Nowadays people have mastered the art of availing services. Once when due to the shortage of service providers, people were bound to do all their work by themselves.
However, due to scientific development and continuous progress in human life and society, the situation has changed now.
You can avail every type of service now only by paying the price. You can get everything through your phone today. From getting your personal finance to getting delivery of delicious food at your doorstep.
In India, a legal notice for deficiency in service can be sent by a consumer to the service provider or Company who has provided poor quality of service.
Sending deficiency in service legal notice is the most primary step where the service provider gets an opportunity to compensate the consumer. However, if the Service provider or Company doesn’t Comply with the legal notice for lack of service then the consumer can sue the Company.
With the help of a good advocate, you can draft and send a legal notice for deficiency in service. You can find one easily through MyAdvo.
Let's elaborate on the concept of service providers first!
The culture of availing almost all type of services was started and developed in western countries. The same has gradually come to India with the help of an open and global economy.
Now the Indians also getting used to availing services and the industry of service providers are increasing day by day.
There are several dishonest companies and service providers in the market. They are making money by cheating people:
either in name of providing service
or serving inferior quality services at high prices
Previously in India, these dishonest people could easily go away unpunished. They'd put the consumers at distress and in a helpless situation, but now the situation has changed.
Implementation of strict and effective laws protects and safeguards the rights of the consumers. To educate yourselves on the various rights of consumers, you can consult a lawyer specialising in consumer law.
Table of Contents:
What do you mean by Deficiency in Service?
In general meaning, deficiency means insufficiency or shortage. However, the best and most reliable definition of deficiency in service has been given in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Section 2(1) (g) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 States that,“ “deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.
Reading the above definition by breaking it into elements, we get —
“deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance.
The Act has also defined the term in its Section 2(1) (o) —
Section 2(1)(o) of the Act states that “service” means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or loading or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.
Important elements in sending a legal notice for deficiency in service
If a consumer wants to send a legal notice for deficiency in service then before doing so he/she must look for some specific elements in the service.
Those essential elements are as follows:
The service should be available for the potential users also:
According to the Definition of Consumer Protection Act, a service should not only available to the actual users, but also to those capable of using it.
The service should not be free:
If you have rendered a free service and there was some deficiency in that service then you cannot send a legal notice for deficiency in service. For Example, if any person renders medical service from a charitable dispensary then he/she cannot sue that charitable dispensary for any deficiency in service.
The service should not be under the contract of personal service :
a contract of personal service means a contract between two individual to avail service in a private capacity. For Example, when a servant enters into employment to provide service to his/her master.
It is pertinent to mention here that in normal course if it is found out that the service providers or the company have failed to provide proper service in accordance with the above-mentioned clauses then it’s a valid reason to serve a legal notice for deficiency in service.
But if the service provider fails to provide service due to unavoidable circumstances then those will not be treated as valid clauses on service of legal notice.
At the time of providing service, there can be unnatural circumstances which are beyond the control of the service provider. If those circumstances prevent the person from rendering service of the desired quality or manner then such a person cannot be sued for the same.
Who can send a legal notice for deficiency in service?
According to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 a person who comes under the definition of Consumer can send the legal notice for deficiency in service.
Section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act says that consumer means any person who—
(i) buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or
(ii) hires or avails of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person
However, it is pertinent to mention here that if the person purchases the product or service for any commercial purpose instead of his/her personal use then he/she will not be treated as a consumer.
Relevant Statutes and Court dealing with Deficiency in Service
The legal notice for deficiency in service is mainly governed by the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
A person can opt for a remedy against deficiency in service by filing a Consumer Case and claim Compensation before the Consumer Forum.
A consumer can file his case before any of these below mentioned Consumer Forum depending on the amount of the claim for compensation.
District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum
State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission
National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC)
If the total claim of compensation i.e. the cost of material damage, compensation for mental agony, and sufferings and litigation cost;
is within Rs. 20 lakh, then you need to file the case before the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum.
is more than Rs. 20 lakh, but less than Rupees One Crore, then you need to file the case before the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.
exceeds Rupees One Crore, then you need to file the case before NCDRC.
Most Read: Legal Notice for Consumer Case
How should you draft a legal notice for deficiency in service?
According to the Law, if you don’t get a desirous result after sending legal notice draft for deficiency in service; then, you can file a complaint case. And appear before the court in person even without an advocate.
However one can still deal with the complex technicality of a lawsuit practically, so as to get desirous relief.
Good lawyers who are prudent and up to date in the subject matter of Consumer Protection Act and have experiences in handling Consumer cases can help you with the format of legal notice for deficiency in service.
Any sample legal notice for deficiency in service contains these essential points:
Name, description, and Office or place of residence of the person or persons to whom the Notice is sent.
Name, description, and place of residence of the sender of the notice.
Details of the cause of action.
The relief claimed by the sender of the notice.
The detailed description of the Purchase of service which raised the cause of action.
Mention the amount of claim for compensation.
The specific time frame within which the relief needs to be provided.