How to file a Consumer Complaint in Consumer Court?

Consumer Protection Act 1986 empowers consumers to file their consumer complaints by visiting the Consumer Court at the district, state or national level along with the documents required for filing the complaint. As the Act has provided a very simple procedure for filing the complaint so anyone can do this. Thus, you do not need any lawyer to file a consumer complaint in the consumer court. Lets see how you can file a complaint in consumer court in India in this step-by-step guide.

Eligibility of filing Consumer Complaint

You should be Consumer
First of all you should check whether you are eligible to file a consumer complaint in Consumer Court or not? The Consumer Protection Act says that only consumers are eligible to file consumer complaints. In layman’s language, anybody who buys a product or avails a service for a consideration (partial / full payment or a promise), either for his personal use or to earn his livelihood by means of self employment, is a consumer in the eyes of law and so he is eligible to file a complaint. It is not necessary that the consumer himself has to file the complaint. Even his wife, husband, relative or his legal representative can also file complaint on his behalf.

Be within Time Limit
Secondly, it is important that a consumer complaint should be filed within two years from the date on which cause of action arises.

Attach Supporting Documents
Thirdly, you should have convincing evidences, proofs, bill and invoice etc. in order to support your complaint. Without compelling evidences to prove injustice or inconvenience or loss on your part, your case is most likely to be rejected by the court.

Jurisdiction of Court
Finally, you need to ensure that your case falls within the jurisdiction of the particular District / State commission where you are planning to file the consumer complaint. Usually, you should file consumer complaint in the district where the goods or services were sold, or where the office of opposite party or his residence is located. Apart from this, you also need to ensure the correct jurisdiction based on your claim in the case :

a) If the amount of claim is less than Rs. 20 Lacs, then the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has got the jurisdiction to hear the complaint.

b) If the amount of claim is more than Rs. 20 Lacs but less than Rs. 1 Crore, then the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission will entertain the complaint.

c) If the amount of claim is more than Rs 1 Crore, then the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission will hear the complaint. However, a dis-satisfied consumer can directly approach National Commission or can appeal against decisions of the state commission.

Once you are satisfied that you fulfill all these above conditions then filing complaint is a straight forward three step process :

Step 1 : Draft Consumer Complaint

First of all you should collect name & addresses of all the opposite parties. You can easily get this information from the invoice or bill which you might have received from them. Your complaint should explain the problem which you have faced and clearly state the relief which you are seeking. It should also mention the compensation, damages, cost, refund or interest amount. However, if you are too lazy to draft your complaint yourself then you should file your complaint at and we will draft a professional complaint on your behalf.

Step 2 : Send Legal Notice

After you have drafted your complaint, it is now time to send a legal notice to the opposite party. Sending a legal notice to opposite party is mandatory before filing a formal consumer case. This is done in order to provide an opportunity to the opposite party to settle the case and to send a signal that the consumer is seriously planning to file a consumer case against the opposite party. You should normally send this legal notice to opposite party via registered post and wait for altleast 30 days for any response from the opposite party. If the opposite party refuses to resolve the complaint or simply neglects the notice, then you can approach the consumer court. Please note that if you have filed your consumer complaint at voxya then we will send legal notice on your behalf and you need not to do anything.

Step 3 : Approach Consumer Court

Filing a formal Consumer Complaint in Consumer Court does not require any special preparations. As previously stated, you do not require any lawyer for filing the case, so you can do this yourself. Just mention all the details of the case on a plain paper, attach annexures and submit it in four copies, plus additional copies for each opposite party. Looking too complex? Don’t worry, can prepare consumer case documents for you.

Please note that if you are filing an appeal in Consumer court then you need to provide Certified copy of the district forum order and have to deposit Rs.25,000 or 50% of the award or compensation amount, whichever is less.

Required Court Fees

You need to deposit the required court fees for entertaining your consumer case in different courts. The amount of court fees is determined on the basis of the total value of goods or services and the compensation claimed.

For District forums
Up to Rs.100,000 : Fees is Rs.100
Between Rs.100,000 – Rs.500,000 : Fees is Rs.200
Between Rs.500,000 -Rs.10,00,000 : Fees is Rs.400
Above Rs.10,00,000 and up to Rs.20,00,000 : Fees is Rs.500

For State forums
Above Rs.20,00,000 – Rs.50,00,000 : Fees is Rs.2,000
Above Rs.50,00,000 – Rs.100,00,000 : Fees is Rs.4,000

For National Commission
The fees is Rs.5,000

Once you are ready with your formal written complaint and have arranged the necessary fees then you just need to sign the documents and submit them in the consumer court personally. It usually takes only 2-3 hours in filing a complaint in the court.

Thats it! Hope you like the guide and will keep sending your valuable comments.


Handling consumer complaints on social media?

Your customers can leave negative comments on social media and that can harm your brand reputation quickly. But responding correctly to consumer complaints in social media can infact help you increase customer loyalty and retention. We have successfully resolved many complaints by using social network. But if you think that your complaint was not resolved by Voxya then read this article instead, to know why it was not resolved.

Anyways, here are the tips to correctly handle consumer complaints in social media :

1. Quickly Acknowledge Mistakes
When a customer posts a consumer complaint on social media, don’t take time to reply his complaint. Infact you need to reply quickly without wasting any time. Also, you need to acknowledge mistakes because if you have made a mistake, it’s best to accept it. But remember to be very positive while acknowledging mistakes. So both the things are important – being on time and acknowledging the mistake.

