Presentation on theme: "Asserting your Rights as a Consumer Presentation By Anil Sharma, Hon. Secretary, CHETNA."— Presentation transcript:
Asserting your Rights as a Consumer Presentation By Anil Sharma, Hon. Secretary, CHETNA
WHO IS A CONSUMER ? one who purchases goods or services for his/her use. The user of such goods or services with the permission of the buyer is also a consumer. but does not include rendering of any service free of cost or under a contract of personal service. covers all the sectors whether private, public or cooperative. Two Exceptions: : Goods obtained for resale : Goods purchased for commercial purpose
What is ‘Service”? Illustrative and not exhaustive list: –Airlines –Banking Services –Courier Services –Electricity –Housing Construction Services –Insurance –Medical Services –Motor Vehicle repairs –Postal Services –Railways –Telephone Services –Education –Legal services
Rights of a Consumer - Right to Safety - Right to be informed - Right to Choose, - Right to be heard - Right to be Redressal, - Right to Consumer Education
Consumer Grievances If the goods purchased suffer from any defect. If price charged is in excess of the price displayed or fixed by or under any law in force. If the goods are less in quantity than the quantity displayed. If the Services hired/ availed of suffer from deficiencies in any respect. If you have suffered loss or damage as a result of any unfair/restrictive trade practices adopted by the trader/service provider.
RELIEFS AVAILABLE TO A CONSUMER Removal of defects from the goods. Replacement of the goods. Refund of the price paid. Removal of defects or deficiencies in the services. Award for adequate costs to parties. Award of compensation for the loss or injury suffered.
Few Case Studies Replacement of defective mobile hand set after number of repairs. Replacement of shoe worth Rs. 5000/-worn out within two three months. Goods immediately delivered by on-line shopping on complaint. Compensation for gas cylinder not supplied within promised time. Compensation for not supplying gift as promised in the advertisement.
Few Case studies Refund of fee after compliant against low grade educational services by a computer centre. Train/air passenger got full refund for fare due to late running of train/flight. Telephone user got refund for excess money charged with compensation for mental agony and harassment. Refund of charges for issue of credit card in spite of specific refusal. Refund of late payment charges for cheque lost which was deposited in the collection box.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 One of the benevolent social legislations intended to protect the large body of consumers from exploitation. The vehicle for enabling people to secure speedy and in-expensive redressal of their grievances. Three Tier Quasi-judicial machinery set up at each District, State and National levels.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 The provisions of this Act cover ‘Products’ as well as ‘Services’. Consumer forums have power to decide whether a person is a ‘consumer’. Alternative to remedy already available to the aggrieved persons/consumers by way of civil suit. Overriding effect.
Who can file a complaint? A Consumer, Any Voluntary Consumer Organisation, The Central Government, The State Government or Union Territory Administrations.
How to file a complaint ? On a plain paper with specified particulars. (three sets and additional set(s) for respondent(s)). To clearly contain particulars of dispute and the relief claimed and shall also be accompanied by copies of such documents as are necessary to prove the claim made in the complaint. To be supported with an affidavit duly notarised. To be presented by the complainant in person or by his agent or can be sent by registered post. To be accompanied with requisite fee by way of a DD or Postal Order.
WHERE TO FILE THE COMPLAINT? Depends upon the cost of the goods or services or the compensation asked for: –If it is less than Rs. 20 lakhs-in District Forum –If more than Rs.20 lakhs but less then Rs. 1 crore – before the State Commission –If more than Rs. 1 crore-before the National Commission
Fee for making complaints District Forum (1)Upto Rs. 1,00,000 - For complainants who are under the Below Poverty Line holding Antyodaya Anna Yojana cards. -Nil (2)Upto one lakh Rupees- For complainants other than Antyodaya Anna Yojana card holders. -Rs.100 (3)One lakh rupees and above but less than five lakh rupees -Rs.200 (4)Five lakh rupees and above but less than Rs.10 lakh -Rs.400 (5)Ten lakh rupees and above but not exceeding twenty lakh rupees -Rs.500 State Commission (6)Above twenty lakh and upto fifty lakh Rupees -Rs.2000 (7)Above fifty lakh and upto one crore Rupees -Rs.4000 National Commission (8)Above one crore Rupees -Rs.5000
Limitation for filing complaint To be filed within two years from the date on which cause of action has arisen. The Consumer Forum has the power to entertain a complaint even after the said period in case it is convinced that the complaint could not be filed within the said period on account of certain sufficient cause Remedy barred in matters already adjudicated by High Court or Civil Court. Arbitration clause – no bar to CPA route
Procedures at Consumer Forums On submission of the complaint in the consumer court, the date for admission hearing and complaint reference number shall be given. On admission hearing, you would be informed whether your case is fit for acceptance or not. If accepted, you will be given the date for next hearing. The court will send a notice with your complaint copy to the opposite party seeking reply within 30 days, and asking him to attend the hearing. The hearings will continue till the matter is decided. The courts final order will be sent to all the parties by registered post.
