Consumer Rights in India | Importance, Aim, Consumer Protection Act

CONSUMER RIGHTS IN INDIA – All You Must Need to Know

This write-up intends to take you through the details of the consumer rights in India.

Develop a better understanding of the rights along with its meaning, advantages, and importance. Gain information on the Consumer Protection Act and consumer awareness alongside.

You might have often heard the saying, “Consumer is the King”. A consumer is an end or final user of a product or service.

The Government has ruled out various laws and rules to protect the consumers from wrong or illegal practices.

What is the Consumer Protection Act 1986?

In 1986, the Consumer Protection Act was passed and came into force on 1st July 1987. The Act was ruled out to provide better protection for the interest of the consumers.

The act has provisions to protect the consumers from the exploitation through business practices to generate profits which could be harmful to the well-being of the consumers and society.

Also, it puts forth the provisions for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of disputes arising for connected matters.

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What is the impact of the Consumer Protection Act?

The Consumer Protection Act 1986 aims to safeguard the interest of the consumers in the countries against the unlawful and unfair trade and business practices.

It offers the consumers the power to obtain speedy resolutions in case of consumer disputes within the Indian Territory.

Several consumer rights are identified by the acts and intend to protect and secure the same through penalties and regulations.

Who is a consumer?

consumer rights

The consumer is any person who has purchased or hired any goods or services in return for an amount of consideration in partial or full value.

The purchase or hire could be from any institution, store, organisation, seller, or service provider.

The consumer is the end-user of the product or services s/he has hired or purchased.

As per the provisions stated by the Act, a lawful consumer has the right to file a consumer complaint and seek redressal and claim justice upon satisfying certain conditions.

However, the consumer should be a lawful consumer of the concerned seller or service provider and there must be some deficiency on the part of the seller or provider.

What are consumer rights?

Consumer rights can be referred to as a body of law that relates to the practices which the producer of goods or service providers must do and follow to protect the customers from harm.

How many Consumer Rights are there?

Currently, there are six consumer rights that the consumers can lawfully practice as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

6 Consumer Rights in India – Everyone Must Know

Gain in-depth insight into the consumer rights available to the consumers in India. Develop a better understanding of each one of them.

Right to Safety

The consumers are conferred with the right to safety against the goods and services that pose a risk or are hazardous to their health, life and/ or property.

To ensure this, the products and service offered should guarantee quality, quantity, performance and reliability.

They should meet the standards ruled out by law and no danger should be involved in its use.

For reference, electrical appliances can be dangerous if not properly operated or handles.

In such cases, the provider should mention the use and method of operation of the product.

Right to Information

The consumer availing any service or buying any product has complete right to get the complete information of the same.

Being a consumer you can ask for the quality, quantity, standard, purity, reliability, and performance of the product or service.

This is done to safeguard the consumers from any fraudulent, unfair, or abusive trade practices.

Right to Choice

As per the Consumer Protection Act, the right to be assured, wherever possible, to have access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices is the Right to Choice.

This assures the availability of varieties and choices for the consumer to choose from.

The consumer, in no manner, should be forced to make a purchase. It would rather be their choice of picking up a suitable one for them.

Right to Representation or Right to be Heard

It is the responsibility of every seller or service provider to address the complaints of the consumers.

They cannot shed off their obligation after handing over the products in case of any complaint.

Also, this ensures that the consumer grievance would be heard before the sessions and consumer panels.

In case, the consumer has been exploited or robbed of any of his or her rights, then s/he has the complete and lawful right to be heard and his/her interest receive due consideration.

This ensures the consumers right to representation or heard in government and other authorities.

Moreover, companies or organizations offering products or services can assign special complaint cells to address customer complaints.

Right to Seek Redressal

If the consumer experiences any illegal trade system or unfair consumer exploitation, s/he has the right to seek redressal under provisions stated by the Consumer Protection Act.

This means that they have the right to claim compensation in the form of money, replacement, or repair.

Apart from the reasonable settlement of legitimate consumer complaints, the consumers should be well aware of their rights and must practice them whenever needed.

To ensure speedy and just redressal, the Act put forth provisions for setting up a three-tier redressal mechanism at various levels. They are set up at district, state and national levels.

Right to Consumer Education

This is the right to acquire the knowledge and skill which takes to be an acquainted consumer throughout.

A prominent reason for the exploitation of consumers is the lack of knowledge and information. This mostly prevails amongst the rural section of the consumers.

Literate or educated consumers know and practice their rights whenever required. However, this is not the case with the counterpart.

Therefore, consumers should look for information on laws, acts, rules and regulations set up for their protection.

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What is the importance of consumer rights?

From the consumer point of view, consumer rights and the Consumer Protection Act hold immense importance. It safeguards their rights and interests and much more.

The importance of consumers rights is as follows:-

Safeguard consumer interests

It aims to prevent the consumers from being a victim of any illegal, unfair or fraudulent trade practices.

To curb these prevailing issues, it is important to rule out laws and regulations.

It prevents consumer exploitation and monitors the activities of producers and service providers as well.

Impart necessary and adequate information

The consumer protection act and consumer rights intend to educate and make laws for the betterment of consumers.

Alongside this, they educate the consumers about their lawful rights which they can practice.

The relevant and correct information is provided as it is an authentic information source.

Safety against hazards or dangers

The rights and acts are formulated and enacted to safeguard the consumers against any danger to life, health or property.

It is important to regulate the selling of products and services that are hazardous or dangerous.

For example, the producers have to dictate the ways of usage and application along with such products or services.

Deal with the issue of monopoly

The Act offers the right of choice to the consumers. In the case of monopoly, they would not have several options to choose from according to suitability and need.

Therefore, it is important to end the monopoly system and make a diverse range of products and services available to consumers.

Curb the fraudulent or malpractices

The producers and suppliers cannot adopt methods and strategies that lead to the exploitation of consumers.

The act and rights have provisions against such activities where consumer exploitation takes places for earning profits.

Prevent misleading advertisements

It is important for consumers to have adequate and accurate information about the products and services.

The rights stand against any misleading advertisement of the products or services being offered.

They should convey the accurate and correct information which would make the consumers like and purchase the product or services.

Consumer education and awareness

Another importance of having consumer rights and Act is educating and making them aware of their rights and laws.

This ensures that they practice their rights whenever required and mandatory without being exploited or harmed or claim adequate redressal.

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What is the aim of consumer awareness and protection?

The significant objectives of consumer awareness and protection are as follows:-

  • To ensure a fair, responsible and competitive market that promotes fair and ethical business practices alongside working well for the consumers
  • To protect and promote the economic interests of the consumers
  • To safeguard the consumers from hazards or dangers to health, life or and/ or property.
  • To enhance the information access which the consumers require alongside enabling them to make informed and suitable choices which meet their needs and requirements

Conclusion:-

This guide on Consumer rights in India will surely give you an insight into your rights that you might not know. Help us to make it better by commenting on your views.

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