No matter how good the law should be made in the country, if the people who implement it and for whom the law has been made. If the public is not aware of that law, then that law is of no use. Consumer Protection Act This is such an important law for the customer that people do not realize their power.
Here we will try to know about consumer law and try to know its history, we will give information about how to use this right. In today’s internet era, you will know in detail about how the rights of customers can be used online.
In capitalism, the seller is powerful, so if the customer is not aware, then the seller takes advantage of it. So it is very important for the customer to be aware. No one does the work of giving this information about the product or services because those who are harmed you being aware of the customer’s ignorance is important. They run the advertisements with the emotion of the customer and build the brand of their item.
History of Consumer Protection Act –
Consumer Act 1986 Before this law came to India, the consumer got protection for his rights under the law given below. But for this he had to go to the traditional court, for which a lawyer had to be hired. Which is not everyone’s business to hire. As far as India is concerned, we have newly born democracy. The meaning of democracy is not known by most citizens of the country. Therefore, it is a duty of government to protect the rights of consumer/customer against powerful businesses.
- The Sales of Goods Act 1930
- The Contract Act 1872
The Common people did not have such a solid platform for their rights, at low cost and without the involvement of lawyers where they could get justice. As development of consumer rights in western countries in late 1970’s this movement spread all over the world including India. This is the phase of our economy transform from agriculture to Industrialization.
Earlier, this rule of supply and demand was run in the economy, in which the price of the commodity fell due to decrease in demand. The price of the commodity increased due to increase in demand, this rule seemed very simple to appear but artificially controlled the prices of the commodity. Due to which the consumer would suffer in both the circumstances, so the government had to bring this law.
What is Consumer Protection Act ?
The seller earns profit from the customer for the goods or services. The customer and the seller should be transparent in its dealings. Both get the right benefit, so a law is made in the country through which the rights and the rights of the people are protected.
Under this law, the rights of customers were protected for all goods and services by government organizations, private organizations, cooperatives, all such organizations. Customers can get relief by registering a complaint for the betterment of their service or item.
After 1990, the face of the market changed and the whole world became an open market, that too online market from which you can buy online services or goods from any corner of the world, so recently this law has been changed by digitalization of consumer shopping.
Consumer Rights & Duty –
- The quality and guarantee of any good or service should be given to the consumer before buying it.
- Any consumer should buy the goods or services by looking at the signs like ISI and Agmark before buying them.
- The consumer has the right to choose his goods or services by looking at it in a variety of ways and has the right to choose the goods / services at the right price in a competitive manner.
- The consumer has the right to know the complete information about the goods / services and all this information is necessary to be available on the goods under the provisions of the law.
- It is necessary for the consumer to be aware of his rights, otherwise the chances of fraud with him increase.
- The consumer has the right to lodge a complaint for fraud or damage caused by the goods/services being received.
- Under the Consumer Act, the consumer has the right to get compensation.
- In the age of the Internet, we have started doing almost all the transactions online, it is a very difficult task to be more careful in this, but for this it is necessary to know the cyber law, which understands its deception.
How to file a consumer complaint –
- The complaint has to be filed within two years of the purchase of the goods/services.
- In the complaint, the consumer has to record his problem in detail, it is necessary to mention the trouble he had to go through for getting goods / services or getting compensation in return.
- All bills or receipts have to be attached with the complaint application or uploaded in the online application.
- Written complaint has to be received by email, by registered post directly and receipt thereof which is very important.
- There is no need to hire a lawyer to file a complaint under the Consumer Act.
- Who can file a complaint –
- one or more consumers
- consumer representative or heir of the consumer
- consumer mobilization
- central government or state government
Where to file complaint ?-
- Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission
- District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – Rs. Cases up to 1 crore
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – Rs. Cases up to 1 – 10 crores
- Central Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – Rs. Cases of more than 10 crores
- Website of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
This commission works to protect the rights of the consumer in relation to all purchases and sales in the country and looks into the wrong practices and exploitation under its supervision. Misleading advertising and exploitation of the consumer, in return, to discipline, to impose fines and to provide compensation for damages and to order replacement of goods or services.
Difference between Customer & Consumer –
Many people understand this word as a customer and consumer, but to understand this law, it is very important for us to understand the true meaning of these two words. Because only the consumer gets the benefit of this law, if you are a customer but not a consumer, then you do not get rights under this law.
