Consumer Awareness

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THE PROCESS of development along with the expanding globalisation and liberalisation process has increased the number of consumer related issues. Consumer protection has earned an important place in the political, economic and social agendas of many nations. In India, the Government has taken many steps including legislative, to protect consumers. Consumers get exploited in the market. They respond to advertisements and buy goods. Generally advertisements do not give all the information that a consumer needs to know or wants to know about a product. Consumer awareness is making the consumer aware of His/Her rights. Consumer awareness is a marketing term. It means that consumers note or are aware of products or services, its characteristics and the other marketing P's (place to buy, price, and promotion). With the growth of private sector there is a greater need for discipline and regulation of the market. Consumers must be aware of the sale and purchase of goods, the health and security aspects also. Ensuring the safety of food items sold in the market is essential these days. The consumer movement in India is as old as trade and commerce. Even in Kautilya’s Arthashastra, there are references to the concept of consumer protection against exploitation by the trade and industry with respect to quality, short weight and measurement, adulteration etc. Till recently, there was no organized and systematic movement for safeguarding the interests of consumers.

The ordinary citizen today depends on products, design and construction of which he or she may not understand. In this situation, reassurance is an over-riding need; reassurance that the product is reliable and will meet the expectations of the consumers in terms of performance, safety, durability etc.
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