Consumer forum directs health academy to refund weight loss treatment fee, this is why

The Regional Consumer Dispute Resolution Board (Suburban) has directed Nutrition College Health Total to refund the cost of the weight loss treatment to a Borivali resident who has decided not to continue the scheme at the local branch.

The complainant changed his mind on the same day after paying the fee. A 5% deduction was requested from the full amount as the doctor had already examined her. The order was made ex parte because Health Total did not appear despite the subpoena.

The committee also directed the payment of Rs 5,000 for mental anguish and legal costs, with interest of 9 percent per annum if not refunded within 60 days.

The order, dated February 24, was passed by committee members Preethi Chamikutty and Shraddha Jalnapurkar following a complaint from Mayuri Thakur of Health Total approached in October 2019. Thakur had to take a prescription for a year to lose weight and paid Rs 55,200 for it. However, on the same day, she changed her mind and asked for a refund.

Thakur sent a text message and even went to the branch the next day, but Health Total refused to refund her. She followed up with customer service, but when she didn't get any respite, she lodged a complaint with the Consumer Council.

Charges against Health Total unchallenged

Because Health Total did not appear before the committee, an ex parte order was passed against her. During the hearing, the committee observed that Thakur was a consumer because she had paid for it and had also been examined by a doctor who advised her on how to lose weight and therefore was right to pay for the services. However, since Health Total did not appear, the allegations and documents filed against it were not challenged despite the opportunity.

It was unreasonable to keep the fees and not provide any services, the commission said, saying some of Health Total's services were flawed. It then instructs to deduct a fee of 5% from the total amount used for the diagnosis and to pay the remaining amount.

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