and unfair business practice.

Thus the case stands against the OP, exparte, with a cost.

Hence ordered that the case no cc 454/13 be and same is allowed against the OP, exparte, with a cost of Rs 5000/-.

The OP is directed to treat the said loan a/c be closed if not already done, and treat the said disputed policy in the name of the complainant to be cancelled.

The OP is also directed to pay the complainant a sum of Rs 5000/- as compensation for harassment and mental agony.

The OP is further directed to pay a punitive damage of Rs 10,000/- to the State Consumer Welfare Fund for resorting to Unfair Business Practice.