HOW TO FILE COMPLAINT AGAINST PACKERS AND MOVERS
Cheating and Fraud by Packers and Movers - Filing a Legal Complaint
What legal actions or other remedies does a customer have if he's been a victim of fraud or cheating by a Packers Movers or Relocation Company. There are host of redress mechanisms depending on the severity of the complaint, cheating or fraud. As a experienced packers movers Company with a long existence in Indian relocation space and having nationwide operations, we know the bottlenecks of moving process, the industry standards and process, the issues faced by the customers, possible resolutions, legal remedies and out-of-court settlements and consider our responsibility to help our customers get fleeced and cheated by packers movers companies.
We are here to advise and assist customers to find a resolutions for their complaints against these fraudulent movers packers and ensure customers do not suffer mental harassment, financial loss and emotional stress.
WHAT ARE PACKERS AND MOVERS & WHAT DO THEY DO.
With the growing economy and much improved education level, Human resource Mobility has increased more than ever before. People are moving for professional commitments, work, family, education and many different reasons. Relocating from one city to another or to a different country is never a easy task and requires extensive planning, help and services from multiple people and a bit of luck. One important part of relocating is packing and shifting of household goods and personal effects from one city to another.
The moving of Household & Personal goods is done in multiple steps. The goods have to be packed, the packing material has to be arranged, someone to load the goods on to the vehicle, trucks and vehicles to transport the goods. And all this involves an element of risk as some goods are brittle in nature, others are not so sturdy and strong to withstand long transportation distance and multiple loading & unloading. The goods are prone to theft, loss or pilferage too. Efficient and safe packing of the material by using proper packing material is also required. To solve all these problems and making the task easy for the people these days there are PACKERS AND MOVER companies which exist in the market. They are sometime called Relocation or Removal companies also.
MOST COMMON CHEATING BY PACKERS AND MOVERS COMPANIES
Packing and Relocation is a complex process and involves multiple variables. Some like good and secure packing of goods, Quality packing material, experienced and expert packing and loading staff, competent and skillful loading and unloading of goods, unpacking, compassionate and professional attitude, effective customer response and timely updates are responsibility and duty of the packing and moving company, other issues like transportation bottlenecks, delays in delivery due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, road risk during transportation and multiple such issues are beyond the control of the moving company and should be understood as part and parcel of the moving process. These risk, mainly the unforeseen and unavoidable risks, should be adequately insured and covered.
There are multiple ways the packers and movers companies fleece, scam or cheat their customers. Most of the relocation companies in Bangalore resorting to unethical and unprofessional cheating are low cost, fly by night moving companies and customers should do well to avoid them completely irrespective the too-good-to-be-true deal offered by them. The most common ways Movers and packers companies in Bangalore cheat their customers are:
Cheating by Increasing the cost after Packing, Loading or Transportation:
The most common packers movers cheating scam is increasing the prices after packing or loading of goods. In this case, movers and packers company will offer you a low and tempting estimate in comparison with other packers and movers companies. Many customers fall for the lower prices. So where's the catch. While the quoted prices are low and competitive, there are hidden charges which are either not mentioned in the quote or hidden between the lines. Charges like toll charges, service charges, entry charges, Octroi charges etc are some of the extra charges which these cheap packers and movers charge. At the end of the day, you will end up paying more than you got an estimate from a professional packers and movers company for a far lower grade services.
Detains or holds your Household Goods:
The typical modus operandi of unprofessional packers movers company to cheat an unassuming customer is holding your Household Goods with a threat of not delivering the same unless extra amount than the already agreed amount is paid. Since the customer has already reached the destination city, maybe putting up at some hotel and waiting for his household and personal goods to arrive so that he can re-start his home again. At such a critical time, these rogue packers movers companies blackmail the customer by holding their goods and fleecing money out of their helpless customers. Most of the times the customer is new to the city and does not know anyone who can help them to resolve the issue. The customer may not even know the local language which restrict his ability to approach the authorities with a complaint.
Loss, Damage or Pilferage of Household Goods:
The most common customer complaint regarding packers movers cheating is about non-compensation or even acknowledgement about loss, pilferage or damage to household and personal effects during packing, transportation, loading / unloading & delivery of goods. While most packers movers company suggest insurance coverage to cover these damages but not all losses are not covered by insurance. Some of these damages may be due to packers and movers company negligence while transportation, handling etc. Some unprofessional moving company employee also remove or pilferage valuables and other goods from packed boxes.
