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Damages for hidden 3D TV Internet hitch

A consumer disputes redress forum has ordered Samsung India Electronics Private Limited and Ezone Kankurgachhi to refund the price of a 3D TV to a customer and pay him damages for failing to disclose the features of the set at the time of purchase.

According to the order, both Samsung and Ezone will have to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 for “deceiving the complainant” and reimburse the amount the customer spent on fighting the case.

In an email to Metro, a spokesperson for Samsung confirmed that the company had received the court order and would comply with it.

Avinash Kasera, a businessman in Kankurgachhi, had purchased a 40-inch 3D smart Samsung television last November from the Ezone outlet.

Once the set was installed at his home, he realised that it was “virtually impossible” for him to access 3D content on his new television set.

“At the time of purchase, the salesperson at Ezone demonstrated the 3D feature of the TV by playing a clip from a pendrive. It worked perfectly at that time. But he did not disclose how I could get fresh 3D content and what is the Internet speed needed to watch 3D content over the Internet. Even the e-manual pre-loaded in the TV did not contain the information,” said Avinash.

With no broadcaster beaming 3D content, to view such content one has to either purchase it from the market or get it from the Internet.

“To watch 3D content over the Internet, the minimum bandwidth required is 32Mbps. This was not disclosed to me when I bought the set,” said Avinash.

The businessman filed three complaints with Samsung stating that the 3D feature on his TV was not working.

The company’s engineers turned up all three times but allegedly could not figure out why Avinash was not being able to watch 3D content over the Internet. “Finally, engineers from their head office called up and told me that I require Internet speed of 32Mbps,” said Avinash.

In February this year, he filed a case in a district consumer court and made Samsung, Ezone and Bajaj Finance Limited (who sanctioned the loan) parties in the case.

While Ezone did not file any replies at court, Samsung India Electronics Private Limited admitted in a statement that Internet speed of 32 Mbps was required for the 3D feature of the TV to work.

“An Internet connection with bandwidth of 32Mbps is expensive and difficult to obtain. Even if somebody manages to get an Internet connection of such high bandwidth, the monthly rental will be in excess of Rs 5,000,” said an IT expert.

The district consumer court, in its verdict in the last week of July, ordered Samsung India Electronics Private Limited and Ezone Kankurgachhi to refund Rs 76,000 to the complainant for “adopting unfair trade practice and for deceiving the complainant”.

The order states that if Samsung India Electronics Private Limited and Ezone Kankurgachi fail to carry out the order within a month, both of them will have to pay a penal interest of Rs 200 a day till the entire amount is refunded and the recommended compensation is paid.

The judge has observed that both Samsung and Ezone have been “selling such sort of goods only for the purpose of making profit but not considering their social responsibility to inform the purchaser whether such a set will run in the particular house in absence of Internet connection speed of 32 Mbps or not”.

“We found that the issue faced by our customer was mainly because of Internet broadband connectivity at his residence. The Samsung television was found to be functioning in accordance with specifications and this has been communicated to our customer. We have received the consumer court’s order. Samsung will abide by the honourable court’s order, we will do the needful to comply with the order within the stipulated timeframe defined by the court,” said a spokesperson for Samsung.

In response to Metro’s email to Ezone, a representative called up but excused herself after saying that her department does not deal with the issue and that she will forward the query to the concerned department. No further communication came from Ezone thereafter.

Roadblock

The students of a school at Kurit in Amta, Howrah, about 60km from Calcutta, along with their parents blocked the Howrah-Amta Road for over two hours from 8am on Sunday, demanding that a liquor shop near their school be demolished.

According to the parents, the students on their way back from school are often harassed by men high on alcohol.

The roadblock was lifted only after police officers intervened and promised to look into the issue.