Consumer Awareness

Introduction

In the current trend of Marketing, the consumer is a lifeblood of all its functioning. The market gets shrewd and sometimes the consumer has to suffer the brunt of it. Therefore, consumer protection is an act of providing consumers with complete information about the goods, services and their rights.  

Consumer awareness is very important as they invest their time and money in marketing activities and they have a right to transparent information. 

Misleading advertisement, unsafe products, overcharging and unweighing and other malpractices are performed by unscrupulous businessmen. Consumer awareness is an act of saving consumers from such delinquencies.

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Need for Customer Protection-

  1. The consumer is the most important factor in business. No business can survive without consumers as their satisfaction is the main purpose of any business operations. 

  2. Business is not just about monetary benefits but also to upgrade the society to a better version by keeping its welfare as an objective. 

  3. The Constitution has provided us with the Consumer Protection act 1986, to protect the consumers from any marketing malpractices.

  4. Consumer protection rights promote a healthy competitive market which supports economic growth. It keeps away malicious trade practices and unscrupulous business owners from damaging the fair trade.

  5. Consumers are an integral part of a market structure. It is very important to protect their rights in order to have a fair market structure. 

Consumer Rights

  1. Consumer  Protection  Act,  1986 was enacted by the Parliament of India in 1986 to shield the interests of customers in India.  As per our economy, the right amount of demand and steady and responsible supply can assist in the growth of the economy. Hence, in order to protect the buyers from any sort of exploitation, this act was introduced. 

Let’s move on to how many types of consumer rights are there-

  1. Right to Safety

This is a basic right to be protected against the marketing of such goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. Consumption of goods or services which are not up to the mark can have adverse effects on the consumer’s health and safety. In order to protect the consumer’s interest, they have a right to receive high quality and reliable goods. For instance- Household goods like LPG cylinders if not sealed properly can cause immense damage to life and property, Stale food items can cause harm to buyers health, Low-quality cosmetics can cause similar harms.

  1.  Right to Information- 

The consumer has a right to receive information about the quality, quantity, potency, standard and price of the goods or services. The consumer should rightfully ask on getting all the information about the product or service before making a choice or a decision. This will enable him to take well informed and thought decision and also preventing himself from falling prey to high-pressure selling techniques. The right to information is used to shield consumers from deceptive advertising, misleading labels and packaging, high prices, etc.

  1. Right to Choose-

This right provides access to all the variety of goods and services and competitive prices. In monopolistic competition, the goods and services should be of the best quality and price. 

The seller should not use aggressive techniques to see the products and consumers should have the right to all the variety of alternatives. This right requires free competition in the market.  The consumer should have a free choice in choosing any product from the market.

  1. Right to be Heard-

The above three rights are useless if there is no proper authority to listen to customer grievances. If a buyer is dissatisfied with the product or service, then one has the right to file a complaint against it and it has to be addressed within a set time-frame. For instance, if a consumer buys an electronic Item and it starts malfunctioning, a consumer has all rights to take appropriate action by returning or replacing it. 

  1. Right to Seek Redressal- 

This right gives authority to the consumers to settle any claims and complaints against sellers for their unfair trade practices and exploitation. The buyer has a right to redress if the quality of the product is compromised. Consumers need to file a complaint under the consumer protection act.

  1. Right to Customer Education-

A consumer must be aware of his rights and responsibilities provided by the authorities regarding marketing practices. This is a very important right as this lays down the foundation for fair trade practices as a consumer is aware of his rights. The consumer has all the authority to gain knowledge about his rights as a buyer.

Who is a  Responsible Consumer?

  • The responsible consumer is one who is aware of all his rights and responsibilities during a trade practice. 

  • A consumer who checks all the required labels of the products, while purchasing,  in order to know the authenticity and quality of the product.

  • The responsibility to be assertive – Which ensures that you get a fair deal as a consumer. 

  • A customer should check for the standard marks which ensure the authenticity as well as the quality of the product like the ISI mark or Hallmark etc.

Consumer Awareness In India

Consumer awareness campaign- Jago Grahak Jago is a well-established campaign which has shielded consumers against marketing malpractices and has successfully redressed the consumer complaints. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1-  Why is it Important to Protect Consumer Interest?

It is important to save consumers interest as they are the main purpose of any business information. There is no business if there is no one to satisfy.

2- What are Indian Consumer Rights?

Consumer Rights in India. The definition of Consumer right is 'the right to have information about various parameters of the product like its quality, potency, quantity, purity, price or standard of goods or services', as it may be the case, and the consumer is to be protected against the unfair practices of the trade.

3- How do I File a Consumer Complaint in India?

One must submit a formal complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

4-What Is Jago Grahak Jago Campaign?

Jago Grahak Jago is a consumer rights awareness programme issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India. This programme enables Indian Customers to get educated about their consumer rights.