Consumer forum asks Concu to pay Rs.50,000 for delivering egg cake to a vegetarian

DS Chowdary, a 40-year-old female resident of Pragati Nagar in Hyderabad, ordered an egg-less cake on Concu's website and paid Rs. 2,500 online

Consumer forum asks Concu to pay Rs.50,000 for delivering egg cake to a vegetarian

HYDERABAD: The District Consumer Redressal Forum ordered Concu Cakes to pay Rs 40,000 in compensation and Rs 10,000 in litigation costs for delivering egg cake instead of egg-less cake by mistake.

On August 10, 2022, DS Chowdary, a 40-year-old female resident of Pragati Nagar in Hyderabad, ordered an egg-less cake on Concu's website and paid Rs. 2,500 online. The cake was due to be collected on August 16, 2022, at 12 p.m., and she picked it up from Concu Bakery on the occasion of her cousin's birthday.

Her cousin cut the cake and offered it to the complainant, who discovered after taking a bite that it was not an eggless cake. She filed a complaint with the company's customer service on August 17, 2022, since it was an egg cake and it smelled awful.

While presenting herself as the owner of the Concu, a lady immediately responded and apologised, stating that they made a mistake and delivered her the wrong cake with eggs rather than the eggless cake that she had requested.

She then promised DS Chowdhury a refund for the cake and a complimentary lunch as an apology. She consented to a refund and requested that no food be sent. DS Chowdhury also told the owner that she did not consume eggs or non-veg, and mentioned that she fasts every Tuesday for the recovery of her husband, who had been hospitalised for 14 months due to an accident.

She claimed that the Concu baker's action to send egg cake instead of eggless cake not only ruined her religious practise but also caused her permanent mental agony.

DS Chowdhury further explained that she had solely bought eggless cakes to date. She claimed that Concu's negligence defined both deficiencies in service and unfair trade practises.

She also claimed that her family members were subjected to serious inconvenience and had suffered substantial inconvenience, hardship, and severe mental torment, forcing her to file a complaint in the consumer court.

Following receipt of the notice, Concu's management filed its written version, disputing all significant allegations except those that were specifically admitted and contending that the Complainant ordered a cake from Concu, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, on their official website on August 10, 2022.

According to Concu management, she filed a claim on their website, complaining that the Cake delivered was extremely sweet and did not have a message on the cake. She said, “the message was missing….was too sweet (and) the message was written using a pen”.

Subsequently, on the same day, during a telephone conversation, she indicated for the first time that the cake was not eggless and reiterated her complaint about the cake's taste.

They also stated that she did not file a complaint through both means. They further claimed that she did not raise the allegation of her fasting based on her alleged religious convictions for her late husband's well-being. They claimed that their team actively reached out to DS Chowdhury to resolve the complaint, and swiftly proposed a whole refund as well as a complimentary hamper/lunch in addition to an in-store credit.

DS Chowdhury accepted the refund initiated by Concu management on August 22, 2022, which was processed on August 23, 2022. Despite accepting the settlement of the complete refund offered in good faith and in consideration of the Complainant's well-being, she filed the complaint on malicious grounds, seeking further compensation by falsely exacerbating the genuine facts of the current case, the management claimed.

They additionally argued that DS Chowdhury, who was in the store to pick up the cake, did not object once to the cake's appearance or the smell of the egg, as she claimed in her second complaint.

These desserts were approved by DS Chowdhury, and she paid for them herself. It was fully within her awareness that the pastries (cakes) she purchased included egg, they alleged.

They also noted that she never claimed that eating the egg had affected her religious beliefs, as she claimed. DS Chowdhury merely believes that consuming egg cake is a plausible cause of her husband's death on August 21, 2022. The complainant was asked to return the cake to the store, which was never received, in order to substantiate the DS Chowdhury's assertions.

The management also claimed that, taking immediate action, they printed green stickers to go on our eggless cake boxes so no one in the future had to go through this.

The court pointed out that there was no evidence on the cakes showing that the dessert cakes included eggs. The court also noted that DS Chowdhury never mentioned that the desserts she purchased were consumed by them. Her only complaint was that the cake she purchased online was eggless, but Concu delivered an egg-filled cake, which management admitted.

The court noted that the act by the management was nothing but a deficiency of service, due to which DS Chowdhury had suffered mentally as it affected her spiritual and customary practise, which cannot be compensated monetarily.

Taking into account all of the factors, the consumer forum ruled in favour of DS Chowdhury. The court ordered the concussion management to pay the Complainant appropriate compensation of Rs. 40,000 for mental anguish and suffering, as well as legal costs of Rs. 10,000, within 45 days.

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