Becg 3 6
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Becg 3 6 Becg 3 6 Presentation Transcript

  • The Ethics of Consumer Protection
  • Customer’s information needs
    The information needs of customers are:
    • Detailed legal records with reference to products and services, such as product liability, injury and unsubstantiated death claims over all jurisdictions for five years; penalties inflicted and citations for regulatory non-compliance, detailing each incident and corresponding penalty, settlement effected and such related information.
  • 3
    Customer’s information needs (Contd.)
    • Risks of injury from normal usage of product/service;
    • Noise, odour and other nuisances/problems associated with use of the product/service;
    • Design for recycling;
    • Biodegradability of products and packaging;
    • Unusual life cycle costs;
  • Customer’s information needs (Contd.)
    • Warnings, with appropriate detail;
    • Content, additives and treatments of food and medicines, sufficient to allow reasonably-informed consumers to make rational market decisions and to protect themselves and their families; and
    • Hidden characteristics
  • Consumer and Consumer Protection
    A consumer is any person who, or firm, or association which
    • buys or hires (fully/partly paid for) any goods or service.
    • the purpose of purchase of goods should not be for resale or any commercial purpose (except self-employment).
    • the services availed does not include free service or services under a personal contract.
    Consumer Protection refers to the steps necessary to be taken or measures required to be accepted to protect consumers from business malpractices
  • Parties to Consumer Protection
    Consumers: should know their rights and exercise them
    Businessmen: producers, distributors, dealers, wholesalers as well as retailers should pay due attention to consumer rights in their own interest, by ensuring supply of quality goods and services at reasonable prices
    Government: the government should enforce various laws and amend existing laws to protect consumer interests
  • History and growth of consumer protection
    • 1920's: efforts in US to reduce the exaggerated claims of advertisers of goods and services and demands made for impartial testing of goods.
    • 1930's: growth of consumer cooperatives, the first federal consumer agency, Food and Drug Administration, demands for labelling of products and the introduction of USDA stamps.
  • History and growth of consumer protection (Contd.)
    • 1940's: 150 local consumer councils across the United States eventually drew together to form the National Association of Consumers.
    • 1950's: The American Council of Consumer Interests was established by 750 members from universities, schools and consumer research organizations.
  • Ralph Nader’s Contribution to Consumer Protection
    • He coined the term “consumer advocate.”
    • He called for the accountability of carmakers
    • He worked towards improved environment, healthcare, insurance, pension and disability rights.
    • He is the founder of numerous non-profit organizations
  • Ralph Nader’s Contribution to Consumer Protection (Contd.)
    • He educated America's consumers
    • He started the U.S. Public Interest Group (PIRG)
    • He founded the Center for Study of Responsive Law, Center for Auto Safety, the Disability Rights Center, the Pension Rights Center, the Project for Corporate Responsibility, and the Clean Water Action Project.
  • Consumer Duties and Responsibilities
    Substantiate the Complaint
    Listen to Seller
    Cooperate with the Seller if Needed
    Avoid Inconvenience to Others
    Do not Personalize Issues
    Not lend self to others
  • Consumer Duties and Responsibilities (Contd.)
    Be Well Informed
    Understand the Grievances Redressal process
    Avoid Impulsive Buying
    Buy Goods from Authorized Agents
  • How are Indian consumers exploited?
    Exorbitant Prices of Products and Services
    Deceptive Selling Practices
    False and Misleading Advertisements
    Defective Quality, Higher Prices
    Sale of Hazardous Products to Ignorant Consumers
    Suppression of Material Information
  • How are Indian consumers exploited? (Contd.)
    False Product Differentiation
    Producers’/Sellers’ Collusion
    Supply of Adulterated and Substandard Products
    Cheating Consumers by Giving Lesser Quantity for the Price
    Dishonoured Guarantees and Warranties
    Poor Redressal of Customers’ Genuine Grievances
  • How are Indian consumers exploited? (Contd.)
    Creating a Scare out of Scarcity
    Making Consumer buy Unwanted Goods
    Misleading Representation on Utility of Products
    Manipulating Conditions of Delivery
    Customers pay for Numerous Intermediaries
    Fall in Prices Never Passed to Consumers
  • How are Indian consumers exploited? (Contd.)
    Buying unaffordable goods
    Advertisement cost
    Counterfeits: These constitute a substantial quantity of goods on store shelves
    Hoarding and Blackmarketing
    Gifts for products/services
  • Legal protection to consumers
    A number of laws have been passed by the Government of India over the years to protect the interest of consumers.
    Agricultural Products (Grading and Marketing) Act, 1937
    Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951
    Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
    Essential Commodities Act, 1955
  • Legal protection to consumers (Contd.)
    The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1956
    Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969
    Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Essential Supplies Act, 1980
    Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986
    Consumer Protection Act, 1986
    The Consumer Protection Act (COPRA), 1986, conferred a legal right to the individual consumer to seek legal redress or recover costs and damages for injury or loans suffered by him/her as a result of faulty, defective goods and services, bought or secured for valuable consideration.
  • Rights of consumers under COPRA
    The SIX RIGHTS of the consumer as enunciated under Section 6 of the COPRA are:
    The Right to Safety
    The Right to be Informed
    The Right to Choose
    The Right to be Heard
    The Right to Seek Redressal
    The Right to Consumer Education
  • Redressal agencies under COPRA
    Redressal agencies for settlement of consumer disputes:
    • A Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum known as the District Forum has been established by the State Government in each district of the State by notification.
    • A Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission known as the State Commission has been established in each state by the State Government by notification.
    • A National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission known as the National Commission established by the Centre by notification.
    The main changes introduced by the Amendment Act are as follows:
    • The District Consumer Redressal Forums can now deal with complaints involving compensation amount upto Rs. 2 million
    • For the State Commission the limit is Rs. 10 million
    • For the National Commission, the limit is more than Rs. 10 million.
    • Setting up of benches and increase in the number of members in the National and State Commissions.
    • A sitting judge of the High Court is to preside over selection committee when the president of the State Commission is absent
    • In absence of the incumbent president of the District Forum, State Commission or National Commission, the senior member to act as president of the respective bodies.
    • Minimum qualifications prescribed for members of all consumer courts
    • For admission of complaints, issue of notices and disposal of complaints a specific time frame has been prescribed
    • Exclusion of services used for commercial purposes from the purview of consumer courts
    • The court can award punitive damages.
    • Any affected party to deposit 50 percent of the amount awarded to the consumer if appealed against the order of the Forum
    • If any person fails to pay compensation, the consumer court can order recovery in the same manner as arrears of land revenue.
    • Consumer protection councils- both as the centre and states
    • District forums
    • State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission
    • National commission
    Consumer Associations or Councils
    Consumer Co-operatives
    Co-ordination at the National Level
    National Awards
    Publicity measures
    Customer Service Department of RBI