|Right to safety:|
Means right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services, which are hazardous to life and property. The purchased goods and services availed of should not only meet their immediate needs, but also fulfil long term interests.
Before purchasing, consumers should insist on the quality of the products as well as on the guarantee of the products and services. They should preferably purchase quality marked products such as ISI,AGMARK, etc
|Right to choose:|
|Means right to be assured, wherever possible of access to variety of goods and services at competitive price. In case of monopolies, it means right to be assured of satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. It also includes right to basic goods and services. This is because unrestricted right of the minority to choose can mean a denial for the majority of its fair share. This right can be better exercised in a competitive market where a variety of goods are available at competitive prices|
|Right to be informed:|
Means 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.
Consumer should insist on getting all the information about the product or service before making a choice or a decision. This will enable him to act wisely and responsibly and also enable him to desist from falling prey to high pressure selling techniques.
|Right to consumer education:|
|Means the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to be an informed consumer throughout life. Ignorance of consumers, particularly of rural consumers, is mainly responsible for their exploitation. They should know their rights and must exercise them. Only then real consumer protection can be achieved with success.|
|Right to be heard:|
Means that consumer's interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. It also includes right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumer's welfare.
The Consumers should form non-political and non-commercial consumer organizations which can be given representation in various committees formed by the Government and other bodies in matters relating to consumers.
|Right to Seek redressal:|
Means right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. It also includes right to fair settlement of the genuine grievances of the consumer.
Consumers must make complaint for their genuine grievances.Many a times their complaint may be of small value but its impact on the society as a whole may be very large. They can also take the help of consumer organisations in seeking redressal of their grievances.
As the markets are globalizing, the direct link between the manufacturer and the final user getting distant, post purchase grievances have to be heard through a strong redressal system. For this, Consumer disputes redressal agencies (popularly known as Consumer Forums or Consumer Courts) are set up under the Act at District, State and National level to provide simple and inexpensive quick redressal against consumer complaints. The District forum deals with complaints where the compensation sought is less than 23 lakhs. This limit is commonly known as the ‘pecuniary jurisdiction’ of the Consumer Redressal Forum. The State Forum deals with the complaints where the value of the goods and services and compensation claimed does not exceed rupees one crore and the National Forum entertains the complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation claimed exceeds rupees one crore.
The Consumer Forum can order the company to take the following actions once it hears the complaint and decides that the company is at fault:
|Correct deficiencies in the product to what they claim.|
|Repair defect free of charges|
|Replace product with similar or superior product|
|Issue a full refund of the price|
|Pay compensation for damages / costs / inconveniences|
|Withdraw the sale of the product altogether|
|Discontinue or not repeat any unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice|
|Issue corrective advertisement for any earlier misrepresentation|
Consumer Protection Act
|“An Act to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers' disputes and for matters connected therewith.”(According to Consumer Protection Act,1986).
Consumer Protection Act ,1986 seeks to promote and protect the interest of consumers against deficiencies and defects in goods or services. It also seeks to secure the rights of a consumer against
|unfair or restrictive trade practices. This act was passed in Lok Sabha on 9th December,1986 and Rajya Sabha on 10th December, 1986 and assented by the President of India on 24th December, 1986 and was published in the Gazette of India on 26th December, 1986.|