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What are the rights made available to consumers as per the Consumer Protection Act?

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onsumer Protection Act, 1986 gives 6 rights to consumers. They are discussed below.

1. Safety:

  • Every consumer is entitled to get protection from products which are harmful to health. For example, sub-standard electrical appliances can cause dangerous injuries to the consumer and hence should not be used.
  • Standardized and superior quality appliances should only be used so that they do not cause harm to consumers.

2. Information:

  • It is the right of a consumer to get all information regarding the product he wishes to purchase. For example, he is entitled to information such as ingredients, manufacturing date, directions for use, price, quality, weight, purity, etc.
  • As per this right, a manufacturer is bound to display all information either, on the packing or on the label of the product.

3. Choice:

  • Every consumer has a right to choose the product he wishes to purchase.
  • The consumer must get a product at a competitive price, in right quantity, right place and at right time.
  • The right of choice has led to production of variety of goods and services having different quality, brand, price, size, etc.
  • A fine example would be the two-wheeler vehicle industry. There are a large number of options for scooter and motorcycles in the market in a wide price-band and features. Consumer can select his choice of vehicle on the basis of engine power, features, colour, design, price, etc.

4. Representation:

  • If a consumer is dissatisfied with a product or a service, he has the right to represent his problem i.e. complain.
  • With this right in the mind, most business units have set-up their own complaint redressal department. The consumers can call up and make a complain if they receive a faulty product.
  • Over and above this, there are several organizations which work for protecting the consumers. These organizations help the consumers to file complain and deal with the proceedings.

5. Redressal:

  • The right to redressal says that if a consumer gets sub-standard quality of goods or services as compared to what he has been promised then he has the right to get the relief.
  • The consumers are eligible for various types of relieves such as replacement of goods or services or repair of the product or part.
  • If at all the product has caused damage to the consumer he has the right to complain and obtain compensation.

6. Consumer education:

  • Every consumer has the right to get information about the product he buys or wish to buy.
  • The Act says that the consumer should get right quality and quantity at the given time and place at an ideal price. In order to see that these aspects are taken care of, the consumer has the right to get educated.
  • If a product or a service is sub-standard as against the assured quality, then the consumer know that he has the legal right to claim relief and or compensation.
  • Most business units and organizations who work for consumer protection are also actively working on educating consumers.

Over and above these six rights, The United Nations Organization (UNO) has issued a directive recommending two more rights for the consumers. They are:

  1. Basic Needs
  2. Hygienic Environment.

1. Basic needs: This Right says that every person is entitled to basic needs such as adequate food, water, clothing, shelter and health care required for survival.

2. Hygienic environment:

  • As per this Right, every individual has the right to get pollution-free air, water, food and land.
  • Hygienic environment gives the person a good quality of life free from diseases.

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