Consumer Rights under the Consumer Protection Act, India!
Although businessman is aware of his social responsibilities even then we come across many cases of consumer exploitation.
That is why government of India provided following rights to all the consumers under the Consumer Protection Act:
Right to Safety
Means right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services, which are hazardous to life and property. The purchased goods and services availed of should not only meet their immediate needs, but also fulfill long term interests. Before purchasing, consumers should insist on the quality of the products as well as on the guarantee of the products and services. They should preferably purchase quality marked products such as ISI, AGMARK, etc
Right to be Informed
Means right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices. Consumer should insist on getting all the information about the product or service before making a choice or a decision. This will enable him to act wisely and responsibly and also enable him to desist from falling prey to high pressure selling techniques.
Right to Choose
Means right to be assured, wherever possible of access to variety of goods and services at competitive price. In case of monopolies, it means right to be assured of satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. It also includes right to basic goods and services. This is because unrestricted right of the minority to choose can mean a denial for the majority of its fair share. This right can be better exercised in a competitive market where a variety of goods are available at competitive prices
Right to be Heard or Right to Representation
Means that consumer’s interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. It also includes right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumer’s welfare. The Consumers should form non-political and non-commercial consumer organizations which can be given representation in various committees formed by the Government and other bodies in matters relating to consumers
Right to Seek Redressal
Means right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. It also includes right to fair settlement of the genuine grievances of the consumer. Consumers must make complaint for their genuine grievances.Many a times their complaint may be of small value but its impact on the society as a whole may be very large. They can also take the help of consumer organisations in seeking redressal of their grievances.
Right to Consumer Education
Means the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to be an informed consumer throughout life.Ignorance of consumers, particularly of rural consumers, is mainly responsible for their exploitation. They should know their rights and must exercise them. Only then real consumer protection can be achieved with success.
Duties of consumers in India
Along with the Rights of consumer here are the some responsibilities of the consumer which should be followed..
- Illiteracy and Ignorance: Consumers in India are mostly illiterate and ignorant. They do not understand their rights. So its our duty to know about our rights and to use it in the right place.
- Unorganized Consumers: In India consumers are widely dispersed and are not united. They are at the mercy of businessmen. On the other hand, producers and traders are organized and powerful.
- Spurious Goods: There is increasing supply of duplicate products. It is very difficult for an ordinary consumer to distinguish between a genuine product and its imitation. It is necessary to protect consumers from such exploitation by ensuring compliance with prescribed norms of quality and safety. Always check the norms of the product.
- False Advertising: Some businessmen give misleading information about quality, safety and utility of products. Consumers are misled by false advertisement. To stop this, we the consumer have to know about the product.
- Malpractices of Businessmen: Only consumer can avoid and stop the mal practices of the businessmen by opposing them. So this is one of the duty of consume
Where consumers can file complaints:
- National Consumer Helpline : 1800-11-4000
- Direct email to Consumer Complaints Official Email Id firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a suggestion using this Email Form.
- Download details of Telephone Directory of Department of Consumer Services.
- Complete FAQ on Consumer ACT
Complaints are generally categorized into three section.
- Where the value of goods and services involved is less than Rs. 20 Lakhs in value, you will have to file the complaint in the District Forum constituted in the specified districts of a State.
- Where the value of goods and services involved is more than Rs. 20 Lakhs in value but does not exceed Rs 1 crore you will have to file the complaint with the State Commission ( Address of Consumer Court in India ) constituted in the capital cities of the different states
- Where the value of goods and services involved is more than 1 crore in value then you can file a complaint with the National Commission which has been constituted only in New Delhi.
So start using your consumer rights and get benefit from it!!