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Consumer Court Fines Food Delivery App FreshMenu Rs.10K for Serving A Vegetarian A Chicken Dish

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A consumer court in Bengaluru has ordered the FreshMenu, a go-to neighbourhood food delivery app, to pay its customer a compensation of Rs 10,000 for the negligence and refund Rs 210 that the customer spent on the dish, which was supposed to be vegetarian.

According to Times of India report -- "On the afternoon of April 23, 2018,Vishnu Byataranyapura Nagendra, a young resident of AECS Layout, RMV 2nd Stage, was at work when he placed an order on FreshMenu for a Caprese Quinoa but eventually when Nagendra opened it and took the first bite he realize it was chicken instead. Moreover, the order was delivered in a box marked 'vegetarian'.Nagendra then called the food portal’s customer-care and narrated his unpleasant experience. The customer-care representative then apologized and informed that a refund will be issued within a few working days. But the lunch episode had left Nagendra, a vegetarian by his religious denomination, angry.

After serving two legal notices on FreshMenu, Nagendra approached the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Shantinagar on October 1, 2018 and lodged a case against Foodvista India Pvt Ltd, operators of FreshMenu in Bengaluru. 

Nagendra argued his case through an advocate, while the opposite party’s lawyers termed the allegations false and vexatious. They claimed the customer had ordered a non-vegetarian dish over phone and he didn’t have any substantial proof to show that a wrong dish was delivered to him.

Examining the case for 28 months, udges of the consumer court pointed to an email correspondence between Nagendra and an executive of Fresh-Menu, in which the latter apologised for the mistake of delivering a chicken dish instead of a vegetarian one. The email is a clear evidence of deficiency in service, where a vegetarian was served a non-vegetarian dish, the judges noted.

On February 1, 2021, the judges ruled that FreshMenu is liable to pay Rs 5,000 to Vishnu Byataranyapura Nagendra, apart from Rs 5,000 towards his court expenses. The court also ordered the online food startup to refund Rs 210 towards the wrong dish delivered to him . 

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