Bengaluru: Holding a Bengaluru-based Hair Transplantation facility to be deficient in service, the Bangalore Urban II Additional District Consumer Court recently directed the facility to make a full refund of money to a diabetic patient, who could not get his hair transplantation done despite paying money.

The allegations against the facility, IGraft Global Hair Service were that even after taking Rs 35,000 from the complainant, it denied performing the surgery on the ground that his blood sugar levels were not within control. Further, when the complainant demanded a refund of the money, IGraft denied so citing company policy.

After considering the appeal, the Consumer Court held IGraft guilty and noted, “The complainant has proved the deficiency service of opposite party without providing any service the opposite party has withhold the complainant amount and has not refunded after many request by the complainant. Therefore, the opposite party has committed unfair trade practice and deficiency in service.”

Therefore, the consumer court in Bengaluru directed the facility to make a full refund of the money along with interest and also pay another Rs 20,000 as compensation, and Rs 10,000 as litigation expenses.

Also Read: Man dies after hair transplant, kin seeks criminal case against doctor alleging negligence

The complainant, a diabetic patient since 2014, got partial hair loss which was genetically heredictory induced. At such a context, the complainant came across the advertisement of IGraft Global Hair Service, which claimed Rs 1,20,000 for hair transplantation. Although the complainant did not proceed further considering the huge expense, the telecallers of IGraft Service repeatedly called the Complainant offering discounts for treatment and persuaded him to consult doctors at their clinic.

Following this, the complainant approached the facility back in December 2020 and consulted Dr. Juana who briefed about the procedure and reduced the price of treatment following negotiation. At that time, the complainant had allegedly duly informed about his diabetic condition to the doctor and filled up forms as well.

Allegedly, Dr. Juana referred to his 100% success rate of the treatment and explained how the treatment would change of the complainant and thereby positively impact his confidence generally in the society and particularly at his workplace. However, considering the huge cost, the complainant did not proceed further. At that time, the complainant had paid Rs 300 as consultation fees.

Although the complainant was not sure about investing so much of money for hair transplantation, the telecallers of IGraft allegedly continued offering discounts to the complainant. Reducing the amount of treatment to Rs 59,990, Dr. Juana allegedly pressurized the complainant to avail the offer by paying the booking amount of Rs 10,000.

After making the payment, the facility advised the complainant to undergo necessary tests for the procedure. When the medical test reports had been submitted to Dr. Juana on 03.01.2020, all the test results were allegedly normal except for the blood sugar level of the patient. Therefore, Dr. Juana allegedly instructed the Complainant to bring his blood sugar level under control.

Accordingly, the complainant approached his dietician and after taking an increased dosage of blood sugar tablets, the sugar level was under control. As per the report submitted by the Complainant on 07.01.2020, his blood sugar level read 143 mg before food and 169 mg after food. Following this, Dr. Suyesh asked the complainant to be present in their clinic with balance amount of Rs 50,000 for the procedure that was scheduled to take place on 09.01.2021. Thereafter, the complainant paid Rs 50,000 through Google Pay. However, due to technical error Rs 25,000 could not be transferred.

Again the operating surgeon of IGraft asked for two blood sugar test in their clinic and refused to carry out the procedure for the reason that the blood sugar level of the complainant was not under control.

Subsequently, the complainant claimed a refund of his money. However, the staff of IGraft made him wait till evening and therefore refused to refund citing the company policy.

This resulted in mental suffering of the complainant because IGraft was not entitled to retain the hard earned money of the complainant without providing any service. Besides, for the treatment, the Complainant had to spend for several medical test costing around Rs 6,000 and he also had to modify his diet apart from taking increased dosage of blood sugar tablets. However, when all of this turned out to be futile, the complainant approached Consumer Court and pointed out how he had to suffer mentally, physically and financially. Filing a complaint before the Commission, the complainant sought a refund of the amount spent (Rs 35,000), along with interest @12%. He also claimed Rs 65,000 as cost of damages for miscellaneous expenses and the costs of proceedings.

Denying any kind of deficiency of service on their part, IGraft stated that the complainant was suffering from hair loss because of diabetes and Dr. Juana had duly explained to the complainant that in order to conduct the procedure, the complainant’s blood sugar level had to be between the range of 120-130 mg/dL before food and 160 mg/dL after food. Unless and until the blood sugar level were not in that range, it was not medically conductive to perform the hair transplant surgery as IGraft believed that the safety of the complainant was of prime importance and even a single neglect could cause serious medical implications.

Accepting the fact that the complainant had paid Rs 10,000 for booking, IGraft further agreed that the hair transplantation surgery had not been conducted because of uncontrolled levels of blood sugar. They further submitted that as a goodwill gesture, IGraft provided the complainant with an open validity to perform his hair transplant surgery whenever his blood sugar levels were normal.

They altogether denied all averments and allegations made by the complainant and claimed them to be completely false and baseless and therefore demanded dismissal of the complaint.

After taking note of ths submission of both the parties, the consumer court also noted that the complainant contended that IGraft had intentionally collected the amount of Rs 35,000 before providing any services and when losing faith, the complainant asked for a refund, they denied it citing the terms and conditions of the company. However, the Complainant contended that IGraft has not produced any terms and conditions to prove this statement.

Therefore, opining IGraft to be deficient in service, the District Commission noted,

“The complainant has proved the deficiency service of opposite party without providing any service the opposite party has withhold the complainant amount and has not refunded after many request by the complainant. Therefore, the opposite party has committed unfair trade practice and deficiency in service.”

Accordingly, the Consumer Court ordered, “The complainant is directed to refund a sum of Rs 35,000/- (Rupees Thirty Five Thousand only) along with interest at 10% p.a. from the date of complaint till realization to the complainant.”

“The opposite party is also directed to refund a sum of Rs 20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand Only) towards compensation and Rs 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) towards cost of litigation expenses to the complainant,” added the consumer court.

“The opposite party shall comply with this order within 45 days from the date of this order,” further read the judgment.

To read the order, click on the link below.

Also Read: Mushrooming hair transplant centers: Court orders National Level Protocol for Doctors performing Hair Transplantation, Aesthetic Surgeries

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