IKEA charges Rs 20 for bag, court orders Rs 3,000 compensation to consumer
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA was ordered by a consumer court to refund a customer in Bengaluru, and also pay Rs 3,000 as compensation for charging her for a paper bag to carry the goods she had purchased.
IKEA India Private Limited was ordered to pay the consumer a sum of Rs 20 with interest, and also Rs 1,000 towards damages and Rs 2,000 towards litigation expenses.
The carry bag, for which IKEA charged Rs 20, had its logo printed on it which the Commission said "amounts to unfair trade practice by charging for the bag".
"We are shocked to note the kind of service provided by these big malls/showrooms... the Opposite Party committed deficiency in service and unfair trade practice and complainant is bound to be compensated," the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Shanthinagar, Bengaluru said in its order.
The consumer, Sangeetha Bohra, visited the Nagasandra branch of IKEA on October 6, 2022 and purchased a few items. She asked for a bag to carry the items and was charged Rs 20 for it though it had the logo of the store on it.
She approached the Consumer Commission claiming it was a deficiency of service and unfair trade practice.
IKEA contended that “it does not indulge in any sale of goods that has hidden charges or indulge in concealment of information from its consumers or indulge in any practices that may be considered as a breach of trust or unfair trade practice. The information pertaining to all its products, including the paper bag are conspicuously displayed on various aisles of its store and are not automatically or suspiciously added to the purchasers at the time of billing.”
The Commission headed by President B N Arayanappa and Members Jyothi N and Sharavathi S M in their judgment however dismissed this contention and said, “It has been held by Hon’ble State Commission that all kinds of expenses incurred in order to put goods into deliverable state shall be suffered by the seller. As such, the contention raised does not merit acceptance."
The Commission noted that the consumers were also not allowed to carry their own bags.
“If a consumer wants to purchase say about 15 (items) in number from different shops, we cannot expect him/her to take 15 carry bags from home for the same...," the recent judgment said.
IKEA was ordered to comply with the order within 30 days from the date of receipt of the order.