Cricketer Dinesh Karthik was denied refund of his booking amount of Rs. 5 lakhs by DC Design on the basis that he had taken a test drive and hence was not entitled to the same.
While the first 500 set of customers are in the process of receiving their examples of the DC Avanti, the mid-engined sports car from the Pune based automaker has already found a miffed customer. Following the failure to receive a refund from the DC Design dealership in Chennai, Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik who had booked the car early on with a token amount of Rs. 5 lakhs has now moved to the consumer forum in order to retrieve the booking amount and also seek compensation for the mental agony caused.
In a petition filed by Dinesh Karthik, the cricketer had paid the booking amount back in May 2013 and was promised a test drive by DC in January 2014. As per Karthik, the dealership had assured that if the cricketer liked the Avanti post the test drive, it would be delivered to him the next month and if not, the booking amount would be refunded. However, as we all know, DC’s testing phase ended earlier this year and the said test drive was arranged in April 2015. In fact, the Avanti was only made available for test drive in Pune and not in his hometown Chennai, despite the earlier commitment.
Nonetheless, Karthik eventually did take the DC Avanti’s test drive in May 2015, but wasn’t too happy as the specifications and driving comfort which did not match the glib marketing pitch. Hence, as any customer would, the cricketer sought refund of the booking amount, but the dealership stated in response that since he had already taken a test drive, the said amount could not be given back. After failed attempts to reason with DC, Karthik had no choice but to seek help from the consumer forum in order to retrieve the booking amount.
Dinesh Karthik states that it is not as much about the money as it is about the principle of fairness. Rightly so, the dealer did not meet the delivery date as promised and also failed to organise a test drive in the cricketer’s home city. That said, the dealership alleges that Karthik had signed a document meeting the terms and conditions including the booking amount refund policy. However, they failed to produce a copy of the alleged document. The cricketer now wants the consumer forum to direct DC Design to pay the booking amount along with interest and also a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for causing mental agony.
As Karthik puts it, it is a matter of unfair trade practices as any manufacturer cannot retain a customer’s booking amount if the latter is unsatisfied with the final product; in this case a Rs. 35 lakh worth car. From the government’s end, there is no law that allows or does not allow such kind of practice. At present, the case is still in the district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chennai and the next hearing is scheduled on 23rd September 2015. What is your take on the matter? Is the dealer’s demand justified? Let us know in the comments box below.
Source – EconomicTimes.com