Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Consumer Rights:

  1. Right to safety:- Means the right to be protected from the marketing of goods and services that endanger life and property. The items and services acquired should not only suit their current requirements, but also their long-term interests. Consumers should insist on the quality of the items as well as the guarantee of the products and services before making a purchase. They should rather choose quality-marked items such as ISI, AGMARK, and so on.
  2. Right to choose:- Means the right to be guaranteed, whenever feasible, of access to a diverse range of products and services at a reasonable price. In the case of monopolies, it entails the right to expect good quality and service at a reasonable price. It also covers the right to fundamental goods and services. This is because the minority’s unfettered ability to choose might imply a rejection of the majority’s fair share. This right is better exercised in a competitive market when a wide range of items are accessible at reasonable costs.
  3. Right to be informed:- Means the customer has the right to be informed about the quality, amount, potency, purity, standard, and price of goods in order to defend themselves from unfair commercial practises. Before making a choice or decision, consumers should insist on receiving all available information about the product or service. This will allow him to behave intelligently and responsibly, as well as avoid falling victim to high-pressure marketing methods.
  4. Right to consumer education:- The right to gain the information and skills necessary to be an educated consumer throughout one’s life. Consumer ignorance, particularly among rural customers, is largely to blame for their exploitation. They should be aware of their rights and should exercise them. Only then can successful consumer protection be achieved.
  5. Right to be heard:- This means that the interests of consumers will be taken into account in relevant forums. It also involves the right to be represented in different forums established to examine the welfare of consumers. Consumers should create non-political and non-commercial consumer groups that may be represented in various consumer committees formed by the government and other entities.
  6. Right to Seek redressal:- Means the right to seek remedy for unjust trade practises or unethical consumer exploitation. It also includes the consumer’s right to a fair resolution of legitimate issues. Consumers must file a complaint if they have legitimate issues. Many times, their complaint may be of minor importance, but its influence on society as a whole may be significant. They can also seek resolution of their concerns via consumer organisations.
  7. Consumer Protection Act:- An Act to provide for the protection of consumers’ interests and, for that purpose, to create agencies for the prompt and effective administration and resolution of consumer disputes, as well as for matters associated therewith.” (From the Consumer Protection Act of 2019.) “An Act to provide for greater consumer protection and to make provision for the formation of consumer councils and other agencies for the resolution of consumer disputes and for issues connected therewith.”(From the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.) The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 aims to promote and defend customers’ interests against inadequacies and faults in goods or services. It also aims to protect consumers’ rights against unfair or restrictive trade practises. This act was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 9, 1986, and the Rajya Sabha on December 10, 1986, and it was signed by the President of India on December 24, 1986, and it was published in the Gazette of India on December 26, 1986.

Consumer Responsibilities:

  1. Ask Yourself!:-
  • Have you had any issues as a consumer?
  • Have you ever complained about an issue like this?
  • Do you aware that you may seek the help of a consumer organization to safeguard your interests?

2. Be Critically Aware:- The responsibility to be more alert and to question more – about prices, about quantity and quality of goods bought and services used.

3. Be Involved:- The obligation to be forceful – to guarantee that you, as a customer, get a fair bargain. Remember that if you remain passive, you will most likely be exploited.

4. Be Organized:- The duty to join hands and raise one’s voice as a customer; to fight as a group and to build the power and influence necessary to promote and safeguard consumer interests.

5. Practice Sustainable Consumption:- The responsibility to be aware of the impact of your consumption on other citizens, especially the disadvantaged or powerless groups; and to consume based on needs – not wants.

6. Be Responsible to the Environment:- The obligation to be aware of and comprehend the environmental repercussions of our consumption. We must acknowledge our personal and social duty to conserve natural resources and maintain the environment for future generations.