A consumer court in Hyderabad, India has fined an insurance company for assigning a customer an insurance policy without his consent and forcing him to pay the premium.
Bajaj Finserv was ordered to pay a fine of INR50,000 (US$774) to compensate the complainant, local resident Ch Rambabu.
Rambabu told the Times of India
that he recently purchased a refrigerator from Bajaj Electronics, worth INR14,900. He made a down-payment of INR5,000 and would pay the rest via instalments.
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Shortly after paying the second monthly instalment, he received a call from the Mumbai branch of Bajaj Finserv, offering him a policy.
“I was explained the policy in Hindi and although I was not proficient in the language, I clearly informed them that I was not interested,” Rambabu told the court. “However, I received an SMS from the firm asking me to maintain a balance of INR2,985 in my bank account for payment towards the premium of the insurance policy.”
According to Rambabu, he received continuous harassment from the insurance firm’s employees, forcing him to pay the premium or else face legal action. He visited the firm’s local branch several times to clear things up but the issue remained unresolved.
In the company’s written defence, Raj Bhavan Road, branch manager of Bajaj Finserv, said that the policy was inadvertently taken out due to a technical glitch, and that the premium had been refunded to the complainant.
However, the court wasn’t satisfied with the defence and proceeded to impose the fine, noting that the company reversed the policy and refunded the money only after the current complaint was filed.
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