As we begin each day, we are busy with many different life activities. We need to balance our personal and professional lives and care for many things. Buying goods as a consumer is one of our activities, which gives us pleasure and acts as stress relief. We buy something or the other every day, either online or in the office. Sometimes mobiles, clothes, electronics goods, footwear, books, stationery, and jewellery are always ongoing. We do it depending on our requirements. Did you ever think that you do not just buy as a consumer but have many rights while buying all the above. Every year on March 15, World Consumer Rights Day is observed, so this year, please spend some time and learn about your rights as a consumer and educate everyone around you about their rights too.
If you have any problem with the goods that you purchased, like loss or damage that is caused due to the unfair or restrictive trade practice of the seller or the service provider, if any product that you bought is defective, then you have every right to file a complaint in consumer forum. Consumer forum would help you and guide you as to how to file a case in the consumer court. Additionally, they would also represent an individual consumer in the consumer courts. The court fee would be Rs.5000, and that should be a demand draft in the name of the Registrar National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
World Consumer Rights Day History
The first World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy. He sent a special message to the US Congress in 1962 on March 15. In the message, he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. In the year 1986, the Consumer Protection Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament, and the consent of the President was received on December 24, 1986. Thus from 1986 to December 14, we observe the day as National Consumer Day. The slogan that inspires the consumers towards their rights in India is: “Your products, your rights, know your rights to consume.” So, let us all together know our rights as consumers.
4 Main Consumer Rights
As a consumer, please remember that we have four important rights we can utilize while buying goods or services.
They are as follows:
- The right to be informed- As a consumer, you should be informed about the products or services in detail. You have the right to know everything about any information related to the product or service you are buying. So, make sure that when you spend money buying goods or taking services, you get to know complete details about it.
- The right to be informed: You should be informed of any important information related to the product or service without hiding. Once you are sure about the product or service and if it meets your requirements, you can proceed with it. If any crucial information about a product or service is not informed and sold to you, then you can fight for your right.
- The right to choose: For any product or service you want to buy from the market, you have so many options. The ultimate decision should be yours; you have every right to choose your product and from where you want to buy.
- The right to be heard: If you are not happy as a consumer with the product or service you have taken, you have every right to address the issue and raise a complaint. Your complaint will considered, and soon you can see positive results in compensation or replacement of the product or service.
The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 compensates for every consumer grievance easily and quickly. This act safeguards and encourages consumers to speak against the flaws and insufficiency found in services or goods. It protects the rights of the consumers against the traders and manufacturers who practice any illegal trade.
Responsibilities of a Consumer
- Government and non-government organizations are taking many steps to protect consumers and help them fight for their rights.
- Consumers should take the initiative and come forward to fight for their rights and should, stop exploitation, and safeguard their own interests.
- The consumer should always buy the product or service as per their interests. If the product or service has any defects or not satisfactory, a complaint has to immediately raised.
- As a consumer, don’t blindly believe the sweet talk of the seller; make sure that you get complete details and information about the price, quantity, manufacturing date, quality, price, etc.,
- Don’t think that it is just a product or service and need not complain if you are not happy, and your one complaint can bring change in the system; the sellers would be cautious and would learn their lesson not to cheat the public by selling false goods or providing false services.
- Don’t go just with the crowd. Learn to buy quality goods and services only after getting complete information.
- While buying the products, look for the expiry date, manufacturing date, ISI mark, Agmark, ISO, Woolmark, etc.
- Refrain from carried away by the advertisements shown on TV.
- After buying a product or service, make sure that you ask for a cash memo. The cash memo is the only evidence we can produce if we raise any complaint in the consumer forum.
- Discourage black marketing and buy the goods or services legally.
World Consumer Right Day Activities
- Some best examples of consumer complaints and how they resolved can brought to consumers’ notice.
- A workshop can conducted to educate consumers about their rights.
- Schools and colleges can conduct guest lectures so children can be aware of these things and share them with their family members.
- Special TV or Radio shows can conducted to educate people about consumer forums.
- Outside every shopping mall, a poster or banner can placed where the rights of the consumers mentioned.
- The complaints should taken and solved immediately so that people understand their rights’ importance and stop encouraging black marketing.