Gone are the days of “Caveat Emptor” now it is “Consumer is King”. There are no dearth of sellers who wish to fulfil all of the consumer’s demands, and cannot afford to alienate consumers with bad service or products. Consumers have tools at their disposal such as consumer complaints, courts, forums etc. Let us take a look at consumer protection in India.
Introduction to Consumer Protection
A consumer is the one who assumes to be treated like a King as they bring business to the seller. Previously “consumer was asked to beware” but these days fingers have been pointed to seller “let seller be beware” as due to policies introduced, government laws, consumer protection, NGO and the increased competition in the market.
Consumer Protection is a term given to a practice wherein we need to protect the consumer from the unfair practice, educating them about their rights and responsibilities and also redressing their grievances.
Browse more Topics under Consumer Protection
- Consumer Protection Act
- Consumer Rights/Responsibilities
- Legal Protection to Consumers
- Consumer Organisations and NGOs
Why do Consumers need to be Protected?
There are n number of products in the market which are injurious to the health of the consumer, adulteration, false weights, monopoly and unfair trade practice are some of the issues that need to be tackled and are to be addressed to protect the consumer against it.
How do we Protect the Consumer?
- The consumer should be educated on their rights and responsibilities
- Their grievances should be redressed
- The judicial body requires to provide them with the justice.
Importance of Consumer Protection
I. Importance from Consumer Point of View
- Consumer Ignorance: Consumer when seeing it from their point of view then we have gathered some aspects to it. Of which, Consumer Ignorance needs to be taken care of they should know how to exercise their rights and how to seek reliefs.
- Unorganised Consumer: We need a Consumer Organisation which can unify the consumers and help them seek relief with their consumer issues.
- Widespread Exploitation of Consumer: Consumer is been exploited through the ways of adulteration, false practice, fake weights, incomplete information on packaged products, Misleading Advertisements. For instance, there are many products that claim to make you fair or reduce your weight but when you use the products it does not provide what is promised.
II. Importance from Business Point of View
Do business really need to consider consumer protection, is there a way which can benefit them as well? Let us have a look at some of the points which provide us with some insight :
- Long-Term Interest of Business: If one wants to increase their customer base in long-term then they need to make a satisfied customer. A satisfied customer with their word of mouth would make more customer and increase the consumer base.
- Business uses society’s Resources: Business should not hamper consumer confidence as most of the resources taken from the society. In turn, business keeps in mind public interest and provide products accordingly.
- Social Responsibility: Business have responsibilities towards the consumer, government bodies and society and they should work in a way which should be beneficial to them and the business as in return it will flourish their business.
- Moral Justice: Business has a moral duty to the society and consumer and they should take steps which should not hamper the society or consumer. They should prevent any sort of exploitation like adulteration, unfair practices, defective product, fair price and weight.
- Government Intervention: To avoid the situation of government intervention in the business which could be a hectic task. For that business should design their trade practice in such a way which would be in the interest of the consumer.
Consumer Complaints are the first step of redressal that the customer takes in the process of consumer protection. Hence this is the most important step that the businesses need to handle with extreme care and dexterity. And in the times of the internet consumer complaints and feedback has more power than ever
Consumer complaints can actually help an organization improve their products and services. It is a great form of feedback. It gives you a very fair measure of customer satisfaction. And if consumer complaints are dealt with swiftly it actually helps with customer retention and even improves the goodwill of your company.
So instead of treating consumer complaints as a hindrance or a headache, organizations can treat it as a way to bring about improvement and grow their consumer base.
Solved Question for You
Question: What are the ways and means of Consumer Protection?
Ans: The various ways and means of Consumer Protection are:
- Self Regulation
- Consumer Organisations
- Consumer Awareness
- Business Associations