Illegal and unregistered Relocation Companies:
There are many companies which operate without any govt registration and that it makes it very difficult to track them. There have been lot of complaints where the customers where goods are not delivered and there are no whereabouts of the packers movers companies in Bangalore. It becomes really difficult to track the company and your goods when the company doesn't a government registration.
There are two kind of Insurance fraud by packers movers companies on their customers. Some of these fraud moving companies will offer a blanket coverage of goods without any value declaration assuring that all the goods are covered for all kind of damages. This is done with the sole purpose of extracting as much money from the customer as possible. The other insurance fraud is that Household goods packers movers assure their customer that the goods will be insured through a third party General Insurance company and in case of any damages or loss of material, the customer can claim the compensation directly from the Insurance company directly. But no such Insurance policy is taken and the moving company keeps the insurance money with themselves. They will give different excuses to the customer for non-availability of Insurance Policy from General Insurance Company. Taking these cheating companies to consumer court, filing FIR or Complaints and taking legal action needs customer to be aware of his rights and responsibilities.
Delayed Delivery of Household Goods:
Delayed Delivery of Household goods is another major cheating complaint and registering legal complaint for delayed delivery of goods is the most difficult since most packers movers companies do not give written delivery dates and also that there are force-majuere and other reasons contributing to delayed delivery. This cannot be labelled entirely as packers movers cheating since the delay could be intentional or completely beyond their control and its also difficult to prove negligence on the part of packers and movers company for delayed delivery.
Extra Delivery or Handling Charges:
Another cheating modus operandi by fraud packers moves companies is charging extra for delivery on some or the other pretext. The excuses for charging extra delivery charging and cheating customers could be that the customer hadn't confirmed the delivery location at the time of booking the goods, change of delivery location etc. The moving companies may also charge you extra for unloading the goods if you havent confirmed the floor while booking the goods or availability of Lift to carry Household goods.
There may be certain other kinds frauds, scams and cheating by movers packers companies which aren't that common. You can always write to us and we shall advise you on resolution of such complaints.
Identifying Red flags and signs of Scamster Moving Companies
Some early red flags identifications to warn you about Fraud packers movers companies:
>> No written and full explained quote with all the charges and services clearly mentioned.
>> Offering estimates without physical survey of Goods.
>> Significantly lower prices than other similar movers packers companies and sharp cost deescalation during negotiations.
>> Full payment upfront. But even the most professional movers ask for payment upfront. Try to negotiate better payment terms.
>> No proper documentation like Invoices, CN, Inventory.
FILING COMPLAINTS AGAINST PACKERS MOVERS COMPANIES IN INDIA
Any packers movers complaint should be escalated step by step and a legal complaint or FiR should only be filed after all other complaint resolution mechanism have been exhausted. Its important that all the relevant documentation and discussion should be preserved for its evidentiary value, in case a FIR or cheating case in consumer court is to be filed later.
DISCUSSION WITH PACKERS MOVERS COMPANY
The first step in packers movers complaint resolution is talking to the moving company, inform them about the complaint and demand mutual resolution of the complaint. This is one the simplest and most reasonable way to end the dispute. Mutual settlement of packers movers complaints helps in saving time, effort and money for both the parties. This also works better for the customers since he has limited time in the new city and efforts required for legal resolutions are quite demanding.
FILING FIR OR POLICE COMPLAINT AGAINST MOVERS & PACKERS
If the packers and movers company is not responding to your complaints and hasn't offered a mutually agreeable solution, the customer should file a complaint with the local police. Before filing a formal FIR with the police to start the legal action against the Packers movers Company, a written informal complaint should be given to the nearest police station requesting their help in mutual resolution of the complaint. The police are inadvertently able to resolve such complaints at local police station level by calling both the parties, investigating the credibility of the complaint filed by customers, checking the documents and other evidence presented and directing both parties to settle the complaint as per their instructions and guidance. The police station does not usually file an FIR without preliminary investigation of the claims and prime facie evidence of Fraud, deceit or cheating.
HOW TO FILE A FIR (FIRST INFORMATION REPORT) IN THE POLICE STATION AGAINST PACKERS MOVERS
If the packers movers company in Bangalore does not respond to the local police station or unwilling to offer a mutually agreeable & reasonable solution to your complaint, you can ask the police to convert the complaint into a formal FIR (First Information report). The FIR can be filed under different IPC Sections:
>> Sec 403 IPC : Dishonest misappropriation of Property
>> Sec 407 IPC : Criminal breach of Trust by the Carrier
>> Sec 421 IPC : Fraudulent removal or concealment of property etc to prevent distribution against creditors.
