With the evolution of market activities, the relationship between customer and seller is also changing. Nowadays the consumer is considered as the ‘King of the Market, ‘ and it is assumed that the user is always right. But still, with the aim of maximizing their profits, the sellers and manufacturers tend to exploit the customers. To protect consumers from such exploits the government has laid down Consumer Protection Act.
The Consumer Protection Act was established by the government to protect the rights and interests of the consumer.
As per Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the rights of the user are:
- The right of protection against the selling of such goods and services which can be dangerous to life and property
- The right to be apprised about the quality, quantity, purity, potency, standard and price of services or goods to protect the customer against unfair trade practices
- The right to be assured and access to a variety of products and services at competitive prices
- The right to be ensured and to be heard that user’s interests will receive due consideration at relevant forums
- The right to seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers
- The right to consumer education
Consumer Protection Act guards a consumer against the following:
Unfair trade practices
- An Unfair Trade Practice is the usage of unethical, fraudulent or deceptive ways for obtaining and growing one’s business.
- The misleading and false advertisements, misrepresentations, tied selling or unlawful acts are some of the practices which are counted as Unfair Trade Practice.
The Consumer Protection Act works to protect the customers from malpractices, adulterations, unfair trade practices, fabricators. It usually involves protection against dangerous or faulty products, warranty (an implied promise that the product or service is as per standards), false or misleading information or claims which affect consumers decision-making ability.
This law gives the consumer a chance to fight back against the wrongdoings of various business practices. The law helps in holding the industry accountable when they try to take advantage of the consumers and earn high profits at their cost.
- Food Adulteration means lowering the quality of food by adding inferior quality material or extracting good quality ingredient.
- It is unsafe, contaminated or impure food.
- The contamination can occur because of human error, poor storage or harvesting process, industrial discharges, use of banned products or deliberate fraud practice.
- It is not only the degrading quality of food but a threat to life such as adulteration in medications, mixing sawdust in salt, etc.
Short Weights and Measures
- Short Weights and Measures include deceiving the consumer with the packaging and measurement information of the product and cheating the user by playing with weighing scale.
- Misleading Information means providing omitted, false or deceiving information to the customer and it must cause or affect their decisions.
- In today’s cyber tech world where everything is available online, it is easy to mislead consumers by providing false information.
Therefore, it is important to have all the information about their bargaining power i.e. consumer protection law.