A Bengaluru resident took legal action against Flipkart, a leading e-commerce platform, for selling her a shampoo bottle above its maximum retail price (MRP) during the Big Billion Days sale, according to media reports.
The city’s consumer court ruled in her favor, criticizing the company for unfair trade practices. As a result, Flipkart was directed to compensate her with Rs 20,000 and refund the excess Rs 96 charged for the product.
Maximum Retail Price is the highest price that a manufacturer or retailer can legally charge for a product.
Attracted by Flipkart’s sale advertisements, Sowmya P, residing in Palace Guttahalli, ordered a bottle of Patanjali Kesh Kanti protein hair cleanser in October 2019. Upon receiving the shampoo on October 3, she paid Rs 191 via PhonePe. To her dismay, she discovered that the printed MRP on the bottle was Rs 95, while her invoice reflected Rs 191. Further investigation revealed that the same product was listed on the Flipkart app for Rs 140 with an additional Rs 99 for shipping.
Upon contacting Flipkart’s customer care, Sowmya was advised to return the product for a refund. Despite assurances of policy changes regarding such sales, she observed no action taken by Flipkart against the shampoo seller, HBK Enterprises from Surat.
The same month, the 34-year-old woman approached the Bangalore IVth additional district consumer disputes redressal commission in Shantinagar with a complaint against Flipkart Internet Private Limited in Varthur Hobli and HBK Enterprises for charging more than the prescribed MRP for the shampoo.
The woman presented the case herself with photographs and other documents to back her claim. Later, after several contentions in court, the Flipkart counsel failed to justify why the firm, through its seller, sold the product at a price more than the MRP.
Big Billion Days is Flipkart's annual sale event during which the company claims that it offers massive discounts across various categories.
Earlier this year, the Bengaluru Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had fined the e-commerce company for failing to deliver an order even after the customer made the full payment in advance.