Rights and Responsibilities of Consumers: Responsibility of Self-Help, Proof of Transactions and Proper Claim (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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There is a well-known saying that ′ there cannot be rights without responsibilities. Having examined the consumer rights and the purpose served by them, it is necessary to consider whether consumers should also be responsible enough to be entitled to exercise their rights. For instance, to be able to exercise their right to be heard, consumers should avail of the opportunities to know and keep informed about consumer problems. To exercise their right to seek redressal of complaints, consumers must take all precautions to choose the right goods at the right price and learn how to use the products to prevent injury or loss. Specifically, the responsibilities of consumers may include the followings:

Responsibilities for Consumers

Responsibility of Self-Help

It is always desirable that a consumer should not depend on the seller for information and choice as far as possible. As a consumer, you are expected to act in a responsible manner to protect yourself from being deceived. An informed consumer can always take care of his/her interest more than anyone else. Also, it is always better to be forewarned and forearmed rather than getting remedies after suffering a loss or injury.

Proof of Transactions

The second responsibility of every consumer is that the proof of purchase and documents relating to purchase of durable goods should be invariably obtained and preserved. For example, it is important to get a cash memo on purchase of goods You should remember that in case you have to make any complaint about defects in goods, the proof of purchase will enable you to establish your claim for repair or replacement of the goods. Similarly, durable consumer goods like TV, refrigerator, etc. carry warranty/guarantee cards issued by the dealers. The cards entitle you to get the service for repairs and replacement of parts, free of cost during a certain period after purchase.

Proper Claim

Another responsibility that consumers are expected to bear in mind is that while making complaints and claiming compensation for loss or injury, they should not make unreasonably higher claims. Very often, consumers have to exercise their right to seek redressal in a court. There have been cases in which consumers claimed huge compensation for no apparent reason. This is regarded as an irresponsible act which should be avoided.

Proper Use of Product/Services

Some consumers, especially during the guarantee period, make rough use of the product, thinking that it will be replaced during the guarantee period. This is not fair on their part. They should always use the products properly. Besides the above responsibilities, consumers should be conscious of some other responsibilities. They should stick to the agreement made with manufacturers, traders and service providers. They should make timely payment in case of credit purchases. They should not tamper with the media of services, like electric and water meters, bus and train seats, etc. They should remember that they can exercise their rights only when they are willing to fulfil their responsibilities.

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