If I want to file a consumer complaint against a company before the District Forum, it is mandatory under law for me to first give a notice to the company before I actually file the consumer complaint? If yes, how many days’ minimum notice is required?
It is not mandatory under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, to first issue a notice to the company concerned before filing a consumer complaint with the Consumer Forum. So, it is your choice. It is optional.
At the same time, though it is not mandatory, it is advisable to first issue a notice to the company concerned in which you may narrate your grievance explaining your issue, how long it has been, what remedial action you expect from the company and what kind of compensation you seek if any. In the notice, you may give details of any deficiency or defects in service or of unfair trade practice etc., ask the company to rectify the deficiency within a reasonable period of time, and to see if the company is willing to make good the loss suffered by you by either replacing the product or returning the value of the purchase.
If the company takes action on your notice and does the needful, the issue resolves then and there. It saves you time, money and energy of filing a consumer complaint in the Consumer Forum and then fighting it for a long time. But if the company refuses or neglects to take action on your notice, then you may approach the appropriate Consumer Court.
If at all, you decide to issue a notice first, give a reasonable time to the company to respond to it. This reasonable time may be 15 days, or one month or more, depending on the type of product and the location of the company, etc. There is no hard and fast rule. However, try to ensure that it is a reasonable period of time which should enable the company to do something positive if it so desires.
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