Mumbai: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mumbai Suburban, has directed a firm running English classes to pay Rs 10,000 towards mental agony to a student who suffered for not being able to learn English.
In its order, the Commission observed that it’s well-known that knowledge of English language and the edge that it may offer in employment cannot be denied, “therefore to play on such an emotion and launching a course, and then faltering in the offering, in the way as described in the complaint, is a standard case of unfair trade practice, which needs to be curbed”. It further gave Rs5,000 towards litigation costs.
Speakwell Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
The order dated Jan 20 was passed by Commission Members Preethi Chamikutty and Shraddha Jalanapurkar, on a complaint of Princess Street resident Rajesh Kumar Binnani against M/s Speakwell Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. Mr Binani had joined a four-month course at their Charni Road branch by paying Rs4,700 from June 2009.
During the course, Mr Binani observed that there were no regular teachers to teach basics; in fact, they would have to refer to a dictionary for spellings. The one-hour lecture didn’t have most teachers reporting on time, they would leave before time and that the class was a farce to extract money without imparting any knowledge.
Speakwell refuted all allegations and contended that a total of 127 lectures were held with 14 students and the course was completed, while Mr Binani attended only 56 lectures. It said that since their establishment, 250 have passed the course. The complainant intended to disturb the class and instigated a boycott, and out of 14 students three had approached the Commission.
The Commission said that as two more complainants have come forward, it could be that people were dissatisfied and hence did not attend the classes and questioned why would fresh courses be offered without fees if lectures and teachers were up to the mark? It said that since more than 50% of classes were attended, full refund cannot be given but ‘unfair trade practice’ and ‘misleading’ of customers needed to be curbed.
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