Functions performed by consumer organizations and non-government organizations are as follows:
(1) Accelerating Consumer Awareness/Educating Consumers:
The first priority of a consumer organisation is to accelerate consumer awareness towards their rights. To accomplish this task following efforts are made:
(i) To publish brochures, journals and monographs.
(ii) To arrange conferences, seminars and workshops.
(iii) To educate consumers to help themselves.
(iv) To provide special education to women about consumerism.
(v) To encourage to follow desirable consumption standards.
(2) Collecting Data on Different Products and testing them:
These organisations collect samples of different products from time to time and test them. After that the results of the tests are declared to public. In this way, these organisations provide prior information to consumers about the authenticity of product and protect them. Apart from this, these organisations also work in conducting investigation/ research on consumer’s problems.
(3) Filing Suit on Behalf of Consumers:
Whenever a consumer fails to raise his voice of protest regarding his complaints, these consumers’ organisations come to his rescue and file a case in the court. By rendering this service to the consumers, the consumers get a feeling that they are not alone in their struggle. They also run voluntary complaint centres for the guidance of consumers.
(4) Organising Protests against Adulteration etc.:
The consumers’ organisations play a significant role in eliminating the evils of adulteration, hoarding, black- marketing, and under-weight selling. Whenever there is an unnecessary rise in the prices of certain things, the consumers’ organisation raise a voice of protest against it. Consumer organisations prepare films and cassettes related to adulteration in food products, ill effects of medicines and Acts related to consumer protection. Many a times exhibitions are arranged to bring awareness among the consumers against spurious and adulterated products. Nowadays consumer organisations are playing a major role in encouraging consumers to raise their voice against faulty and inferior products.
(5) Helping Educational Institutions:
These organisations tell the educational institutions the way to prepare courses of study keeping in view the interests of the consumers. They stress the fact that a special article on consumers’ interest should always be added to the courses on general study.
(6) Promoting Network of Consumer Associations:
Consumer organisations are trying to grow their numbers. They want to cover all the regions of the country so that consumers of all the regions are benefited by their services. Their effort is to form a federation at the apex level and then through the medium of the federation reach state and district level.
(7) Extending Support to Government:
Consumer organisations by informing the government agencies about adulteration, artificial scarcity, inferior quality products and other such evils help the government. This in turn helps the government to conduct proceedings in time.
In this way we find that the consumers’ organisations play a significant role in providing protection to the consumers.