Before Approaching the Court
If the company you have a dispute with is fair & honest and has a good complaint resolution system, you may not need to approach the Consumer Court at all. However, regardless of whether you get it resolved before going to court or have to file a case, this section will help you understand what you need in order to make a strong case.
Know your Rights
To be considered a consumer in the Consumer Redressal Forums, you must have paid for the product or service yourself. The main proof for this is the bill or invoice of the purchase in your name. If you do not have the bill or have lost it, you may not be able to make a claim so always opt for a pakka bill especially for large ticket items. For more information on which scenarios you can make a claim, read this document. The forums also require you to file a case within 2 years of the issue so ensure you do not miss out on the deadlines due to any delay.
The first step would be to assume the company will, in good faith, resolve the issue. Contact them via the support aliases mentioned on their website and if you do not get a favorable response there, escalate to the next level in the company (usually termed as a customer grievance officer or appellate). The goal here is to show that from your end you have made all the necessary attempts to contact the company to get the problem resolved.
Document every interaction with the company with the date of the interaction, source (phone, email etc), and what was discussed. This will be helpful not only when you escalate within the company but also when you file a case with the Consumer Redressal Forums.
While this may differ from case to case, at the very least you should have a file with:
The receipt or invoice
Installation receipt (if the appliance was installed by the company)
Date the issue occurred and a description of the issue (for eg. On March 10, the AC started showing E7 error)
Number of attempts to report the issue and the response from the company
Number of attempts to escalate the issue and response from the escalation teams
Number of days/months the product/service has not been in use
When you escalate an issue to the company, attach the full history of the case so they can see how long the issue has been unresolved and the number of attempts it has taken for you before reaching out to them. If they still choose to ignore your appeals, go to the next stage to file your case.
Know which Forum to Approach
The Consumer Redressal Forum you need to file your case in will be based on the amount you would like to claim.