How To Lodge A Complaint In Consumer Forum?

Peoples, throughout the world, buy goods and services every day. They either buy such goods and services through the market or through any online websites.  As soon as we buy anything, we become Consumers. According to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, any person who buys goods or services for his own use for consideration is a Consumer. According to this Act, only Consumers can file complaints in the Consumer Forums. Consumers can also be called as buyer, purchaser or customer. This article tends to expound the ways for the customer, when some problem or difficulty arises, when he buys any good, or avails and service, that how, where and when he can file a complaint.

Firstly, we have to understand what the Consumer Forum is. Consumer Forum is that government organization where one can file complaints against seller or supplier. It is also called Consumer Courts. Consumer Forums come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution. According to this ministry, 90,000 consumers have file complaints in Consumer Forums at the end of the year 2016. Out of this 92% complaints are solved at the district level. Complaints can be filed against shopkeeper, company, dealer and service providers. Complaints can be filed by victim consumers, any registered firm, co-operative society, central or state governments and legal heirs of consumer (if a consumer has died). Fee for filing complaints in Consumer Forums is very nominal. The pecuniary jurisdictions of courts as

  • District Forum: If the value of goods or services is 20 lakh rupees.
  • State Commission: If the value of goods or services is between 20 lakh and 1 crore rupees.
  • National Commission: If the value of goods or services is more than 1 crore.

How to Lodge a Complaint in Consumer Forum?

First of all, there is no need for a lawyer to file a complaint in consumer forums. The consumer must send a legal notice to the opposite party and give them a reasonable time to respond. If the opposite party gives no response, then the only consumer should file a complaint. There are four ways to file complaints in Consumer Forum. While filing the complaint the consumer has to make a petition and mention his name, age and address along with company description (i.e. name of both parties). He has to mention the entire facts, grounds, jurisdiction and prayer (what he wants from the court).

  1. Offline Medium: Consumer has to write an application and submit it to the Consumer Forum.
  2. Phone Call: One can register a complaint in the Consumer Forum by making a phone call on number 1800 11 4000 or 14404 (Timing- All days except national holidays from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM). They will hear the complaint and gives a Complaint Number to the consumer and says to send a notice to the seller using this consumer number.
  3. SMS: One can register a complaint in the Consumer Forum by sending an SMS on number 8130009809. They will call back after receiving the message to register the complaint. A consumer can also get the Complaint Number from here.
  4. Online Medium: Consumer has to visit the website in order to file a complaint in Consumer Forum. Consumers are required to fill the Consumer Registration Form and verify it using their E-mail address. After this, a consumer has to sign-in into the Consumer Login Section. After signing-in, a consumer has to follow certain terms and conditions. It gives a list of Subjects/Topics which cannot be treated as consumer grievances.
  • RTI Matters
  • Court related/ Subjudice matters
  • Grievances against foreign governments
  • Religious Matters

The consumer has to agree that his grievance does not fall under above listed categories. So, the consumer should complain about his real problem only. After this consumer has to fill the Grievance Registration Form and submit the form. As soon as, the consumer clicks on the Submit button, the complaint is successfully submitted.

To file the complaint in the consumer Forum, Bill or Invoice of the goods and services is the mandatory thing. The consumer has to file the application and has to take three or four copies of the application. One copy will be given to the complainant and opposite party and one copy will remain in the office. Then, notice will be given to the opposite party to come in court or send their representatives. If no person arrives at the court, then the decision is delivered ex-parte in the favour of the consumer. Even after the ex-parte decision opposite party did not comply with the decision of the forum, the consumer can file the “Execution Case”.

The limitation period to file the case in Consumer Forum is two years from the date when the defect in goods and services arises. Consumer Forum is very liberal in these types of complaints, they generally entertain the complaint even after the passing of the limitation period. The territorial jurisdiction of filing the complaint is either where the head office of the seller company is situated or where the cause of action arises. If the consumer is unhappy with the order issued by the District Forum then he can file appeal petition before the State Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of Order. If he is still not satisfied, he can file appeal petition before the National Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of Order.


During the 1980s or 1990s, our economy is at the stage of liberalization then foreign companies or foreign investments are coming to India. The problem of deficiency in goods and services provided to the consumers arises. Ultimately, there was a need for a law which protects the consumers. Finally, in 1986 the Consumer Protection Act was passed which is still in effect. Various Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions were set up at the district, state and national level to redress consumer complaints. It is very easy for a consumer to file a complaint in these forums because no lawyer is needed to file the complaint and the complaint can be filed by both offline and online mediums. Complaints can even be filed through a phone call or an SMS. There is also the provision for appeal. This article aims to build awareness of consumer issues.

This article is authored by Chetan Kumar, Second-Year, B.A. LL.B (Hons.) student at Central University of South Bihar.

Also Read – How to File a Case in Consumer Court?

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