Yes, you read it right! It is not mandatory for you to pay an extra fee for the paper bag you get when you shop from those retail stores. This was the case wherein a complaint was filed against the famous Bata Shoe Store when a customer protested against paying ₹3 for a paper bag.
In an eye-opening incident, a resident of Chandigarh Dinesh Prasad Raturi shopped for a pair of shoes from the store and ended up paying ₹402 which included the price of the bag. He then sought the refund for the money forcibly charged for the paper bag. On denying the refund by the Store, a complaint was filed with the Chandigarh Consumer Forum by Raturi. The Forum ruled in favour of Raturi thus slamming a fine of ₹9000 on the Bata store. It said that it is the duty of the store to provide free bags to the customers who purchase their products and compelling them to pay extra is clearly deficiency in services.
In yet another incident, Lifestyle retail store was also asked to pay a fine of ₹13,000 when it forcibly charged ₹10 to a customer for a bag. She stated that she had bought some clothes from the store and was taken away by surprise by seeing a charge for the carry bag in her bill.
You as consumers have the power to make things right. Charging an extra amount for carrying bags by stores are considered to be ‘unfair trade practice’ and you can absolutely deny paying this extra cost because it is the store’s duty to provide carry bags for free to make shopping convenient. While some stores give the bags for free, some still charge a few amounts. In 2011, one of the rules by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change state that “No (plastic) carry bags shall be made available free of cost by retailers to consumers.” The motive of this rule was to discourage the use of plastic (carry) bags but the total scenario changed otherwise and now retail outlets charge on bags made of even paper or cloth though this charge should come under the brand’s overhead expenses.
If you feel it’s not right, raise your voice next time when you too are charged for the carry bag while shopping.
Also, add your experience in the comment section below, Maybe your experience can be an Inspiration to someone.
Happy Shopping Guys..!!