2It is said that the consumer is a . . . . . KING!It is said that the consumer is a . .IS THAT REALLY…TRUE ???BUT . . .
3Marketing & Advertising Distributors Dealers Wholesalers Retailers MANUFACTURERSWith help ofMarketing&Advertising
4SUBSTANDARD GOODS HOARDING PVR MOVIE TICKETS @ ₹350 POPCORN ₹150 ! Resort to practices likeHOARDINGSUBSTANDARD GOODSCARTELSPVR MOVIE ₹350POPCORN ₹150 !SAMSOSA ₹ 50 !??AQUAFINA ₹ 40 !CHARGING EXCESSIVELY HIGH !!!
5And may take advantage of innocent and ignorant consumers Hence arises the need forConsumer protection
6WHO IS A CONSUMER ?Any person who consumes or uses any commodity or service available from natural source or through the market is known as a consumer. The word ‘consumer’ is derived from Latin word “consumere” which means ‘to eat or drink’.
7IMPORTANCE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION 6. Tendency of consumers :It is a normal tendency of consumers to rush to shopping outlets where high rate of discount is provided on goods. Most of the consumers get attracted to cheap products, schemes, discounts, sale etc. However, sellers may sell sub-standard goods in such cases. As a result, the consumer may get exploited and he may not even come to know about it.3. Participation of consumers is lacking :Many decisions directly affecting consumer’s interest are taken without their or their organizations’ consent. The decisions taken by the association of sellers or traders are generally one sided where the consequences of the decision on the consumers are not considered at all.4. Overall Rate Of Consumption has increased :The population as well as an increase in overall standard of living of people has resulted in increase in consumption. To satisfy huge demand, it is necessary for manufacturers to undertake large scale production. This has resulted in increased prices, more variety, exploitation, unfair trade practices etc.2. Market dominated by sellers :If the market is dominated by the sellers, then they take all the decisions which favor them.The sellers do not give preference to consumer welfare. Consumer has to accept the terms as decided by sellers. The transactions invariably benefit the sellers, manufacturers and other middlemen.Ignorance Of ConsumersThe consumers get exploited due to their ignorance about their rights, product detail, price etc. The consumers get cheated because they lack complete knowledge.For e.g.: Shopkeepers may even sell off some expired goods to illiterate and ignorant customers.9. Consumers are unorganized :Sellers & traders have their own associations. However, consumers do not have any union. They are unorganized and are not united. Bargaining power is always with a stronger group and hence a single consumer cannot fight an entire association.8. Nature of Products :Due to complicated manufacturing processes and the technical knowledge involved, consumers are unable to judge the quality or safety aspects of a product. The producers take advantage of this situation and try to exploit consumers.7. Attitude of ConsumersOne of the biggest reasons of exploitation of consumers is their attitude. Most consumers have a “chalta hain” attitude due to which even if they are exploited, they will not complain or act against it. The sellers therefore take advantage of this situation and continue to exploit the consumer.For e.g.: A consumer may sometime get a tshirt which has a small hole in it but then he may not complain to the seller regarding the same.5. Required information is not easily available:In the modern world , the distance between the consumer and the manufacturer is vast.It is impossible to get information from manufacturers directly. The consumer relies more on advertisements of the products, other’s experiences or on trial and error method to decide about the product. As a result, his chances of getting exploited are high.
8To sum up … What is the importance of consumer protection Ignorance of ConsumersMarket dominated by sellersParticipation of consumers is lackingOverall rate of consumption has increasedRequired information is not easily availableTendency of consumersAttitude of consumersNature of ProductsConsumers are unorganized
10Right to RedressalThe right enables a consumer to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or exploitation.This right assures proper legal recourse to attend to a consumer’s complaint and get it redressed (solved).
11PRICE QUALITY PURITY Right to Information Right to Information helps consumer in selecting the right product and take more informed decision. It assures safety of the consumer and the product both.
12Right to Protect Against Spurious Goods Companies cannot advertise about cigarettes or liquorThe right protects the consumers against marketing of spurious and hazardous goods which pose a danger to public health and life.
13Every consumer has the right to file a complaint and be heard about Right to be HeardEvery consumer has the right to file a complaint and be heard about
14Right to Protect Against Unfair Trade Practices This right offers protection to consumers against any kind of unfair trade practices.
15Right to safetyIf the product is hazardous in nature then detailed information should be given about its inherent danger and safe mode of handling. It should also contain the consequences that would occur if it is not used correctly.INGREDIENTS176 cm x 181 cm
16Right to chooseRight to Choose enables a consumer to select a suitable product from among the available variety in the market at a competitive price.
17Right to healthy environment Right to live in a healthy and pollution free environment in the present as well as in the future.
18Right to educationThe government, media and NGO’s can play a major role in educating consumer.
19RIGHT TO PROTECT AGAINST SPURIOUS GOODS RIGHT TO BE HEARD To sum up… The Rights of a ConsumerRIGHT TO REDRESSALRIGHT TO INFORMATIONRIGHT TO PROTECT AGAINST SPURIOUS GOODSRIGHT TO BE HEARDRIGHT TO PROTECTED AGAINST UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICESRIGHT TO SAFETYRIGHT TO CHOOSERIGHT TO HEALTHY ENVIROMENTRIGHT TO EDUCATIONIn short , RIGHTS CHE
20Responsibilities of a consumer 1.Social Concern:Products & services used are not produced in an environment that harms others
21A consumer has to be assertive and ensure that he gets a fair deal. 2.ACTIVE/ALERTA consumer has to be assertive and ensure that he gets a fair deal.EG: CHECKING THE EXPIRY DATE BEFORE BUYING
22(Critical Awareness): 3.Value before buying(Critical Awareness):MUMBAI: In a sluggish property market, British bank Standard Chartered has sold a sea-facing duplex apartment in the Samudra Mahal building at Worli in Mumbai for Rs 40 crore.The deal works out to Rs 1,10,000 per sq ft.
