Malappuram District Commission Finds Ola Responsible for Non-Delivery of E-Scooter Despite Full Payment

The Malappuram District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, with Mohandasan K (President), Mohamed Ismayil (Member), and Preethi Sivaraman (Member), found Ola and its dealer responsible for inadequate service for failing to deliver an electric scooter as promised. This failure prompted the complainant to cancel their booking.

Key Details

The complainant transferred Rs. 1,45,777/- to Ola Electric Technologies (“Ola”) to reserve an electric scooter, with an expected delivery date of April 18th, 2023. Allegedly, Ola did not fulfill its commitment despite the complainant’s repeated efforts to receive the scooter. Eventually, due to persistent delays, the complainant decided to cancel the booking and informed Ola. Feeling aggrieved by this situation, the complainant lodged a consumer complaint with the Malappuram District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Kerala against Ola and its dealer.

Ola responded by stating that they had refunded the payment for the vehicle to the complainant and contended that there was no ongoing consumer dispute. They argued that the delivery timeline provided was merely indicative and not legally binding, as outlined in the Pre-Booking and Booking terms and conditions. Ola emphasized the unpredictable nature of delivery, citing numerous internal and external factors beyond their control. Additionally, they accused the complainant of attempting to unfairly benefit from the situation.

District Commission’s Findings

The District Commission observed that Ola issued a refund for the vehicle only after the complaint was filed. It concluded that this delay in refund indicated a lapse in service, resulting in mental distress and inconvenience for the complainant. Despite the complainant’s repeated efforts to secure delivery, Ola and its dealer failed to fulfill their obligation to deliver the vehicle as promised after receiving payment. The commission deemed Ola’s argument that delivery timelines were non-binding under pre-booking terms unacceptable, particularly due to their failure to provide a satisfactory explanation for the delay.

The District Commission ruled that in normal circumstances, delivery and payment are simultaneous conditions unless otherwise agreed upon. Therefore, it determined that Ola and its dealer could not avoid accountability for retaining full payment and indefinitely delaying delivery without adequate justification. Consequently, the District Commission held them accountable for deficient services.

As a result, the District Commission directed Ola and its dealer to compensate the complainant with Rs. 50,000/- for the mental distress and inconvenience suffered, along with Rs. 5,000/- to cover litigation costs. Regarding additional expenses totaling Rs. 16,000/- incurred by the complainant for purchasing another electric scooter from Ola under loan direction, the District Commission found insufficient evidence to support the complainant’s claim of being coerced into taking a loan for the purchase.

Case Title: Shafeek Paravath vs. Ola Electric Technologies Pvt Ltd and Anr.

Case Number: CC/254/2023

Date of Pronouncement: 23rd April 2024

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