Consumer Awareness

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CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDELINES
Be an Alert Consumer ! Also be a Responsible Consumer !!

Issued by Government of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies & Consumer Protection Department, Ezhilagam, Chennai-5. Phone: 044-28583222 / 28583422 Web: www.consumer.tn.gov.in E.mail: consumer@tn.nic.in

A. WHO IS A CONSUMER?
A ”consumer” is a person who buys any goods or hires any service for valuable consideration (including deferred payment). The term does not include a person who obtains goods or services for resale or for any commercial purpose. However, persons who avail goods or services exclusively for the purpose of earning their livelihood by means of self employment are considered as ‘consumers’.

B. CONSUMER RIGHTS
Rights 1 to 6 are directly guaranteed under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 while Rights 7&8 are implied under the Constitution of India. 1. Right to safety Right to be protected against marketing of goods which are hazardous to life and property. 2. Right to information Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices. 3. Right to choose Right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices. 4. Right to be heard Right to be heard and to be assured that consumer’s interest will receive due consideration at appropriate fora. 5. Right to redressal Right to seek redressal against Unfair Trade Practices or Restrictive Trade Practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. 6. Right to consumer education Right to acquire knowledge and skills needed for taking action to influence factors which affect consumer decisions. or services

7. Right to Healthy Environment The right to physical environment that will enhance the quality of life. It includes protection against environmental dangers over which the individual has no control. It acknowledges the need to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations. 8. Right to basic needs Right to basic needs ensures basic goods and services which guarantee survival. It includes adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and sanitation to lead a decent life.

C. RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONSUMERS
1. BEFORE BUYING
•Planning in advance •Enquiring past performance of product / service •Enquiring about reputation and past performance of producer / seller / service provider

2. WHILE BUYING
•Asking for demonstration regarding how to operate / use the product/service •Enquiring about after-sales service and ensuring availability, phone number, address and e.mail of service center •Reading and knowing the contents of guarantee / warranty card •Insisting for approved sale bill with serial number, address, phone number, etc. •Obtaining guarantee / warranty card and getting it signed/sealed by dealer

3. AFTER BUYING
•Using products as per instruction given in user manual •Keeping bills and guarantee card safely •In case of fault inform dealer and service center. Do not meddle or repair yourself •Keeping record for all correspondences •Seek immediate redressal of deficiency in product

D. CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986
The Act envisages a three tier quasi judicial system. They are known as (i) District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (ii) State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and (iii) National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission a. Features of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and filing of complaints 1.Simple formalities 2.Advocates not compulsory 3.Consumers themselves can conduct cases 4.Complaints may be sent even through Registered Post 5.Registered Consumer Organisations or Government can also file complaint on behalf of consumer(s) 6.Less expensive 7.Compensation can be claimed for the loss suffered including mental agony Protection offered by Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against: a.Deficiency in product or service b.Poor aftersales...
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