CONSUMER RIGHTS AWARENESS IN INDIA
Consumer rights are now an integral part of our lives like a consumerist way of life. They have been well documented and much talked about. We have all made use of them at some point in our daily lives. Market resources and influences are growing by the day and so is the awareness of one's consumer rights. These rights are well-defined and there are agencies like the government, consumer courts and voluntary organisations that work towards safeguarding them. While we all like to know about our rights and make full use of them, consumer responsibility is an area which is still not demarcated and it is hard to spell out all the responsibilities that a ...view middle of the document...
2.Right to Safety: |
Consumer right to safety is as vast in its purview as the market reach itself. It applies to all possible consumption patterns and to all goods and services. In the context of the new market economy and rapid technological advances affecting the market, the right to safety has become a pre-requisite quality in all products and services. For e.g. some Indian products carry the ISI mark, which is a symbol of satisfactory quality of a product. 3. Right to information: Right to information means the right to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice or decision about factors like quality, quantity, potency, purity standards and price of product or service. The right to information now goes beyond avoiding deception and protection against misleading advertising, improper labelling and other practices4. Right to be heard: The right to be heard means that consumers should be allowed to voice their opinions and grievances at appropriate fora. For e.g. if you have been cheated in the market place or deprived of the right quality of service, your complaint should be heard and given due attention by the authorities.5. Right to choose: The right to choose must essentially be a consumer's right to choose a safe and healthy product of good quality over an unsafe or defective product. This can give a consumer immense leverage not just to choose products that are safe but also to influence the practices adopted by the market. 6.Right to redress: |
In India, we have a redress machinery called Consumer Courts constituted under the Consumer Protection Act (1986), functioning at national state and district levels. But it has not been made complete use of under due to lack of awareness of basic consumer rights among consumers themselves.
7.Right to Consumer Education: |
Consumer education empowers consumers to exercise their consumer rights. It is perhaps the single most powerful tool that can take consumers from their present disadvantageous position to one of strength in the marketplace. Consumer education is dynamic, participatory and is mostly acquired by hands-on and practical experience.EFFECT OF LACK OF CONSUMER AWARENESS:Modern business is an integral part of current day society. Each company has as a socio-economic impact on the people and has to deliver the goods and services and the standard of living as per the aspirations of the people. It has a great social responsibility towards the well being of society. Therefore consumer is an important component of society and business has an obligation to him. But, when the goods are short in supply the producers charge high prices and consumers have no choice other than to purchase what is available. Therefore, consumer is to be protected from unsafe products, poor quality of goods and services, high prices, unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements. Therefore, it is necessary for an awareness to prevail amongst the consumer to protect them from...