What is the Consumer Protection Act?
The Consumer Protection Act, implemented in 1986, gives easy and fast compensation to consumer grievances. It safeguards and encourages consumers to speak against insufficiency and flaws in goods and services. If traders and manufacturers practice any foul trade, this act protects their rights as a consumer. The main motivation of this forum is to bestow aid to both the parties and eliminate long lawsuits.
This Protection Act covers all goods and services of all public, private, or cooperative sectors, except those exempted by the central government. The act provides a platform for a consumer where they can file their complaint and the forum takes action against the concerned supplier and compensation is granted to the consumer for the hassle he/she has encountered.
Basic Rights of Consumer:
- Right to protect consumers against selling products and services that are life-risking.
- A consumer has a right to know about the quantity, quality, price of goods, standard to secure them from unethical trade practices.
- Right to get assured access, to a variety of services and goods at a competitive price.
- Right to be perceived and guaranteed that consumer interest will receive due attention at an appropriate forum.
- Right to receive compensation against illegal trade practice.
- Right to consumer education
How to File a Complaint?
- Within two years of purchasing the product or services, the complaint should be filled.
- In the complaint, the consumer should mention the details of the problem. This can be an exchange or replacement of the product, compensation for mental or physical torture. However, the declaration needs to be reasonable.
- All the relevant receipts, bills should be kept and attached to the complaint letter.
- A written complaint should be then sent to the consumer forum via email, registered post, fax or hand-delivered. Acknowledgement is important and should not be forgotten to receive.
- The complaint can be in any preferred language.
- The hiring of a lawyer not required.
- All the documents sent and received should be kept.
Importance of Consumer Protection – Consumer Point of View
- To shape Consumers- Indian customers are not well-organised and vendors exploit them easily.
- Impart Market Information- Most of the consumer is clueless and have no information about the product they are buying and this might cause them losses.
- Physical Safety- Some products are adulterated and can hamper consumer health. So, they need to be protected.
- Avert Monopoly- Irrespective of different restriction many organisation follows monopoly practice and consumers gets influenced and should be protected.
- Malpractices- Company pursues biased trade practices and unlawful trade practices and this protection plays a crucial role.
- Misleading advertisement- Many enterprises, intentionally trick consumers through incorrect or deceptive advertisements. This act will shield consumers from getting exploited.
- Education Consumers about their Basic Rights: Most consumers ignore or don’t know about their rights. The Consumer Protect Act educates them and secures their rights and interests.
The Rights of the Consumer
- Right to Safety- Before buying, a consumer can insist on the quality and guarantee of the goods. They should ideally purchase a certified product like ISI or AGMARK.
- Right to Choose- Consumer should have the right to choose from a variety of goods and in a competitive price
- Right to be informed- The buyers should be informed with all the necessary details of the product, make her/him act wise, and change the buying decision.
- Right to Consumer Education- Consumer should be aware of his/her rights and avoid exploitation. Ignorance can cost them more.
- Right to be heard- This means the consumer will get due attention to express their grievances at a suitable forum.
- Right to seek compensation- The defines that the consumer has the right to seek redress against unfair and inhuman practices or exploitation of consumer.
The Responsibilities of the Consumer
- Responsibility to be aware – A consumer has to be mindful of the safety and quality of products and services before purchasing.
- Responsibility to think independently– Consumer should be well concerned about what they want and need and therefore make independent choices.
- Responsibility to speak out- Buyer should be fearless to speak out their grievances and tell traders what they exactly want
- Responsibility to complain- It’s consumer responsibility to express and file a complaint about their dissatisfaction with goods or services in a sincere and fair manner.
- Responsibility to be an Ethical Consumer- They should be fair and not engage themselves with any deceptive practice.
The above mentioned is the concept, that is elucidated in detail about ‘Consumer Protection Act’ for the Commerce students. To know more, stay tuned to BYJU’S.