The term “consumer rights” refers to a collection of laws that reflect the customer’s right to information about the amount, quality, purity, potency, price, and standards of goods in order to be shielded from various unfair business practises. Every citizen’s right to safety is upheld under the Consumer Bill of Rights. Under the 2019 Consumer Protection Act, customers are given the following eight rights.
Right to safety
means having the legal right to be shielded from the promotion of products and services that endanger life and property. The items and services obtained should serve their long-term interests as well as their present requirements. Customers should demand both the product quality and the warranty of the goods and services before making a purchase. They should preferable buy high-quality items with labels like ISI or AGMARK.
Right to choose
means having the legal right to a range of products and services at reasonable prices wherever feasible. It refers to the right to be guaranteed of good quality and service at a reasonable price in the situation of monopolies. The right to essential goods and services is also included. This is because the majority may not receive its fair share if the minority’s freedom of choice is unlimited. In a competitive market when a range of items are offered at competitive rates, this right can be better exercised.
Right to be informed
means the customer has a legal right to information about the items’ quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and price in order to avoid unfair business practises. Before choosing or making a decision, the consumer should insist on acquiring all the facts about the item or service. He will be able to behave sensibly and responsibly as well as avoid giving in to high-pressure marketing tactics thanks to this.
Right to consumer education
means having the freedom to develop the information and skills necessary to make wise decisions as a consumer. The major cause of customers’ exploitation is their ignorance, especially that of rural consumers. They must be aware of their rights and exercise them. Only then can successful true consumer protection be accomplished.
Right to be heard
means that the interests of the customer will be properly taken into account in relevant forums. It also involves the right to be represented in a variety of forums established to look out for the welfare of consumers. Consumers should establish nonpartisan, noncommercial consumer groups so that they may be represented on committees established by the government and other entities that deal with consumer issues.
Right to Seek redressal
is the ability to file a complaint about unethical business activities or the unscrupulous exploitation of customers. It also involves the right to a just resolution of the consumer’s sincere complaints. Consumers who have legitimate complaints must file them. Sometimes their criticism may be of little value, but it may have a significant influence on society as a whole. They can also enlist the aid of consumer advocacy groups to assist them resolve their disputes.
Post-purchase complaints must be addressed through a robust redressal mechanism since markets are becoming more globalised and the direct line between the producer and the ultimate consumer is eroding. To address this, the Act establishes consumer dispute resolution organisations (often referred to as Consumer Forums or Consumer Courts) at the district, state, and federal levels. These organisations offer rapid, easy, and affordable resolution of consumer complaints. When less than 23 lakhs in compensation is requested, the District Forum handles the case. The Consumer Redressal Forum’s “pecuniary jurisdiction” is the term used to describe this threshold. When the value of the products and services and compensation sought does not exceed one crore rupees, the State Forum handles the complaints, and the National Forum considers 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
These recommendations for consumers take into account the needs and interests of consumers in all nations, particularly those in developing nations, as well as their interests in promoting just, equitable, and sustainable economic and social development and environmental protection. They also acknowledge that consumers frequently face imbalances in terms of their economic status, educational attainment, and bargaining power.
(a) To assist countries in achieving or maintaining adequate protection for their population as consumers;
(b) To facilitate production and distribution patterns responsive to the needs and desires of consumers;
(c) To encourage high levels of ethic al conduct for those engaged in the production and distribution of goods and services to consumers;
(d) To assist countries in curbing abusive business practices by all enterprises at the national and international levels which adversely affect consumers;
(e) To facilitate the development of independent consumer groups;
(f) To further international cooperation in the field of consumer protection;
(g) To encourage the development of market conditions which provide consumers with greater choice at lower prices;
(h) To promote sustainable consumption.
WHAT ARE CONSUMER RIGHTS?,https://www.consumersinternational.org/who-we-are/consumer-rights/
United Nations guidelines for consumer protection
Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (as expanded in 1999),https://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/consumption_en.pdf
UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection (2019),https://www.consumersinternational.org/what-we-do/consumer-protection/global-policy-cooperation/un-guidelines-for-consumer-protection/
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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