2. Take Conversation Offline
When customers are angry its better to talk offline through a telephone or email. You can ask customers to provide their email or phone so that you can talk to them personally. Infact this will help you to take conversation offline. If you are not doing this then other customers can join in the complaint on social media.

3. Give Personalized Response
While handling consumer complaints, you should build rapport by personalizing your response in social media. Usually, this can be done by including customer’s name and complaint details in the reply. A personalized reply will convey that you have actually gone through the complaint and really wants to help.

4. Show Transparency
Explain what you are going to do and how it is going help in resolving the consumer complaint. The resolution process should be very clear to the customers. Also, do not forget to provide a genuine escalation plan to resolve the issue in the minimum time frame.

5. Go the Extra Mile
When customers are not happy, you need to go the extra mile to help solve their problem. You can soothe emotions by offering replacements or rewards. This will demonstrate that the relation with that customer is more important than an one-off monetary loss.

6. Don’t Remove Complaints
You should not delete consumer complaints that are posted by angry customers in your social media. Infact deleting them will prompt them to post more negative comments to vent their frustrations. However, you can delete negative comments if the customer is more frustrated than the issue demands.

So, these were the simple tips to handle consumer complaints and re-gain customer trust in your social network. What are you waiting for? Go and start improving 🙂

Why we are unable to resolve all the consumer complaints?

You can find many open consumer complaints at our complaints page here. There are many closed consumer complaints as well on this page but it looks majority of the complaints posted at our platform are open. Often we receive questions from users that why there are so many open consumer complaints at Voxya and if we could not resolve these open complaints, whats the guarantee that we will resolve new consumer complaints? We are happy that you asked. This question is frequently asked, so we are writing this post to answer all such questions.

When we receive any fresh consumer complaint at Voxya, first we try to validate it by asking questions, collecting evidences, understanding resolution required and researching on the company. The actual efforts for resolving any consumer complaint starts at much later stage, when these all pre-requisites gets completed. This validation stage of resolving complaint, is the stage where most of the consumer complaints fails. Lets understand the factors which affects resolution of the consumer complaints :

1. Time-barred complaints
We can not resolve a consumer complaint if it is too old. Many times it happens that consumers are posting very old cases at Voxya. They are posting it just to vent their frustration, without any motive of getting resolution. We are unable to resolve such cases because we can not attract the attention of the company for obvious reasons.

2. Insufficient evidence
This is the most common reason for unable to resolve a consumer complaint. We have found that only few complaints have all the evidences to support their case. Though we ask for more evidences from consumers for each new complaint but most of the time, we don’t really get sufficient evidences from the consumers. In absence of evidences, we can not present your case to the companies.

3. Complaints against Individuals
If you are posting a complaint against any individual, it is most likely to fail. Because it is very difficult to trace individuals and get favorable resolution from them. Nobody knows them and they are mostly not public figures so they do not care about their reputation. In contrary to this, companies are sensitive to their customers and would go extra mile to resolve consumer complaints.

4. Un-responsive consumer
Simply posting your complaint at Voxya will not get you desired results. You need to pro-actively involved in every stage of the resolution process. Often we see that consumers are not responding to our queries and are unable to provide sufficient evidences on time, but still they want their consumer complaints to get resolved at Voxya. Please note that we can not resolve your complaint, if you are un-responsive.

5. Ambiguous resolution demands
Though we have been successful in resolving genuine consumer complaints at our platform but that does not mean that we can get any resolution for your dispute! We convey all your demands to companies. So, posting unreasonable resolution demands may switch off your company, thinking it to be unrealistic. Similarly, it is also important for you to provide what exactly you require as resolution for your problem. Sometimes, we are unable to understand what resolution you want for your complaint? So, please be very specific what you want the company to do in order to resolve your compalint.

6. Lack of Social Sharing
Last but not least, we have seen that very few users are sharing their posted complaints in the social network. We encourage this to put maximum pressure on the brands to resolve your consumer complaints quickly. If you are not sharing your complaints in social media then the companies will not get enough social pressure to resolve complaints. After all, this is the basic concept of our platform!

So guys, though we are putting 100% efforts to resolve your consumer complaints but your active participation is also required at every stage of the resolution process.

Lodge consumer complaint in consumer forum & consumer court

Felicitations to our development team! They have added one more module in our Voxya platform. As you all know that Voxya is a platform for resolving consumer complaints quickly, so we have extended the platform to include one more obvious user in the ecosystem, i.e. Lawyers. Now, advocates can register on our website and can provide assistance to needy consumers. They can lodge consumer complaint in consumer forum and consumer court on consumer’s behalf. Presently, there are no charges for consumers to post & resolve their consumer complaints online at Voxya. Similarly, consumer forum lawyers will be able to register free on the website.

If you are an advocate then you can register yourself at by going to any complaint or company page and then clicking “Help Consumers” link there. You will be presented with a form asking for personal & professional details. Please note that we are doing manual screening and approval for new lawyer accounts at our platform so be ready to provide additional details like Bar council number, name of the State Bar, name of the Bar Association, Bar Council ID etc.

Once you are registered as lawyer, you can start helping consumers to lodge consumer complaint in consumer forum. As a lawyer you can decide and charge fee from consumers directly for providing your legal services. Though no one has registered as lawyer yet (as on date 23rd Feb 2017) to lodge consumer complaint in various consumer forums but we hope that very soon we will start getting help from advocates. We are hoping that this addition in our platform will make the entire ecosystem robust, efficient and speedy.

If you have any questions regarding this, please do not forget to contact us here. Also please feel free to lodge your complaint online. We are here to resolve your complaints!