Social Awareness- Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
People buy the products and few of them complain about the product that they were given the defected product for which they have paid the full amount. Similarly, when you are buying a product from a particular shop but later you find the product is not comfortable or not worth buying. People do not receive the full worth of the amount they spend on the goods and services they desire. Most people do not know about consumer rights, they lack information about the products and services. So, this article is for the guide of consumer rights information, who is a consumer.
Who is a consumer?
The consumer is one who uses a wide range of products or goods and services or consumes a product. The consumer can also be defined as anyone who buys products and paid for their service and uses it the durable time. The products can be both, consumable such as wheat flour, salt, sugar, fruits, etc., and durable consumer goods such as televisions, refrigerators, toasters, mixers, bicycles, etc. the services consist of electricity, telephone service, transportation service, theatre service, and other services.
You should know the difference between the consumer of goods and the consumer of services. Suppose, you have a scooter, bicycle, or any vehicle it requires maintenance for which you have to go to a repair shop, right. You are paying for the services meanwhile you are a service user. The food products we purchase can be eaten immediately or over time. Cereals/pulses can be stored for a week or a month, and a refrigerator can be used for several years with minor repairs. However, we are unable to do in the case of transportation, maintenance, electricity, telephone service, or a film screening or theatre.
Who is the responsible Consumer?
A Responsible Consumer is-
- Who keeps an eye on the market?
- A consumer constantly double-checks the accuracy of weights and measurements.
- Who keeps in mind the date of manufacturing and the expiration date?
- Pay close attention to the pricing and ingredient labeling.
- Look for certification labels such as ISI, Agmark, and Eco-mark.
- Before purchasing the product, read the warranty and guarantee terms and conditions.
- When looking for value for money in market transactions, consumers should express, but not abuse, their consumer rights.
- Know what questions to ask and when to ask them.
Under section 6 in the Consumer protection act 1986, the rights of a consumer are as follows:
Rights of Consumer:
- Right to protection: It means that consumers have the right to be protected from the marketing of goods and services harmful to life and property. Every consumer should verify and cross-check the quality of any product they are buying along with the guarantee and services. Consumers should always look for authenticated marks like ISI, AGMARK, etc. The benefits of the goods and services purchased should not only meet their current and ongoing needs but also their long-term after-effects.
- Right to choose: Every consumer has the right to have access to a wide variety of goods and services at a competitive price. In the case of monopoly, the consumer has the right to be assured of satisfactory quality at a reasonable price. The right to essential goods and services is also included in this portion. In today’s competitive market, this right can be used really well.
- Right to information: Buyers should be provided with all the required information about the products in order to choose wisely. This right protects the consumer to fall from unfair trade. They have the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and prices. Before making the decision, the consumer has the right the ask for all the required details about the product, this will allow them to act sensibly and not follow the hard sales tactics.
- Right to consumer education: Consumers should be aware of their rights in order to be exploited. Ignorance costs us more. The right to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a well-informed consumer throughout one’s life.
- Right to be heard: This right states that consumers have the right to be heard and address their issues. They will be given proper time to air their issues on relevant platforms. Consumers should organize non-political, non-commercial consumer organizations that can be represented on various government and non-governmental committees dealing with consumer issues.
- Right to seek compensation: This provides the right to consumers to see justice in the event of unfair trade and practices. It also involves the right to a just resolution of a consumer’s genuine grievances. Consumers should always complain if they have genuine issues, the problem might be minor but its effects can be really significant.
Responsibilities of consumer:
- Be aware: Always be aware and gather all the required information about the product before buying. Get the facts straight away and not fall for any marketing tactics.
- Beware: Be alert to the quality and safety of products and services before you purchase.
- Think independently: Make decisions about well-considered needs and wants.
- Speak Out: Inform manufacturers and government of your needs and expectations.
- Be an Ethical Consumer: Be fair and never engage in dishonest practices which affect other consumers negatively.
- Complain: Inform businesses and appropriate regulatory authorities about your dissatisfaction with a product or service, in a fair and honest manner
- Share Experience: Inform other consumers about your experience with a product or service.
- Respect the Environment: Avoid waste, littering, and contributing to pollution. Promote sustainable consumption by ensuring that what you consume does not impact the environment negatively.
- Ethical Consumer Responsibilities: They should be honest and not engage in any misleading practices.
The practice of making an individual or consumer aware of their rights and responsibilities when purchasing products and services is known as consumer awareness. All customers must be aware in order to make the best option and selection possible regarding the products and services being supplied. “Jago Grahak Jago” is an example of a consumer awareness campaign in India.