Other features The Consumer Forum not to insist upon the parties to engage advocate. (Regulation 26(4)) The consumer Forum may permit an authorised agent to appear before it (Regulation 16(7))
Regulations at Consumer Forums The Consumer Protection Regulations, 2005 –Arrangements in Consumer Forum –Cause list, issue of notice, adjournment. –Hearing, Arguments. –Limitation, Review, Interim order, final order. –Inspection of records, certified copy. –Practice Directions
Consumer Grievance Redressal Cell To initiate pro-active measures to redress the consumer grievances. To examine & scrutinize all type of complaints letters and grievances representations of aggrieved consumers. To deal consumer complaints appearing in news papers columns, magazines, electronic media etc. To take up the grievances of the consumer cases pending in the various Consumer Courts.
National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission Established under section 9 (c) of the Consumer Protection Act,1986 Jurisdiction: –Petitions –Appeals against orders passed by State Commissions –Revisional jurisdiction –Power to review or set aside ex-parte order powers of administrative control over all the State Commissions
JAGO GRAHAK JAGO Important Web links for Public Grievances dpg.bharatsarkar.nic.in For Consumer Problems: 1.Call Toll Free No (BSNL/MTNL Lines) (between 9.30 A.M to 5.30.P.M from Mon-Saturday) 2.Write P.O.Box No.3306, New Delhi
Other Grievance Redressal Mechanism- Ombudsman An ombudsman - a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing the broad scope of constituent interests. Regulatory authorities having Ombudsman Schemes: –RBI –IRDA –SEBI –Income Tax Department
Banking Ombudsman Promoted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Provides speedy solutions to the grievances faced by the customers from various banks, All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks are covered. One can approach the appellate authority against the Banking Ombudsmen’s decision.
Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to deficiency in banking services (including internet banking) including: –non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills etc.; –non-payment or delay in payment of inward remittances ; –failure to issue or delay in issue of drafts, pay orders or bankers’ cheques; –refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason for refusal; –levying of charges without adequate prior notice to the customer; –non-disbursement or delay in disbursement of pension; –refusal to accept or delay in accepting payment towards taxes, as required by Reserve Bank/Government;
Insurance Ombudsman The institution of Insurance Ombudsman was created by the Government of India, To handle complaints of aggrieved insured persons, A complaint is to be lodged with the Insurance Ombudsman under whose territorial jurisdiction the Branch or Office of the Insurer complained against is located, Any aggrieved individual who has taken an Insurance Policy in individual capacity (or if deceased, the legal heir(s) under such policy) can approach Ombudsman.
Insurance Ombudsman Complaints entertained may be pertaining to –repudiation of claims totally or partially, –delay in settlement of claims, –any dispute on the legal construction of the policies in so far as such disputes relate to claims, –disputes regarding premiums paid / payable and –non-issue of insurance documents.
SEBI Ombudsman In terms of SEBI (Ombudsman) Regulations, 2003; Grievance against intermediaries (including stock brokers, sub-brokers, bankers to issues, merchant bankers, mutual funds etc) or listed companies; By any person whether an investor or not. At its Head Office in Mumbai.
SEBI Ombudsman non-receipt of many types of documents to be complaint against, such as: – refunds, –share certificates, –bonus shares, –dividends, –annual reports or similar documents.
Income Tax Ombudsman Income Tax Ombudsman Guidelines,2006; Independent of the jurisdiction of Income Tax Department; Administrative grievance alleging deficiency in the working of the Income tax Department;
Income Tax Ombudsman Grounds of complaint include: –Non allotment of PAN; –Non credit of tax paid including TDS, –Delay in issue of refund beyond time limits, –Non updating of demand or other register leading to harassment of assesses; –Delay in disposal of rectification application, –Delay in giving appeal effect, –Delay in release of seized books and assets