Being aware of your consumer rights can prevent you from being taken for a ride by unscrupulous traders. It has been over 25 years since the Consumer Protection Act (CoPRA) has been introduced in India. However, still only 20 percent of Indian consumers know about this Act and only 42 percent of consumers have ever heard about the concept of consumer rights. About 53 percent of Indian consumers are not aware of our consumer redress system, the sole objective of which is to provide consumers with a simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal system to their grievances.
Today we provide a brief about the various remedies available under the Indian Law which can provide relief against unscrupulous merchants.
The Indian law provides the consumers with the following rights:
Right to Safety: This protects consumers against hazardous goods.
Right to be informed: This empowers the consumers to be informed about price, quality and purity of products being sold.
Right to Choose: This empowers the consumers to have access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
Right to be Heard: This right ensures that the consumers interest and welfare must be taken care of.
Right to seek Redressal: This right provides protection against unfair trade practices and settling genuine grievances of consumers.
Right to Consumer Education: This right aims to educate consumers about goods and issues related to them.
Duties of an aware consumer
As a consumer we too have some duties to ensure that we don’t get cheated. These are simple steps which we should follow in our daily lives. These are as follows:
- Ensure that you get a bill for every important purchase
- Ensure that you get the warranty card stamped while purchasing consumer durables.
- Don’t buy products without ISI mark or Agmark on consumer goods.
- Formulate consumer awareness groups and create consumer awareness.
- Always make a complaint on genuine grievances with concerned authority.
- Exercise your rights wherever possible.
When you can make a consumer complaint
As a consumer if you have faced any of the following unfair practices you can submit a consumer complaint with the concerned authority:
- If you have been overcharged by the retailer
- If there has been duplication of products
- If retailers are selling their product more than the printed MRP
- If the product sold to you is expired
- If the quantity is less than what you paid for.
The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 provides for consumer disputes redressal at the district, state and national level as well. Consumers can solve grievances in a speedy, simple and inexpensive manner by simply submitting a complaint on plain paper. Supporting documents like the purchase bill and warranty card must be attached along with the complaint. Unlike popular perception, you don’t require a lawyer to argue your case. You can do so yourself.
So, become aware of your rights and fight for your dues! Jago Ghrakh Jago!