Negotiable Instruments: Exhaustive Coverage by Adv Roma Bhagat. Register Now!
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Consumer Welfare Consumers are one the most important resources of the country and the Government of India is committed to guarantee their welfare and protect their rights. The Department of Consumer Affairs - External website that opens in a new window under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution is responsible for this task. Sometimes, after buying a product or service, consumers may feel cheated for reasons such as being charged more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP), getting less than what they paid for, the product being defective and so on. Most people are unaware of the procedure to seek redressal and leave things as they are. Consumers need to wake up and take action against such businesses, which they believe to be non genuine. To ensure this, the government has taken various measures like the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act - External website that opens in a new window, launch of the 'Jago Grahak Jago - External website that opens in a new window' campaign and Standardization of Weights and Measures - External website that opens in a new window. Consumer Rights Consumer Online Resource & Empowerment Centre Submit Your Complaint Online National Consumer Helpline Consumer Rights There are six main rights - External website that opens in a new window that we have as consumers, these are Right to safety: This means that consumers have the right to be protected against marketing of goods, which are hazardous to life and property. Before buying goods, a consumer should insist on purchasing quality products with guarantees such as ISI or AGMARK symbols. Right to be informed: This means that every consumer has the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices. Right to choose: This means that the consumer has the right to be assured, wherever possible of access to a variety of goods and services at a competitive price. Right to be heard: This means that due consideration shall be given to a consumer's interests. It also includes right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumers' welfare. Right to seek redressal: This means that consumers have the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation. Right to Consumer Education: This means that consumers have the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to be an informed consumer throughout their life. Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre In 2005, the government set up the Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre (CORE) - External website that opens in a new window to provide fast and convenient grievance redressal services as well as consumer resources to the citizens of India. The Consumer Coordination Council - External website that opens in a new window, a premier organization in the field of consumer movement of India, recommended the setting-up of the CORE Centre. With a view to promote Consumer Sovereignty, CORE works in the interest of consumers to resolve their complaints and avoid unnecessary litigation for brands. It is both an effective one point source for complaint redressal as well as a nodal agency to protect the interests of Indian Consumers. Submit Your Complaint Online One of the most easy and hassle free ways to file a consumer complaint is through the online mechanism of 'CORE'. All that citizens need to do is visit the CORE website and fill in the online form. This form requires customers to categorize the product, provide their contact details and submit detailed information about the nature of their complaint. A complaint once registered is forwarded to the complaint manager, who checks it for legitimacy. The staff may also contact you, to determine if there is a legal remedy or a basis for your complaint. On your complaint being found genuine, an alert is sent to the Brand (provider of the product or service) for resolution. It is also published as an entry in the blog, on the CORE website. On receipt of the alert, the brand replies to the complaint online. This reply is posted in the blog, directly below the complaint entry filed by you. Once the reply is published, the system alerts the consumer who is asked to comment on his /her satisfaction with the reply. If the complainant is satisfied, the case is considered closed. However, if the complainant is not satisfied, he/she can write back to CORE in confidence. On receipt of the grievance, the concerned CORE Complaint Manager may once again take up the issue with the brand for amicable resolution. National Consumer Helpline Moreover, a National Toll Free Number has been provided to offer guidance to citizens on all consumer related issues. One may dial now, for more information about consumer courts, consumer organizations and procedure for redressal - Toll Free Number: 1800-11-4000 (from MTNL or BSNL phones only) The success of the consumer movement in India depends on the vigilance of the consumer with regard to their rights and responsibilities. As consumers become more conscious of their rights, they are able to voice their concerns better.
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