Importance of consumer awareness
Consumer awareness is a need of present days. Since we are inspired to buy different product through advertisement but many of them are not qualitative product. So, In this article you will find the importance of consumer awareness, rights of consumers and how to get redressal? If you are a victim of such situation, read this article to get redressal.
Meaning of consumer awareness
In this age of capitalism and globalization, the main objective of each producer is to maximize his profit. In each and every possible way the producer are trying to increase the sale of their products. Therefore, in fulfillment of their aim they forget the interests of consumer s and start exploiting them for example – overcharging, under weighing, selling of adulterated and poor quality goods, misleading the consumers by giving false advertisement etc. Thus in order to save himself from being cheated, it is necessary for a consumer to be aware. In this way, consumer awareness means creating awareness of a consumer towards his rights and duties.
Need and importance of consumer awareness
It has been observed very often that a consumer does not get right goods and services. He is charged a very high price or adulterated or low quality goods are sold to him. Therefore it is necessary to make him aware. Following facts classify the need of making consumers aware:
1. To achieve maximum satisfaction : The income of every individual is limited. He wants to buy maximum goods and services with his income. He gets full satisfaction only by this limited adjustment. Therefore it is necessary that he should get the goods which are measured appropriately and he should not be cheated in any way. For this he should be made aware.
2. Protection against exploitation : Producers and sellers exploit the consumers in many ways as underweighting, taking more price than the market price, selling duplicate goods etc. Big companies through their advertisement also mislead the consumers. Consumer awareness shields them from the exploitation by producers and sellers.
3.Control over consumption of harmful goods : There are several such goods available in market which cause harm to some consumers. For example we can take goods like cigarette, tobacco, liquor etc. The consumer education and awareness motivate people not to purchase such goods which are very harmful for them.
4. Motivation for saving : The awareness controls people from wastage of money and extravagancy and inspire them to take right decision. Such consumers are not attracted by sale, concession, free gifts, attractive packing etc due to which people can use their income in a right way and can save money.
5. Knowledge regarding solution of problems : The consumers are cheated due to illiteracy, innocence and lack of information. Therefore it becomes necessary that the information about their rights should be provided to them so that they cannot be cheated by producers and sellers. Through consumer awareness they are also made known to the proceedings of laws so that they can solve their problems.
6. Construction of healthy society : Every member of the society is a consumer. So, if the consumer is aware and rationale, then complete society becomes healthy and alert towards their rights.
Rights of consumers
Consumers have the right to buy good commodities and services from the market. The protection of law has been provided to him so that producer or seller cannot cheat him in any way. Generally a consumer has got the following rights:
1. Right to safety : This sis essential for producers that they should obey the rules related to the safety of consumers. The reason is if the producers do not obey safety rules then the consumer may have to bear a big risk. For example in pressure cooker there is a safety valve which if faulty can lead to a fatal accident. The manufacturers of the safety valves should fix a high quality for it. IF manufacturers do not do this then the consumers can take help of consumer’s law.
2. Right to Choose : A consumer has the right to select any goods or services when he buys it. Suppose you purchase a gas connection and the gas dealer compels you to buy the burner also along with gas connection, but you want to buy gas connection only , and there is no requirement of the burner. In this situation your right to selection is not followed. The reason is that the seller pressurizes you to buy that thing which you do not want to buy. In this situation you can take legal action against the seller.
3. Right to be informed : When we purchase any product we see that some special information are written on the packet. Such as – batch number of the commodity, manufacturing date, expiry date, address of manufacturing company of the good etc. When we purchase any medicine, then we get the direction regarding the side effects and dangers of the medicines. When we purchase clothes, then we should have the washing directions. It is necessary to provide important information because consumers are given right to obtain information about things and services which they buy.
4. Right to information : In the year 2005, the government of India has made law known as right to information. The right to information law provides the right to get the information about all the activities of the government departments. The consumers also have right to get the consumers education.
5. Right to Redressal : The consumers have right to redressal against the not feasible bargaining and exploitation. The right to redressal can be understood by a single example. A man named Mathew got admitted in a private hospital for the removal of tonsils. An ENT surgeon operated for removal of tonsils under general anesthesia. Due to improper anesthesia, symptoms of mental imbalance developed in Mathew due to which he became handicap for the entire life. Consumer dispute redressal committee found the hospital guilty of negligence in the treatment and directed to pay the compensation. Thus, it is clear that if a consumer has to bear any loss, then on the basis of the quantity of loss, the consumer has right to get redrssal.
Consumer protection act
In 1986, the Consumer Protection Act was passed by the Government of India. The Consumer Protection Act is famous as COPRA . The main objective of this act is to decide the complaints of the consumers immediately and to make legal proceeding easy. A three tier judiciary system has been established under COPRA at district , state and national level to resolve the disputes of consumers. The court at district level hears the cases related to the claims up to Rs. 20 lakhs. The claims from Rs. 20 lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore are heard in the state level court. The court at national level hears the cases with the claims of more than 1 crore.