Consumer means to take advantage of any good or service and customer means that he can also be a consumer or any goods or service for business to give benefit to the last consumer and earn money. Therefore, customer and consumer are similar looking words in English but different legally. The main object of differentiating these two term was that weaker section of the society protected from exploitation from powerful businesses.
Evaluation of Consumer Protection –
Companies like Facebook and Apple run by keeping a standard in America and Western developed countries and keep a standard in India. The important reason for this is corruption and consumer not being aware of their rights. So the keeping standard of their product or services is an entry barrier in the open market. But in corrupted bureaucracy companies tries to bribe system and exploits more profit.
Apple has sued an intelligence software company like Pegasus to protect its mobile handsets and guarantee its customers’ security. In many cases, big companies have taken their production back to their countries, but this trend is not seen in India. It is a matter of misfortune. The important issue is also the lack of awareness about consumer rights.
Despite the availability of the facility of consumer law, the amount of cooperation that should have been given to this law has not been received so far. Therefore that the companies do not shy away from misusing it. The second important reason is that despite the quasi judicial process, people have failed to build trust in the judiciary. Online platform makes this market more critical about a law is concerned.
Competition Commission of India & Consumer / CCI & Consumer –
We saw that there is a difference between a customer and a consumer, with the same explanation. We will try to know about the Competition Commission of India, about which many people do not know that it is related to the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Where the protection of the customer and the consumer. Provisions have been made in this regard regarding.
The job of the Competition Commission of India is that the small business is not exploited by the big business. There is open competition in the market and finally the consumer gets the good quality goods or service at a reasonable price. So it can also file a consumer complaint under the law. Many people don’t know.
The purpose of consumer law is to protect the rights of the end customer in the market. The object of the Competition Commission is that no consumer should be exploited in the market and legal competition should be maintained. So that the end consumer gets its benefit. So that the goods or services are changed like consumer law. Pay taxes, compensate the damages, impose fines, etc.
Features of Consumer Protection Act 2019-
- The Consumer Protection Act 2019 replaced with the Consumer Protection Act 1986.
- The previous act was mainly focused with manufacturing products, but this new act made regulations for services and digital platform also.
- The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) is established by this act to regulate this act all over India.
- The Consumer Protection Act specifically defined the meaning of Consumer – the end users of the products and services, where the customer has defined differently and for this The Competition Act made by Central government.
- Online complain portal made more stronger regulation relevant to the digital platform.
- Object of Consumer Protection Act is not protecting the rights of Consumers but also to give compensation against exploitation.
- The Consumer Protection Act concept comes from mailnly developed countries where awareness for law is more than India, therefore even though if law on paper is effective but practically implementation requires as per law.
- Three tire Redressal machinery established through Consumer Protection Act to solve the problems of consumers through Local-state & central stature.
- Time bound features are inserted in this consumer protection act to avoid weaknesses of our Judiciary where the pendancy of cases makes your justice delay.
- The Consumer Protection Council is established for spreading awareness about consumer rights through internet platform and other sources of platform.
Critical Analysis of The Consumer Protection Act –
Weaker section of the society always protected through enacting laws for them, therefore the consumer protection act was first established in 1986 and new developments made under 2019 act. As we know that on reality there is so many activities are there which violates the rights of consumers. But there is a lack of awareness and acceptance of as it is system mentality of the people not makes the law effective as it wants.
Through medical sector to the retail market, we can see the exploitation of consumer’s are lack of information about how to file complaint make more worst this situation. The real problem of failure of consumer protection act is most of the businesses run by small businesses which is earning less profits. The bigger business gains most of the margin of profits and exploits smaller businesses. So small businesses try to earn their margin through end users which is consumers.
The corruption in the government system and the burden of taxes is also the major reasons of companies to exploit their end user to increase their profit of margin. This is the cycle of bad things which instigates all the companies to survive in the market by violating the law. Therefore the consumer protection law is effective, but just require execution of it more efficiently through the system fairly.
In this way, we have seen here that how much awareness is there among the people about the Consumer Act and how the consumer should register his complaint online and for this we saw the system made under this law. In India, we get to see many flaws in goods and services, in which the most serious thing, is the adulteration of food items, for which this business is run in tandem with the system, which is played with the health of the people.
For the Consumer protection, people will have to be aware of their rights and fight for it in an organized manner. Our aim is to explain to you about the Consumer Act in a general way, so that we have seen what are our consumer rights and how they can be used.