234.Environmental Concern : The consumer should recognize his individual and collective responsibility to conserve natural resources.Has to ensure that the goods and services he uses do not harm the environment.
245.UNITYThe consumers should organize themselves and work for the welfare of all consumer.
256.SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION The consumer should consume only as per his requirement.He should ensure that he actually requires a particular product and only then buy it.
27Enquire about past performance of product or service. Before buying :Planning in advanceEnquire about past performance of product or service.Enquire about part performance of the product seller or service providerGo through product reviews in newspaper and websites
28Asking for demonstration about how to operate or use the product. While buying :Asking for demonstration about how to operate or use the product.Enquiring about after sales service and ensuring availability & contact details of service centre.Insisting on approved sale bill with all details of product.Getting a signed warranty / guarantee card from the dealer and reading the contents therein.
29Using products as per instructions given in user manual. After buying :Using products as per instructions given in user manual.Storing the product as mentioned on the cover or manual.Keeping bills and guarantee card safely.In case of a fault inform the dealer or service centre.Seek immediate redressal if there is a deficiency in product
30Ways and means of consumer protection LOK ADALATLok Adalat is referred to as People’s Court.Mock court held by State Authority, District Authority, Supreme Court Legal Service Committee, High Court Legal Service Committee or Taluka Legal Service Committee.Established by the government to settle disputes by compromiseLok Adalat accepts pending cases from regular courts which can be settled by compromise only if1. Both parties agree to transfer the case to Lok Adalat or2. One party makes an application and the court sees any chance of compromise.
31Ways and means of consumer protection PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATIONThis scheme enables any person in the interest of the public to approach a court of law.A PIL is not for individual interest but for the benefit of a particular group
32Ways and means of consumer protection Redressal Forums
33AWARENESS PROGRAMMESThis awareness is done by journals, newspapers, magazines, advertisements etc.Besides, various consumer related programmes are telecasted on various radio and TV channels.The society observes 15th March, World Consumer Rights Day and 24th December, National Consumer Day as consumer awareness days.
34Consumer Organisations: The consumer organizations also help the consumers to fight for their rights through campaigning, lobbying and through protests.Thus, they strengthen the consumer movement.
35CONSUMER WELFARE FUND This fund is created by Department of Revenues. It provides monetary assistance to the consumer movement especially in rural areas.These funds are used for consumer education, guidance, complaint redressal etc.
36Legislative MeasuresVarious acts have been passed by the Govt. of IndiaHowever, the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 has proved to be a boon for consumers because under this Act they can file a suit against any manufacturer or seller in case of loss due to fault in their product or service.
40Comparative analysis of District forum, State commission and National commission District ForumState CommissionNational CommissionMeaningIt is a consumer dispute redressal forum working at district levelIt is a consumer dispute redressal forum working at state levelIt is a consumer dispute redressal forum working at national levelEstablished byState GovernmentCentral GovernmentCompositionPresident + 2 Members (Min)President + 4 Members (Min)Qualification of PresidentWho is or has been or is qualified to be a District judge.Who is or has been a judge of a high Court.Who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court.Duration / TenureTerm of 5 years or upto age of 65 whichever is earlier.Term of 5 years or upto the age of 67 whichever is earlier.Term of 5 years or upto the age of 70 years whichever is earlier.Monetary JurisdictionValue of goods or services and the compensation claimed is less than Rs. 20 Lacs.Value of goods or services and the compensation claimed is more than Rs. 20 Lacs but less than Rs. 1 crore.Value of goods or services and the compensation claimed is more than Rs. 1 Crore.AreaIt covers a particular districtIt covers a particular stateIt covers the entire country.Nature of ComplaintsOnly original complaints can be entertainedOriginal Cases + Appeals against orders of District Forum + Supervisory / RevisionalOriginal Cases + Appeals against orders of State Forum + Supervisory / Revisional + Improper jurisdiction
42CONSUMER ORGANIZATIONS ????? Consumer Organisations are voluntary groups of people who work for a cause of protecting consumers from harmful products, wrongful representation, pollution etc.Their main objective is to establish consumer rights.Consumer organizations are a category of NGOs who work for protecting consumers.The word NGO itself suggests that they are not connected to the government or any political party. NGOs are non-profit organization.NGOs have their own rules and principles. They do not have any statutory powers. However, they are a strong support group for the consumers.NGOs also help to create awareness about consumer rights and assist consumers taking legal action against producers or sellers who are much bigger and stronger than individual consumers.
43FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY NGOs EXAMPLES OF NGOsConsumer Unity & Trust societyConsumer Guidance Society of IndiaMumbai Grahak PanchayatConsumer’s Association of IndiaFUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY NGOsTo undertake various programmesTo guide consumersTo represent a consumerMake suggestions and recommendationsPublish periodicals, bulletinsTesting of consumer products and publishing the results.Filing in the interest of general public.