Consumer Rights

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In general, the consumer rights in India are listed below

  • The right to be protected from all kind of hazardous goods and services
  • The right to be fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services
  • The right to free choice of goods and services
  • The right to be heard in all decision-making processes related to consumer interests
  • The right to seek redressal, whenever consumer rights have been infringed
  • The right to complete consumer education

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and several other laws make sure that there is fair competition in the market and free flow of information from providers to the consumers. If there is a violation of consumer right then a complaint can be made to consumer court due to

  • The goods or services purchased has one or more defects or deficiencies in any respect
  • A service provider resorting to unfair or restrictive practices of trade
  • A service provider charging more price than displayed or that was agreed upon between the parties or the price that was stipulated under any law that exist
  • Service which is a hazard to the safety or life of a person offered, unknowingly or knowingly.

Consumer Rights Law

Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is the law for consumer protection. Under it, separate Consumer tribunals have been set up throughout India in every district in which a consumer can file his complaint on a plain paper without paying any court fees and his complaint will be decided by the Presiding Officer of the District Level. The appeal could be filed to the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and after that to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). The procedures in these tribunals are relatively less formal and more people-friendly and they also take less time to decide upon a consumer dispute.

Consumer Protection Act of 1986 makes provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers disputes. Consumer Protection Councils are established at the national, state and district level to increase consumer awareness.

Consumer Disputes Redressal Agency or Consumer Court is the special purpose court, that deals with cases regarding consumer disputes and grievances. They includes

  • District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): Also known as the “District Forum” established by the State Government in each district of the State. It is a district-level court that deals with cases valuing up to Rs. 20 Lakh.
  • State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): Also known as the “State Commission” established by the State Government in the State. It is a state-level court that takes up cases valuing less than Rs. 1 crore.
  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): Established by the Central Government. It is a national level court that works for the whole country and deals with amount more than Rs. 1 crore.

Importance of Consumer Protection

  • To Organize Consumers: Indian consumers are scattered over a wide geographical area. They are not well organized. They have a low power and businessmen exploit consumers. Here we need consumer protection.
  • Avoiding Monopoly: Consumer Protection is very important in terms of avoiding monopoly. Monopoly is the crown of modern market. Most of the organizations, irrespective of various restrictions follow monopoly practice. Due to this consumers get affected and needs to be protected.
  • Prevention from Malpractices: Business malpractices are rapidly growing in the modern market. Businessmen follow unfair trade practices, restrictive trade practices, and monopolistic trade practices and consumer protection plays a vital role.
  • Misleading Advertisements: Many organizations, deliberately cheat consumers through wrong or misleading advertisements. This will protect consumers from getting exploited.

Consumer Cases

In India, few consumer cases which had been resolved are

  • VLCC trips on weight loss, asked to pay Rs.50,000 – A man signed up for a slimming program with well-known fitness chain Vandana Luthra Curls & Curves (VLCC) to shed 30 kg weight and paid more than Rs.21,000 for it — but he didn’t lose any weight. A consumer forum granted him Rs.50,000 in damages
  • Woman fails to lose weight; doctor fined – A consumer forum in Ghaziabad on Saturday ordered a health center to pay Rs 50,000 to a customer after she failed to shed flabby using a weight loss procedure developed by a lady doctor of the health center.

Gym Rules

Consumers should also follow rules and regulations laid by the fitness center or the gym.  Rules and regulations laid by the management of the gym or fitness center should cover the following

  • Dress Regulation – Type of dress that customers should wear.
  • Rules related to bringing any eatables or pets
  • Working days and timings
  • Payments for services and their last dates
  • Suspension of services and refund rules
  • Rules relating to customer being absent
  • Behavior and decorum allowed in the gym premises
  • Rules related to smoking or drinking in the gym premises
  • Compensation against any loss or damage
  • Responsibility for valuables of members




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