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State Commission upholds Forum order in AC case

By Adv. Jatin Ramaiya

Electronic appliances company, LG Electronics, approached the Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, challenging the orders passed by the South Goa District Forum. The Forum ordered the company to install a new air conditioner as chosen by Sharmila Mascarnehas, original complainant. The order directs the company to put the unit in perfect working condition and to issue certificate of guarantee of fitness, warranty and to ensure that the AC is kept in working condition for period of one year from the date of fitness certificate issued.

Further the company is directed to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 to Mrs. Mascarnehas. The Forum also asked LG Electronics to put in its brochures and literature the pros and cons of AC units with copper coils and units with aluminium coils, in unequivocal language so that purchasers are aware of the same and make a conscious choice while purchasing.

Mascarenhas, had approached the Forum stating that she purchased a brand new LG AC of 1.5 tonnes, for Rs. 31,500 (including the stabilizer and installation charges) with one year warranty period. The same was installed by the store technicians at her residence. However, within eight months from the date of installation, the AC stopped cooling and accordingly a complaint was made to the LG customer care upon which a technician was sent and after checking it was found that the problem was of gas leakage. Though the unit was repaired at the service station and returned to Mascarenhas the problem persisted since the repair work carried out was not satisfactorily and kept on recurring.

In her complaint, Mascarenhas stated that she informed the company about the defective unit asked for it to be replaced or the amount refunded. However, the request was not heeded by LG after which she filed a complaint and asked for relief by way of refund and compensation. LG Electronic claimed that, the AC was repaired within 8 working days and from March 2016 to March 2017 there was no complaint and the unit was working smoothly. “The AC was not faulty and the failure of the condenser was due to high humidity since the house of the complainant is situated near coastal area. The AC required maintenance which was not taken care of by Mascarenhas,” replied LG.

Upon hearing the appeal the bench comprising of UV Bakre and D Jog observed that “the complainant has been repeatedly making grievance regarding the cooling effect of the AC. The main intention to purchase an AC is to have good cooling effect in the room wherein it is installed and within eight months from installation the set started giving problems.” Further the Commission held that company ought to have informed the purchaser of the AC that it would not work properly at her place.  Furthermore, the Commission held that in absence of a specific prayer on the part of  Mascarenhas  for any direction to be given to LG Electronics to put any warning on the brochure such a relief could not be granted and till that extent set aside the order, whilst dismissing the appeal of L.G. Electronics against grant of cost and compensation.

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