According to the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the consumer right is referred to as ‘right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property’.It is applicable to specific areas like healthcare, pharmaceuticals.
The right to information is defined as ‘the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices’ in the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
Consumerism is a social as well as economic order which encourages the buying of goods and services in ever-greater amounts. This term is sometimes associated with critics of consumption beginning with Thorstein Veblen. Veblen's topic of examination.
Consumer Complaints Redressal
A new cell known as the Consumer Grievances Redressal Cell (CGRC) was set up in 2002 in February for addressing the complaints made by the customers. The categories it deals with are
- High prices being charged for products and selling of goods those are defective.
- Handling grievances that are received by the PMO and the Cabinet Secretary regarding customer issues.
- Handling the complaints that are published in the newspaper. This is a very diverse thing and hence they try to solve as many complaints as possible.
In addition, complaints for delay in the processing of the cases in various states and districts are received by the department and necessary actions are taken at the earliest to solve their issues for their satisfaction. 2272 complaints were received by the Redressal Cell till 31st March 2007. The complaints were then transferred to the Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) for the redressal concerning correction of the incorrect bills, re-installation of electricity or telephone, replacement of defective goods, custody of the flats allotted etc. The complaints are too many and of various types.
Both CGRC and CCC do not possess the authority to solve the complaints of consumers or take necessary actions. They have to forward those complaints that have been made by the unhappy consumer to the higher authorities who have the power to address those complaints, take necessary actions and solve them.
Who Can File a Complaint?
A complainant in relation to any goods or services may be filled by-
- A consumer
- Any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1of 1956)or under any other law for the time being in force
- The Central Government or any State Government
- One or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest
- In case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative
- A power of attorney holder cannot file a complaint under the Act.
What Constitutes a Complaint?
A complaint means any allegation in writing made by a complainant that-
- An unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider
- The goods bought or agreed to be bought by consumers suffer from one or more defects
- The services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed by consumer(s) suffer from deficiency in any respect
How to File a Complaint
- A complaint can be filed on a plain paper. It should contain-
- The name description and address of the complaints and the opposite party
- The Facts relating to complaint and when and where it arose.
- Documents in support of allegations in the complaint
- The relief which the complainants is seeking
- The complaint should be signed by the complainants or their authorized agent.
- No lawyer required for filing the complaint
- Nominal court fee