A consumer court in Bengaluru has ordered cellphone maker Xiaomi to refund Rs 10,999 to a city resident for charging the person for mobile repairs even though the device was under the warranty period.
The amount includes the price of the mobile phone and the litigation expenses borne by him.
The Times of India reported that Madhusudan, a resident of HSR Layout, bought a Xiaomi Redmi 2 costing Rs 6,999 on Flipkart in March 2015. However, seven months later, the phone's display went blank. However, he could still answer calls and the handset would still vibrate.
When Madhusudan took the phone for repair to an authorized Xiaomi service centre in Koramangala, he was told that the screen was damaged and replacing it would set him back by Rs 2,550. Madhusudan asked them to replace the screen but two days later, he received another call informing him that the motherboard also had been damaged. The executive suggested that it was better for him to buy a new phone than to repair his existing phone, as the expense would nearly be the same.
Madhusudan then demanded that the repair be done free of charge or a full refund be initiated as the device was under warranty period. As he received no response from the company, he approached the consumer court the same year. On January 4, 2018, the court ruled in his favour.
In its defence, Xiaomi said that the customer was responsible for the damage and so the device was not covered under warranty.
However, the court chided Xiaomi for charging the customer illegally even though the problem arose when the handset was under the one-year warranty period.
"When the complainant is entitled to free repair/replacement of the phone within the warranty period, asking him to buy a new handset clearly amounts to deficiency of service on the part of Xiaomi, the judges said," according to the report.
According to German market research firm Canalys, Xiaomi holds a market share of 27.4% in India's smartphone market, and shipped 8.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2017. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 was the best-selling device of 2017, followed by Redmi 4 and Samsung Galaxy J2.
With IANS inputs