What is Consumer Protection? CBSE Class 11 Business Studies
America is known for its consumerism. Good or bad, many argue that our culture places a high value on material possessions and encourages people to consume more than they need. But, consumerism has more than one definition. In business and economy, it means to promote the rights and safety of consumers.
Our current consumer protection efforts grew out of this business definition of consumerism. Simply put, consumers are people. They are people who buy things. Consumer protection, therefore, refers to laws and other forms of government regulation designed to protect the rights of consumers. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, serves as our nation’s consumer protection agency and administers many different consumer protection laws, like the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Protection of consumer against the unfair trade practices of producers is called consumer protection. Today consumer is called kingpin of the market. He is the center stage of all the market activities. It is the constant endeavour of the producers that the production of the product must conform to the need of the consumer. In addition to the satisfaction of the consumer, it is also the endeavour of the producer that their sale should be maximum.
Consumer exploitation is a very big problem in countries like India. On the basis of the judgment passed in court and report published in a newspaper, some example of consumer exploitation are:
- Manufacturer of sunflower oil claim in his advertisement that their oil is full of vitamins and minerals but further on testing all their claims were found false.
- A woman got admitted in a civil hospital for an appendix operation but doctor’s negligence removes her gallbladder instead of the appendix.
Consumer protection is important because consumers are not aware of their rights. It’s only because of their ignorance that they can’t raise their voice against exploitation rampant in the market. They bear these exploitations, thinking it is a part of the market. The consumer is unorganized and this fact alone highlights the importance of consumer protection. Now a day’s consumers are exploited on a large scale, adulteration in consumer goods, misleading advertisement, creating artificial scarcity of the product.
The consumer act was passed in 1986 and considered as an important milestone in the history of India. Under section 6 of this act, a consumer has some right. Consumers have important support in purchasing the right goods and services and their grievances are redressed whenever they arise in some occasion. The act empowers each and every consumer of the market and makes a consumer-centric market.
The consumer protection act has provided three-tier machinery for redressing their complaints and the grievances. District Court which hears the disputes involving a sum up to 20 lacs. State court which hears a complain involving sum 20 lacs to 1 crore. The national commission which hears the disputed involving the amount more than 1 crore. If a person is not satisfied with the decisions of the court then they can apply in the higher-level court
Followings rights are available to consumers:
i. Right to safety: A consumer has the right to safety against such goods and services as are hazardous to his health, life, and property. For example : spurious and substandard drugs, appliances made of the cheap quality of material such as electrical press, pressure cooker, etc. And low-quality food products like bread jam etc.
ii. Right to be informed: A consumer has also the right that he should be provided with all the information on the basis of which he decides to buy goods or services such information related to quality purity potency, standard, date of manufacture, etc.
iii. Right to choose: A consumer has the absolute right to buy any goods or services of his choice from among different goods and services available in the market.
iv. Right to be heard: A consumer has the right that his complaint to be heard. Under this right, a consumer can file a complaint against all those things which are prejudicial to his interest
v. Right to be education
vi. Right to seek redress
vii. Right to basic needs
viii. Right to a healthy environment
Another important achievement of the Consumer Protection Act is creating awareness about their rights among Consumers. There are periodicals, research papers, media reports and bulletins that are published now to understand this even further by different people and reaching out to the masses. A consumer should also be aware of what they are purchasing and must ask about the product and all the information before buying.
The govt is making many efforts in order to provide protection to consumer interests. The consumer has a number of rights lying with them but at the same time, they have responsibilities too. Many consumer organizations are also playing an important role in it presently there is more than 500 consumer organisation in India and these organisations are contributing immensely for the protection of consumer interest.
1. Who can file a complaint?
A consumer association
One or more consumers.
2. Against whom can the complaint be filed?
Consumer can file complain against seller, manufacturer, services provider.
3. how many rights are available to consumers?
Under section 6 of consumer rights, there are 6 rights and 2 additional rights are there.
4. How many redressal agencies are provided under consumer protection act?
There is three redressal agencies are present under the consumer protection act.
District forum at district level
State commission at state level
National commission at national level.
5. Which act of consumer protection provides safety to consumers?
The consumer protection act, 1986.
6. District forum redresses the grievances of what amount?
Up to amount of 20 lacs.
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Tag – Consumer Protection, CBSE Class 11 Business Studies, 11th Commerce, rights to consumers