Economics: Consumer Awareness: Filling a Complaint, Consumer Rights and Responsibility

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Filing a Complaint

For filing a complaint, the aggrieved consumer must always keep the cash memo, receipt or bill of the product he/she has purchased. The format to file a complaint is located on the booklet provided by consumer protection Act. Then the person must select the proper category under which he/she is filing the complaint. These categories are - unfair trade practice, deficiency of service etc. Then the nature of the complaint needs to be explained in simple words. The consumer should be clear about the fault and what he/ she wants as a remedy i.e. a replacement or a refund or compensation in case of a service. The documents like the receipt or other evidences must be attached along with the complaint. There has to be three copies of the entire set; one for the complainant, one for the other party against whom the complaint has been made and one for the consumer court. Some nominal filing fees have to be paid to the court by the complainant in the form of a demand draft. It should be noted that a complaint should be filed within 2 years of the date on which the defect occurs.

Role of NGO’S

NGO’s means a Non-Government Organisation working towards the protection of consumer rights. If the consumer is not aware or unable to file a complaint, then he/she can take help of NGO’s to represent themselves in the consumer court. They can lodge complaints with some NGO’s. Ngo’s not only help in filing a case but also, they provide logistic, manpower and other supports and educate consumers about their rights and responsibilities through various programs. One can also approach consumer help organization called Jago Grahak Jago.

Consumer Rights

The purchase of goods and services entitles consumer to have certain rights. They are as follows.

Consumer Rights

Consumer Rights

  • Right to information: Means right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods so as to protect consumer against unfair trade practices.

  • Right to choose: Right to choose regarding what to buy and what not to buy. No one can force you to buy any product without your will.

  • Right to safety: This right provides protection against the marketing of goods that are unsafe to the health and life.

  • Right to be heard: The right empowers the Indian consumers to fearlessly voice their complaints against the defective products and the erring producer/company/seller.

  • Right to seek redressal: Means right to seek redressal unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.

  • Right to consumer education: It means to have access to programs and information that help consumers make better decisions before and after purchase.

Consumers’ Responsibility

Consumer education is not always about rights of consumers, but also about responsibilities, which are as follows:

  • Dealing with Advertisements: Consumers need to be continuous of deceptive advertisements. Children need to be guided properly.

  • Buying quality certified products: Consumers should choose products which are certified by recognized agencies as safe to consume and good in quality like ISI Mark and AGMARK. Medicines should be purchased after checking expiry dates.

  • Demanding bill of the purchase: Every consumer must demand the bill after purchase of goods and services as it is a proof of transaction can be used to file complaint if found any defect in the product.

  • Being a green consumer: A consumer must consume those products which do not cause damage to our environment i.e., eco-friendly products.

  • Consumers as managers: Government act as the managers for delivery of services but they are blamed for inefficient and erratic delivery of such services. So, consumers can unite to provide such services.

Major Concerns of Consumer Movement in India

For successful consumer movements people need to be educated. Two major concerns of consumer movement are as follows:

  • Consumer awareness in rural India: there is a need for spreading consumer awareness in the rural area more seriously because they are generally ignorant, and illiterate can be easily exploited by the sellers and manufacturers.

  • Timely delivery of justice: Justice delayed is justice denied. The consumer courts are quasi-judicial bodies that need to follow a simple, summary procedure for quick disposal of complaints. The government amended CPA in 2003 to eliminate such delays.

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