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April 30, 2024

Swiggy’s Misstep: Why a Failed Ice Cream Delivery Cost the Company Over Rs 5,000

In a recent ruling by a Bengaluru consumer court, Swiggy, the food delivery giant, found itself on the hook for a failed ice cream delivery, costing the company more than Rs 5,000. The court ordered Swiggy to pay compensation and litigation costs to a customer who did not receive their ice cream order placed through the app in 2023.

On January 26, 2023, the customer ordered a ‘Nutty Death by Chocolate’ ice cream from ‘Cream Stone Ice Cream’ via the Swiggy app, paying Rs 187 online. However, despite payment, the app falsely marked the order as ‘delivered’, leaving the customer empty-handed.

Despite multiple complaints to Swiggy’s customer care, the company refused to issue a refund, prompting the customer to escalate the matter to the consumer forum.

Swiggy defended itself by claiming it was merely a middleman between customers and restaurants, protected under the Information Technology Act. They alleged that the mistake was made by the delivery agent, and they couldn’t verify the delivery of every order marked ‘delivered’ on the app.

However, the consumer court saw through Swiggy’s defense. The bench found Swiggy guilty of poor service and unfair practices, emphasizing that the company couldn’t escape responsibility for service quality or goods sold, despite its intermediary status. The court clarified that the exemption under the Information Technology Act was limited to the dissemination of information and not applicable to the sale of goods and services.

As a result, the court ruled in favor of the customer, ordering Swiggy to refund the original amount of Rs 187 and pay Rs 3,000 as compensation, along with Rs 2,000 as litigation costs.

The ruling serves as a reminder to delivery platforms like Swiggy that they must ensure the quality of service and goods sold through their platforms. It highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in e-commerce transactions, irrespective of intermediary status.

This case also underscores the significance of consumer rights and the role of consumer forums in protecting them. Consumers have the right to seek redressal for deficient services and unfair trade practices, as demonstrated by the successful outcome for the ice cream customer in this instance.

While Swiggy’s mishap may seem trivial, it carries significant financial consequences, serving as a cautionary tale for companies operating in the digital marketplace. It emphasizes the need for diligence in managing delivery operations and addressing customer complaints promptly to avoid costly legal battles and damage to reputation.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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