Rau’s IAS Study Circle, Seekers Education penalised for misleading ads

The CCPA, the consumer protection regulator, has imposed sanctions on Rau’s IAS Study Circle and Seekers Education for publishing misleading advertisements, according to a statement from the CCPA on Monday.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) also stated that the number of canceled bookings and pending refund amount due to the Covid-19 pandemic on three travel portals Yatra, HappyEasyGo and Easymytrip had decreased after CCPA took action against them.

The Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) has issued an order against Tekshiv Systems for selling pressure cookers under the Quba brand on e-commerce platforms without the quality mark, the statement said, adding that the company has been directed to pay a fine of Rs 1,00,000 for sub-selling it. Standard products for consumers.

The authority said that the IAS study department in Rau has been directed to pay a fine of Rs 1,00,000 for posting a misleading advertisement. According to the statement, Seekers Education has been instructed to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 for publishing a misleading advertisement.

The statement said the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) has taken action against online travel portals Yatra, HappyEasyGo and Easymytrip for not reimbursing consumers for the booking amount for canceled reservations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said that, in accordance with the action initiated by the California Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the number of canceled reservations and pending refunds due to the COVID-19 pandemic decreased significantly from 22,974 to 10,705 in Yatra.

Central Consumer Protection Authority, headed by Chief Commissioner Nidhi Kher said, “From Rs 14.69 crore outstanding for refund on 13.08.2022, the outstanding amount for refund has decreased to Rs 7.46 crore”.

CCPA has also taken action against HappyEasyGo and Easymytrip in connection with refunds of outstanding reservations.

There are about 3,722 reservations pending for refund through HappyEasyGo since July 2021. As per the August 5, 2022 request, the company was directed to provide the exact details of the reservation affected due to the closure, the number of reservations that were refunded, the number of reservations still held as well as the reasons the CCPA said.

The company did not respond despite repeated reminders and later on March 23, the matter was referred to the District Collector, Gurugram for proper investigation.

“Actions have been taken against Easymytrip. From 379 pending reservations on 01.07.2022, the number of pending reservations has decreased to 39 as on 30.05.2023,” CCPA said.

Besides travel portals, the CCPA has issued orders against several companies that indulge in consumer rights abuse, misleading advertising, and unfair business practices.

In the case of the IAS Study Circle in Rau, CCPA said the company has been directed to pay a fine of Rs 1,00,000 for publishing misleading advertisements.

On examination, it was found that out of 143 students, 111 belonged to the Interview Guidance Program (IGP). It is noted by the CCPA that unlike other courses, the IGP course is not a full-time course. The IGP course is only to be started after the aspirant has passed the Prelims and the UPSC-CSE Mains Exam.

“Hence, a claim that an aspirant is a ‘successful student’ on the RAU’s IAS study circuit, in the absence of the necessary disclosure in relation to the student’s chosen course, constitutes a misleading advertisement under the law,” said the CCPA.

Therefore, claiming that hundreds of students of Rau’s IAS Study Circle have taken the UPSC exam this year too can undoubtedly mislead the consumers as to the actual role played by the other party in the successful passing of the exam by the aspirants.

Regarding Seekers Education, the CCPA said “…by claiming a 99.99% success rate, in the absence of any evidence, misleads consumers in general and the target section, i.e. aspirants preparing for such exams in particular”,

The company has been directed to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 for publishing a misleading advertisement.

The Authority has issued an order against ‘Seekers Education’ for publishing an advertisement saying ‘Be it online or offline, we are the best’ and ‘99.99% in JEE 2021’ in the Trichy edition of Dinamalar newspaper on 9 May 2021.

It also issued an order against Tekshiv Systems Pvt Ltd for selling poor quality domestic pressure cookers under the ‘Quba’ brand on e-commerce platforms. The CCPA said it violated mandatory standards as set out in the Home Pressure Cooker (Quality Control) Order of 2020.

The company was directed to recall 101 units of pressure cookers it sold, reimburse buyers for the recalled pressure cooker prices and file a compliance report within 45 days.

CCPA said the company was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 1,00,000 for selling domestic pressure cookers to consumers in violation of the mandatory standards set out in the Quality Control Order (QCO).

During the visit, it was revealed that the company had a 5-liter household pressure cooker “without the standard tag”. Two pieces of pressure cooker were purchased as proof material in addition to the invoice and challan.

The manufacture date on the pressure cooker without the standard mark i.e. 01.10.2021 was clearly after the date the QCO came into force i.e. 01.02.2021. The company has sold 19 units on Amazon, 67 units on Flipkart, 8 units on Shopclose and 7 units on Paytm Mall, bringing the total to 101 units.

“The company recognized its approval of electronic platforms to recall domestic pressure cookers,” the authority said, adding that violating the standards imposed by quality control bodies not only endangers public safety, but can also make consumers vulnerable to serious injuries, including loss of life.

She added that this is a serious cause for concern especially in the case of household pressure cookers, which are household goods found in most homes in the immediate vicinity of family members.

(Only the title and image for this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard team; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a shared feed.)