Consumer awareness is very low in India and in such a situation they are taken for a ride in many cases by market-savvy sales people. As an Indian, you should know that there is a law to protect consumers and that legislation is called Consumer Protection Act 1986. Under this law, consumers are given six basic rights to ensure that consumers get the products they want and the services that’s worth their money.
In this post, we will highlight in pointwise what are these six rights every Indians must know.
1. Right to Choose
A consumer is assured the right to choose goods and services at competitive prices. This means you can even bargain on the MRPs. Remember that MRP means Maximum Retail Price and depending on state taxes and transport costs, products can be sold below the MRP. However, stores aren’t allowed to sell items above the MRP.
2. Right to Safety
Consumer is protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. For example: Companies in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and food processing sector can be penalised for products or services that are harmful for a consumer. It also covers the automobile industry.
3. Right to Information
You are entitled to be know the quality, quantity, potency, purity and prices of goods or services. This means you have the right to ask or be provided with details about the product or services before making a purchase.
4. Right to be Heard
5. Right to Redressal
A consumer in India has the right to be seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous practices. For this there are consumer courts in every district, state and at the national level.
6. Right to Consumer Education
Indian consumers have the right to be educated about consumer protection rights and this duty falls upon both the government and businesses. This makes sure that proper informational programmes are implemented to help consumers make purchasing decisions. Sadly, in India, it’s only the NGOs that are organising awareness events and campaigns. The government must step up its participation level.