Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Consumer rights
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Consumer rights

4,109

Published on

Published in: Business
0 Comments
7 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
4,109
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
650
Comments
0
Likes
7
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Consumer Rights Vinod Kumar Socialscience4u.blogspot.com
  • 2. This Chapter proposes to discuss the issue of Consumer Rights within the context of the ways markets operate in our country. There are may aspects of unequal situations in a market and poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence there is a need to sensitize learners and encourage them to participate in the consumer movement. Its an effort to enable students to understand that the awareness of being a well-informed consumer arose out of consumer movement and active participation of people through their struggles over a longer period. This chapter also provides details of a few organisations helping consumers in different ways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of the consumer movement in India.
  • 3. Need for Rules and Regulations to Protect the Consumers : Due to the expansion of the business activities and globalisation there are variety of goods available in the market and producers are spending a lot of money to influence the consumers which makes it difficult for the consumers to make a correct choice. So there is a need for consumer awareness. Producers do not provide sufficient information to the consumers and sometime even harass them. Consumer awareness is also must because at times greedy traders begin to play with the health of the people by indulging in adulteration of edible oils, milk, butter, ghee etc. After 1991, the Government of India has withdrawn itself from most of the productivity and allowed the private sector to take over. So it was felt that there is a greater need to enforce discipline and regulations in the market and to make the consumers aware not only of the commercial aspects of sale and purchase of goods but also the health and security aspects. There is a need for rules and regulations because most of goods and services are being produced by private sector with profit as a main motive.
  • 4. Forms of Consumer exploitation : Under measurement: Sellers generally provide under measured goods and charge for the actual quantity. Sub-standard goods: Sell inferior quality goods in order to make more profits. High prices: Sellers dealing in basic necessities generally charge high prices depending upon the demand & supply. Adulteration & impurity: Means mixing or substituting undesirable materials in food materials that causes heavy loses to the consumers, both monetary & health. False Claims : Sellers make false claim about the durability & quality of their products mainly through advertisements. Hoarding & blackmarketing: To make more profit sellers indulge in creating artificial scarcity through hoarding & black marketing. Unsatisfactory after sale service : Producers & suppliers do not provide the satisfactory after sale services despite the necessary payments. Rough Behavior & undue conditions : Consumers are often harassed and undue conditions are put before them to get their requirement fulfilled Forms of Consumer exploitation
  • 5. Factors causing exploitation of consumers : Limited information: For a correct decision and choice about a product a consumer needs full information about the price, quality, durability, and composition etc. of the goods. In the absence of full and correct information he/she will generally be exploited. Limited supply: When the supply goes less in comparison to demand, the prices will go high and may also encourage the tendency of hoarding, leading to consumer exploitation. Limited competition: When there is limited competition among the producers, the consumer is left with no choice and the producers have an upper hand in deciding the price and supply of goods. Low literacy: In a country like India, an illiterate consumer can easily be exploited and it also effects the consumer consciousness.
  • 6. Consumer Movement in India The Consumer Movement arose out because of - Unfair practices by sellers, no legal system available to consumers to protect them from exploitation. Sellers and Producers not taking the responsibility of ensuring, quality of goods and services. Rampant food shortages, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil gave birth to the Consumer Movement in an organised form in the 1960s. In the 1970s Consumer Groups were formed. Forced Private as well as Public firms to correct business conduct which may be unfair and against the interests of consumers. Consumer Protection Act 1986 (COPRA) was enacted.
  • 7. Consumer Rights Safety is Everyone’s Right : While using many goods and services, we as consumers, have the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and delivery of services that are hazardous to life and property. Producers need to strictly follow the required safety rules and regulations. Pressure cookers have a safety valve which, if it is defective, can cause a serious accident. The manufactures of the safety valve have to ensure high quality. Public or government action is also required to see that this quality is maintained. Information about Goods and Services : Consumers have the right to be informed about the particulars of goods and services that they purchase. Consumers can then complain and ask for compensation or replacement if the product proves to be defective in any manner. Similarly, one can protest and complain if someone sells a good at more than the printed price on the packet. This is indicated by ‘MRP’ - maximum retail price. In fact consumers can bargain with the seller to sell the product at less than the MRP. In October 2005, the Government of India enacted a law, popularly known as RTI (Right to Information) Act, which ensures its citizens all the information about the functions of government departments.
