After our economy opened, you and other customers gained access to a large number of new products. As you got exposed to new products, along came new problems. This also brought the Consumer Protection Act to safeguard you and other customers.
Consumer Protection Act came into existence and was implemented in 1986. The aim of Consumer Protection Act 1986, was to protect consumers. Consumers are protected from exploitation as greedy businesses try to make a profit.
What does the consumer protection act, 1986, do? First let us understand what’s a customer? A customer buys goods for consumption and not for resale or for any commercial purpose. A consumer also avails services.
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District Forum: A district forum is set up by a district of a State. It consists of a President and 2 members of which one must be a woman. The complaining party must not make a complaint of more than Rs 20 Lakhs and once the complaint is made, the goods must be sent for testing. If goods are found to be defective, compensation must be paid to the affected party. If you are dissatisfied, you can make an appeal with the state commission within 30 days.
State Commission: A state commission is set up in each State and consists of a President and two members. The complaint can exceed Rs 20 Lakhs, but must not exceed Rs 1 Crore. Goods are sent for testing and if found to be defective, they must be replaced and suitable compensation paid. If you are not satisfied, take your appeal to the National Commission within 30 days.
National Commission: The National Commission consists of a President and 4 members. The complaint must exceed an amount of Rs 1 Crore. Goods are sent for testing and if found to be defective, they must be replaced and suitable compensation paid.
Right to information: This is the right to be informed on the quality, quantity and standard of the product.
Right to choose: Even in a monopolistic market, the customer has the right to enjoy satisfactory quality and service.
Right to be heard: Consumer interests are looked into with speedy trials.
Right to redress: Right to a fair settlement on a genuine grievance.
Right to consumer education: Customers must acquire skill and knowledge to make confident decisions and responsible choices.
Right to basic needs: This includes food, clothes, drinking water, sanitation, health care and education.
Right to a healthy environment: The working environment must be clean and safe.
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