A consumer is the real king of the market. The rights of the Consumer must always be protected. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has mentioned six consumer rights in the regulatory.
Who is a Consumer?
A person who buys a good or service for his personal use and not for further manufacture is called a consumer. Consumer plays a crucial role in the market. The market of a good or service constitutes of all the consumers and manufacturers of that good or service. If there is no consumer, the manufacturer will have no one to provide good and services.
It is observed that regularly the cases are reported of exploitation of the consumer. Sometimes the contaminated food, less than the actual weight of foodstuff is sold to consumers, or many shopkeepers sell products that are not certified to the consumer. The consumers are charged for more than the market price.
Rights of Consumer:
There are six primary consumer rights defined as per the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- Right to Safety
The Consumer Protection Act defines this right as protection against goods and services that are ‘dangerous to life and property’. It applies to medicines, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and automobiles. The Right to safety says that all such products of critical nature to life and property should be carefully tested and validated before being marketed to the consumer.
- Right to Information
Right to information says that the consumers have the right to be informed about the quality and quantity of goods sold. They must have the information about the product and its price and have access to other information specific to the product that they intend to consume.
- Right to Choose
The consumer must have the right of choosing the different products at competitive prices. Thus, the concept of a competitive market explains that there are many sellers to sell similar products, but it’s the right of the consumer to choose what they have to consume and in what quantity. This is done to avoid a monopoly in the market.
- Right to Seek Redressal
When a consumer is exploited, he/she can file a complaint as they have the right to approach a consumer court. A consumer court is a forum that hears the criticism and provides justice to the party that has been exploited.
- Right to be Heard
The purpose of the right to heard is to ensure that the consumer is heard before the consumer courts or redressal forums. When a consumer feels exploited, he has the right to approach a consumer court to file his complaint. This right gives him/her due respect that his/her claim will be duly heard. The power empowers consumers to fearlessly voice their concerns and seek justice in case they are exploited.
- Right to Consumer Education
It is necessary that the consumers must be aware of their rights and have access to enough information while making decisions to take the services. This information can help them to choose what to purchase, how much to buy and at what price. Consumers are not even aware that the Act protects them. Unless they know, they cannot seek justice when they are exploited.