Mumbai: A district consumer commission in an order has directed a dermatology clinic to refund amount charged with interest for facial and facelift treatment to a Mahim resident after she developed swelling, boils, marks and sacs that disfigured her face and led to shock, trauma, anxiety and loss of confidence besides having to stay away from work.
Deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on Clinic's part
After the first round of treatment, the clinic had told the patient that during the second round the problems would not arise as her skin would be immune to treatment. However, the same things recurred after the second round too and she had to take costly drugs. The clinic refused to refund the amount stating she can take another package instead. Finding deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, the commission also directed the clinic to give Rs 32,500 towards mental agony suffered and litigation cost to the complainant. If the refund is not given within 30 days, it will have to be given with 12 percent interest instead of six percent.
The order dated January 6 (uploaded recently) was passed by S S Mhatre, president and M P Kasar, member of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Central Mumbai. on a complaint by Dadar based Consumer Welfare Association (through its secretary) and Mahim resident, Priscilla Pereira against Bandra based Clinic Dermatech Pvt. Ltd.
Severe reactions to treatment
Pereira had availed services of Clinic and paid Rs 75,000 for facial treatment like PRP for facelift and rejuvenation and Derma Roller that was recommended by an in-house dermatologist of the clinic. Treatment was administered on May 1, 2019 but it brought severe reactions of swelling, redness boils, black marks / sacs which disfigured her face. She suffered shock, trauma, anxiety, absence from work which restricted activities and took over a month to heal with administration of potent costly antibiotic drugs recommended by the dermatologist.
After subsidence of the problem, the dermatologist persuaded the Pereira to sit for a second sitting of Derma Roller in June of the same year assuring that adverse reaction would not recur since facial skin had become immune to the treatment. However, after undergoing a second sitting, the complainant was shocked to find the same reaction as earlier. She then filed a complaint stating deficiency in service and seeking refund.
As the Clinic remained absent and failed to file a written statement within the stipulated time period, an ex-parte order was passed. During the hearing, Pereira submitted before the Commission that a hand held roller instrument covered in micro needles was rolled over the complainants face with needles piercing the skin which caused minor bruising, slight bleeding and pain. And that contrary to the assurances, there were severe reactions with boils on cheeks, redness and swelling all over the treated area of the face. When she was prescribed costly tables, creams, ointments and antidotes which did not give immediate relief but took three weeks to subside. On the second sitting when the same thing happened, she said she suffered loss of confidence.
When she asked for a refund, she was told that there is a no refund policy and that she could avail another package. The commission observed all allegations had gone unchallenged and after two sittings when there was adverse reaction, it was not reasonable of the doctor "to ask complainant to undergo next sessions for same treatment." It then directed compensation citing deficiency in service and unfair trade practice.
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