India is a country, wherein Consumer is the King, but it remains, just as a statement as day in and day out a lot of consumers are openly fooled by the manufacturers. Many a times, due to their innocence, but most  of the times due to their ignorance. Here are a few things to remember before you buy any product, something as small as a safety pin or something as big as a luxury car.

  1. Always insist for a Bill – A Bill or a Receipt is the basic proof of purchase. In case if any difficulty arises, the first document that one would require is the Receipt of purchase.
  2. Read Product Description- It is important to read the description of the product to know and understand, what are contents of the products. Many a times products mention in their description about particular ingredients, that you may be allergic to. In case if despite the knowledge of the presence of the allergic ingredient, you consume the product, then you cannot sue the company.
  3. Terms and Conditions – Whenever, you click any window, online, you indirectly agree to their terms and conditions. It is important to read the terms and conditions or any document before signing. In most of the times, whenever, we sign a Property or an Insurance document, we do the same without reading the terms and conditions. Once, you have signed the document you cannot later on claim that you were not aware about a particular term in your agreement.
  4. Always communicate to the company in writing – Many a times, I have seen a lot of consumers, just think that communicating with the Companies through telephonic conversation, would solve their problem. What they forget is that these Customer Service Representatives do not have any power to take any decision with respect to your problem but merely address your issue and satisfy you. The company representatives most of the times refuse to give their replies in writing so in such a case you can immediately record your telephonic conversation and write it back to them.
  5. Right Contact person in a company – Your Customer Service Executive, will just listen to your problem and just address it. The Right Person to address would be the Legal Head or the Directors of the Company.
  6. Few types of cases under the consumer Act – Medical Negligence, Deficiency of Service, Sub-standard products are a few types of cases that come under this Act. The Industries that come under the Consumer Acts are – The Health Care Industry, Education, FMCG etc.
  7. Jurisdiction of a consumer Court – The jurisdiction of the Consumer Court is upon your amount of claim. If the claim amount is less than 10 Lakhs, then the jurisdication is the District Court, from 10 Lakhs to 1 Crore the jurisdiction is State Commission and Anything above that is the National Commission. In case if you are aggrevvied by the order you can always appeal to the higher court.
  8. Timelines – Two years from the date of dispute is the timeline for any court.
  9. Important documents required – You will definately need the bill and other documents showing the communication between you and the Company.

These are some basic things one needs to know as a consumer.

Do let me know your inputs on the same.