  • 8. When Choice is Denied : Any consumer who receives a service in whatever capacity, regardless of age, gender and nature of service, has the right to choose whether to continue to receive the service. Consumer can choose the products from the given alternatives. In case of a single supplier, consumer must be assured of quality and price of the good. Right to seek Redressal: Consumers have the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices and exploitation. If any damage is done to a consumer, she has the right to get compensation depending on the degree of damage. Right to Represent COPRA has enabled the consumers to have the right to represent in the consumer courts. The enactment of COPRA has led to the setting up of separate departments of Consumer Affairs in central and state governments.
  • 9. Where should Consumers go to get Justice? The consumer movement in India has led to the formation of various organisations locally known as consumer forums or consumer protection councils. They guide consumers on how to file cases in the consumer court. On many occasions, they also represent individual consumers in the consumer courts. These voluntary organisations also receive financial support from the government for creating awareness among the people. Under COPRA, a three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at the district, state and national levels was set up for redressal of consumer disputes. The district level court deals with the cases involving claims upto Rs 20 lakhs, the state level courts between Rs 20 lakhs and Rs 1 crore and the national level court deals with cases involving claims exceeding Rs 1 crore. If a case is dismissed in district level court, the consumer can also appeal in state and then in National level courts.
  • 10. Learning to Become Well-Informed Consumers When we as consumers become conscious of our rights, while purchasing various goods and services, we will be able to discriminate and make informed choices. This calls for acquiring the knowledge and skill to become a well-informed consumer. The enactment of COPRA has led to the setting up of separate departments of Consumer Affairs in central and state governments which releases posters and other information's about legal process which people cause. Duties of the Consumers : Consumer must check the quality and quantity, he/she should insist for the warranty card and should always buy products marked as ISI, AGMARK. Consumer should ask for cash memo for the items purchased. Consumer should form consumer awareness organisations. Consumer must make complaint for their genuine grievances, they should take the help of consumer organisation in seeking redressal of their grievances. Consumer must know their rights and must exercise them.
  • 11. Standardisation of Products : To protect the consumers from lack of quality and varying standards of goods, institutes have been created for setting up the standard for making and producing various products and enforcing them. In India, this has been achieved through Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Agmark. While BIS caters to the industrial and consumer good, the Agmark is meant for the agricultural products. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) earlier known as the Indian standards Institution (ISI), whose headquarter is located in New Delhi, has the responsibility of laying down the standards for industrial and consumer goods on a scientific basis and certifying the goods that meet the standards and the prescribed quality. If we buy a commodity with ISI mark on the product, it I an assurance of conformity to the specifications. Conformity is ensured by regular surveillance of the licensee's performance by surprise inspection and testing of samples, drawn both from the factory and the market. Agmark is implemented under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act, 1937, a amended in 1986. This scheme is run by the Directorate of Marketing and Intelligence (DMI) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Products , such as honey, masala and spices, carry such marks.
  • 12. At the International level also, an institution called International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), located in Geneva, serves to provide such a common reference standard. It is a non-governmental organisation established in 1947. ISO’s work results in international agreements, which are published as International Standards. For setting international food standards, there is a similar body called Codex Alimentarius Commission. This commission was created in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and located in Rome, Italy.
  • 13. Taking the Consumer Movement Forward : India has been observing 24 December as the National Consumers’ Day. It was on this day that the Indian Parliament enacted the Consumer Protection Act in 1986. India is one of the countries that have exclusive courts for consumer redressal. The Consumer movement in India has made some progress in terms of numbers of organised groups and their activities. There are today more than 700 consumer groups in the country of which only about 20-25 are well organised and recognised for their work.
  • 14. Taking the Consumer Movement Forward : The consumer redressal process is becoming cumbersome, expensive and time consuming. Many a times, consumers are required to engage lawyers. These cases require time for filing and attending the court proceeding etc. In most purchases cash memos are not issued hence evidence is not easy to gather. Moreover most purchases in the market are small retail sales. The existing laws also are not very clear on the issue of compensation to consumers creates by defective products. After 20 years of the enactment of COPRA, consumer awareness in India is spreading but slowly. Besides this, the enforcement of laws that protect workers, especially in the unorganised sectors is weak . Similarly, rules and regulations for working of markets are often not followed. Nevertheless, there is a scope for consumers to realise their role and importance. It is often said that consumer movements can be effective only with the consumers’ active involvement. It requires a voluntary effort and struggle involving the participation of one and all.

×