Consumer Protection Act - Rights and Responsibilities

The Customer Protection Act is a law in favour of customers, wherein their interests are taken into consideration and given the preference. The law was recently amended in 2019 to replace the existing one which was passed back in 1986, thereby enabling customers with further rights to exercise in their daily lives.

As per the meaning of consumer rights, the main objective behind enacting this law is to facilitate consumers with remedies or quick redressal of their grievances. This law holds special provisions meant for consumers through which the higher authorities can resolve the disputes faced by consumers.

What is the Consumer Protection Act?

The definition of Consumer Protection Act 1986 says that it is a law meant for preserving the rights of the consumers and resolving their disputes faster as and when they arise. This law allows for the establishment of an authoritative body called the Central Consumer Protection Authority or CCPA.

This body examines the unfair practices in trade and advertisements that provide misleading information, and other such illegal or unethical aspects. It shall take necessary actions and/or provide apt solutions to address grievances arising out of such practices.  

Students should note that it was initially the Consumers Protection Act 1986 when it was first introduced by the Indian Parliament. The act allows a concerned authoritative body to punish the law violators with a penalty as well. 

What are Consumer Rights and Responsibilities?

According to the Consumer Protection Act definition, consumers are given specific rights and obligations that they can exercise as well as have to abide by regularly. Let us take a look at those, one by one.

A proper understanding of the rights given to consumers through COPRA Act 1986 will help in further developing an idea on which grievances will be resolved and which will not.

According to the Copra act, points given below make up a list of rights granted to consumers.

  • Right to Consumer Education: Consumers should know their rights to avoid falling prey to violations.

  • Right to Safety: They can ask for quality assurance of any product or service they purchase.

  • Right to Choose: They should hold the option to choose among multiple options and purchase only when it suffices their demands.

  • Right to be Informed: They should be aware of product details before deciding to purchase.

  • Right to be Heard: They should be heard of their complaints or feedback on their availed goods or services at a forum.

  • Right to Seek Compensation: They can ask for compensation, monetary or any other means, against complaints that they file for unfair trading practices. 

According to the consumer protection act, the following are the responsibilities of a customer

  • Responsibility to speak out

  • Responsibility to complain

  • Responsibility to think independently

  • Responsibility to be aware

  • Responsibility to be an ethical customer

Therefore, it is evident that a customer has multiple rights and responsibilities to follow at all times. You should be able to understand each point separately so that you do not forget while listing them in your exam. Make sure you regularly revise for in-depth learning.

How can a Consumer File a Complaint?

Based on the meaning of consumer protection, customers have the right to complain against discrepancies in goods and services that they purchase from traders or service providers.

Irrespective of whether an issue is related to quality or price of a product/service, consumers have the right to raise a complaint regarding it and get that redressed to their favour if their grievances hold valid in the jurisdiction’s eyes. 

However, based on consumer protection definition, a consumer should make sure that a particular purchase was made within the last two years of raising a complaint.

Four simple steps to file a complaint are listed below -

  1. Individuals have to mention the relevant details or purpose of raising a complaint. They may opt for a replacement, exchange, health jeopardy, etc. 

  2. One needs to attach the relevant bills or receipts that he/she had received while making a purchase.

  3. Concerned customers may submit a written application via email, fax, or self-delivered hard copy to the Consumer Forum. Following that they need to make sure it is acknowledged by a concerned authority after you have sent an application.

  4. An individual can write a complaint in his/her preferred language. There is no hard and fast rule for the language. That person only needs to ensure that his/her concern is clearly described, irrespective of the language.

Consumers in context should keep into consideration that the Copra 1986 does not demand them to hire a lawyer for this purpose. They can directly speak for themselves and stand for their grievances. 

All a person has to do is keep all the relevant documents and receipts that he/she sends to and receives from a specific authority as well as to and from the violator. 

To know more about Customer Protection Act and other topics in 10+2 commerce, go through our online learning programmes. There are quality study materials drafted by our subject experts to help you build a solid foundation on every topic. So, without any further delay, avail our study notes for enhanced guidance towards your exam preparation.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Consumer Protection Act?

Ans: The Consumer Protection Act facilitates the consumers to complain against the qualities or prices of products and services they avail form traders. This law helps in preserving the interests of the consumer and redress the grievances accordingly by imposing a penalty on such violators or by other means.

2. What is Consumer Protection?

Ans: The consumer protection meaning is that both interests and preferences of consumers are taken into consideration while resolving the complaint raised by a consumer.

3. What is the Meaning of Consumer?

Ans: According to the rights of the Consumer Protection Act, it says that a consumer is a person who purchases goods or avails services for self-use. However, you should note that a person buying goods or services to sell it further will not be considered a consumer.

4. What is the Full Form of Copra?

Ans: The full form of Copra is Customer Protection Act. It was first enacted in 1986 and later amended only recently to introduce the Consumer Protection Act 2019.