Study Abroad E-Service Provider to Issue Full Refund for Defrauding Student: District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab
The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in Anisha Saini D/O Angrej Singh vs Pyramid E-Service – CC/241/2021- held that the complainant who had applied for abroad studies through the disputant e-service provider, rightly alleged agitation against the opposite party for deficiency in service and directed the opposite party for the refund of her fees.
The President of the Commission held:
…it is established that she had applied for computer information and technology program at Lethbridge College, Lethbridge, Canada on 8 of June 2019 through Pyramid e-service and paid the total amount of Rs.11370. Payment of fee including other amount is duly proved from Ex. C-1. Therefore, it is proved that the OP took the amount and application form from the complainant and failed to apply to the concerned college…..therefore, deficiency in service and unfair trade practice is proved on the part of the OP and the complainant is entitled to refund of the amount paid by her and compensation.
The complainant claimed that she had applied for a Computer Information and Technology program at Lethbridge College, Lethbridge, Canada on 08.06.2019 through Pyramid e-service, the opposite party. The complainant had also paid the due amount of registration of Rs. 1180 and a college application fee of Rs. 10180. The opposite party accepted that they mistakenly taken an excess of Rs 1500/- and assured to refund the difference amount within 15 days by cheque but they had failed to do so until the date of hearing of the complaint. The complainant was also told that her application would be accepted within 3 months of submission, however, on mailing to the concerned authority of the college, the college administration stated in reply that they have not received any application with the name of complainant.
Further, the complainant had stated that when she asked for a refund of the application fee, she received ambiguous assurances. Likewise, neither was the registration fees refunded nor any due application proof was shown to her. In this process, the complainant stated that she has lost 2 valuable years of her education owing to the fraud committed by the opposite party and she was not able to pursue her dreams of studying abroad. She further added the immense mental stress she underwent owing to the fraud.
In light of the above grievances, the complainant filed complaint alleging deficiency of service and sought direction for payment of an overall amount of Rs. 11360 and a compensation of Rs. 4 lakhs for mental torture along with Rs. 500 as litigation expenses.
Accordingly, the Commission, by an order dated 13.10.2021, had duly served summons to the opposite party but it had failed to appear, and the court proceeded against ex-parte.
The Commission after perusal of the documents provided by the complainant observed that the opposite party had undoubtedly defrauded the complainant through deficiency of service and also adopted unfair trade practices.
Consequently, the Commission directed the opposite party to refund the amount along with the compensation and litigation expenses within 30 days from the date of this order’s copy
…direct the OP to refund the amount of Rs. 11360/- to the complainant along with interest @6% per annum from the date of institution of the present complaint i.e., 19.08.2021 till its actual realization. The OP shall also pay the sum of Rs. 5000/- to the complainant for mental harassment and agony caused to her and the litigation expenses. The OP is further directed to make the compliance of this order within a period of 30 days from the date of the receipt of the copy of this order, failing which the complainant shall be entitled to initiate proceedings u/s 71 of the Consumer Protection Act.
Accordingly, the complaint was disposed of.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL