Freewheeling Signpost

Customer is king

The Right to seek redressal helps the consumers to fight against unfair trade practices and exploitation of consumers.   | Photo Credit: Sam O'Keefe

During the weekend shopping, I chanced upon this quote in one of the shops

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This sent me thinking. Are the customers really aware of their rights? Let us learn about our rights…

The department of Consumer affairs under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution lists out six major consumer rights. They are the right to safety, right to be informed, right to choose, right to consumer education, right to seek redressal and right to be heard.

The consumer must stand protected from any product which is hazardous to life and property. The right to safety entitles the consumer to insist on quality products, preferably with guarantee like ISI, Agmark etc. Before buying any product, the consumer must get all the information about it like the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price. The right to be informed helps the consumer from being swayed away by selling techniques.

The consumer must get access to a variety of goods, wherever possible. The right to choose can be exercised only in markets which have a variety of goods at competitive prices.

The right to be heard gives the consumer a platform to represent his interests and issues. Various forums have been formed to protect the buyer’s welfare which in turn are represented in the various committees formed by the Government.

In case of situations when the consumers have grievances, they must make a complaint for it. Even in case of the smallest of issues (in terms of value), it must be taken up. The Right to seek redressal helps the consumers to fight against unfair trade practices and exploitation of consumers. This right paves the way for a fair settlement of the consumer’s grievance.

Every consumer without any precondition has the right to consumer education. Being an informed consumer can protect them from exploitation. This is a major problem faced by rural consumers.

Their ignorance is most often used to exploit them. Real consumer protection is possible only if people become aware of their rights and also not hesitate to voice their concerns against exploitation and cheating.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 5:29:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/in-school/signpost/customer-is-king/article5814556.ece

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