>> Sec 491 IPC : Criminal breach of Trust or Service.
or other relevant sections of IPC or CrPC as deemed reasonable by the authorities.
FIR is more relevant if the packers movers company has vanished or untraceable or has declined to deliver the goods or If the Household Goods or Car has been completely damaged due to road accident or some other reason and the movers packers company has declined to pay the compensation even when the customer has fully insured the goods for damages, loss and breakage of goods.
STEPS TO FILE COMPLAINT IN CONSUMER COURTS AGAINST PACKERS AND MOVERS
A aggrieved customer can file a case in Consumer Court along with filing an FIR with Police against the cheating by Packers and Movers in India. Consumer Protection Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2019 replacing the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The bill has defined customer rights including the following:
Protection against marketing goods and products which are harmful to life.
Information regarding quality, quantity, purity, standard and price of goods and services.
Access to different products and services at competitive costs.
Reimbursement against unfair and fraudulent trade practices.
Consumer Protection Act 1986 empowers consumers to file their consumer complaint against cheating by packers and movers companies by visiting the Consumer court at the district, state or national level along with the documents required for filing the complaint. The procedure for filing a consumer complaint in very simple and it can be done both offline by visiting the concerned office or online. There are many websites which help you file cheating complaints against packers and movers in consumer courts.
ELIGIBILITY FOR FILING A COMPLAINT IN CONSUMER COURT
YOU SHOULD BE A CONSUMER (OF A PRODUCT OR SERVICE)
As per Consumer Protection Act, only consumers are eligible to file complaints against fraud / cheating / scam in a Consumer court. Anyone who buys a product or avails a service for a consideration, either partial or full or promise of payment, either for his personal use or to earn his livelihood by mean of self employment is a Consumer. A consumer or his representative can file a complaint with Consumer Courts.
TIME LIMITS FOR FILING A COMPLAINT
Consumer complaints should be filed within 2 years form the date on which cause of action arises. As a packers movers customer, you should file the complaint within 2 years of the date of delivery note.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENT FOR FILING A COMPLAINT
Complete and correct documents are most important part of filing a complaint against moving and packers companies. Document required for registering a complaint in Consumer court (or a Civil court)
Movers packing Company Quotation.
Consignment note or Bill of Lading.
Invoice / Bill.
Packing or Inventory List.
Delivery acknowledgment copy.
Insurance Document, if provided by Company.
Proof of Payment. Bank Statement or Money Receipt provided by Moving Company.
Relevant Correspondence with the moving company.
JURISDICTION OF CONSUMER COURT FOR FILING A COMPLAINT
The Consumer complaint should be filed as per the jurisdiction of the particular District / State Commission. The consumer should file his complaint to a consumer forum which has both territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction to decide the matter.
Territorial Jurisdiction Complaint should be instituted with a district forum (section 11), state commission (section 17) or national commission (section 21) within the local limits of whose jurisdiction,
a) The opposite party or in case of more than one opposite parties, one of the opposite parties resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.
b) The cause of action arose.
Consumer Court Jurisdiction based on your claim value:
a) District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum - Upto Rs. 20 Lacs
b) State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission - Rs. 20 L to Rs. 1 Crore.
c) National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission - Claim more than Rs. 1 Crore.
The award pronounced by national commission can be challenged in Supreme Court.
APPLICABLE FEES FOR FILING CONSUMER COURT COMPLAINTS
The amount of Court fee applicable for filing a complaint against Household goods packers movers in Bangalore is determined on the basis of total value of goods or services and compensation claimed. It is very important that the customer should determine a reasonable and realistic compensation claim which shall make your case more credible.
For District Consumer Courts
Upto Rs 1,00,000 : Fees Rs. 100
From Rs. 100,001 to Rs. 500,000 : Fees is Rs. 200
From Rs. 500,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 : Fees is Rs. 400
From Rs. 10,00,001 to Rs. 20,00,000 : Fees is Rs. 500
For State Consumer Court
Between Rs. 20,00,000 - Rs. 50,00,000 : Fees is Rs. 2,000
Between Rs. 50,00,001 - Rs. 100,00,000 : Fees is Rs. 4,000
For National Consumer Redressal Commission
Fees Applicable is Rs. 5,000
PROCESS FOR FILING A COMPLAINT IN CONSUMER COURT
Consumer Court Complaint Format
STEP 1 : DRAFTING A CONSUMER COMPLAINT
The complaint in consumer court can be made on simple paper, in a simple language. Stamp or Judicial paper is not required. The complaint should be drafted stating all the facts necessary for establishing the cause of action.
Some very things needs to be mentioned in complaint by the consumer:
a) Name and complete details of complainant and the accused packers and movers company. A packers movers company should be as mentioned the Invoice or Bill of Lading.
b) Date and time of purchase of goods or services availed and amount paid for them.
c) Complete details of the deficiency in Service like late delivery, damage to goods, non-delivery etc.
d) Particulars of relief and compensation sought in the complaint. The compensation demanded should be reasonable, practical and provable.
e) Particulars of the services availed.
f) Copies of all those documents can be attached which support the contention of consumer and are necessary to establish the cause of action like copy of bills of Lading, Invoice, details of correspondence of compensation demanded from Packers movers company and details of further discussions and conversation.
g) The compensation claimed should be specified in the complaint and along with it consumer can also ask for refunds, damages, litigation expenditure etc. But these amounts should be detailed under different heads and in accordance with pecuniary jurisdiction of respective consumer forums.
h) The statement of jurisdiction should be made in the complaint as to how the case falls within the jurisdiction of consumer forum.
A verification affidavit should be affixed with the complaint stating that all the facts and claims made in the complaint are true and correct.
At the end of complaint the signature should be put. The consumer may argue his case on his own or through his authorized representative. The complaint made with district forum or state commission needs to be filed in three sets and when made with national commission needs to be filed in four sets with additional sets for each opposite party.
STEP 2 : SENDING LEGAL NOTICE TO PACKERS AND MOVERS COMPANY
It is mandatory to send a legal notice to the accused packers movers company before filing a formal cheating complaint in Consumer Forum. The legal notice is served on the opposite party to give them last opportunity to settle the complaint mutually and also to inform the Moving packers Company in Bangalore that the customer is approaching the consumer courts for a legal recourse to settle the cheating complaint against the moving company. The legal notice should be compulsorily sent through Registered post and wait for alteast 30 days for a response from the accused house goods packers movers company before filing the fraud \ cheating complaint. Alternatively, you can mail and WhatsApp the legal notice too. This will make your case stronger during the legal process since it shows your seriousness of settling the complaint. If the Packing Movers Company in Bangalore refuses to resolve the complaint or simply ignores or neglects the legal notice, then you can approach the consumer court with your complaint.
STEP 3 : APPROACHING THE CONSUMER COURTS WITH YOUR COMPLAINTS.
Filing a formal complaint in the Consumer Court does not require any special preparation. No lawyer or legal representative is required to represent the consumer. The application written as per the earlier explained format along with relevant supporting documents and required fees can be filed in the jurisdiction consumer courts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about Filing Packers Movers Complaints
Q. The Packers Movers Company is asking for extra money / payment for delivering my Household goods.
Ans : Ask the packers movers to send a WhatsApp or email about the reason for asking for extra Delivery Charges or payments. If the payment asked is not mentioned in the Quotation, immediately seek Local Police Help. Keep all the moving documents ready along with payment details. It recommended to solve the issues mutually by discussion and negotiation before going legal options.
Q. Who can file a legal case in Consumer Court.
Ans : As per Consumer Protection Act 2019 a Consumer is :
Anyone who buys goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment. It also include any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods with the approval of owner of goods but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purposes or
Hires or avails or their representative of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised or under any system of deferred payment but does not include a person who avails of such services for commercial purposes.
Q. How much GST is applicable on Packers Movers Services.
Ans : Packers and Movers services for Household Goods is covered under 5% slab without Input credit to the Transporter or 12% with input credit. A moving company can charges 5% or 12% GST on the packing and moving services. Loading, unloading and other services part of moving contracts shall also be charged under the same bracket.
Q. Is Insurance of Household Goods compulsory and what does it include.
Ans : There is no law which makes transit insurance of Household Goods compulsory. Its completely the customer prerogative to get Transit insurance to cover damages, loss or breakages. In case the goods are not insured, the transporter shall not be responsible for any damages while transportation since there are always transit risks which are beyond transporters control.
Q. How much compensation can I claim for the damages from Packers and Movers Companies.
Ans : The compensation for breakages or damages should be as per depreciated or declared value of goods, whichever is lower. It is very difficult to claim and get compensation for late delivery of goods.