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Home » MBA Articles » MBA - Customer Relationship Management Articles » Consumer and his Protection

Consumer and his Protection

CLICK HERE : Expert Suggestions on Computer Based CAT : 2017 - 2018

Why do Consumers need protection?

When
communities were smaller and the world was younger consumers protection
was virtually unnecessary.  Unfair trade was almost impossible in the
life style of those times.  The
industrial revolution and a shift in population from
rural areas to towns and to that of urban living gave plenty of scope
for malpractices.

With new concepts of trade; the need for consumer
protection has increased like never before.  The growing size of
production and distribution systems and advertising, mass marketing
methods and emergence of e-commerce has resulted in reduction of
personal interaction between buyers and sellers has contributed to the
increased need of consumer protection.

Though
government is playing its role in protecting rights of the customers,
but as long as the customer is not made aware, the problem cannot be
addressed. Making laws would help but that is not the solution if the
customer is
not aware. Education and awareness is the most powerful
tool for the progress of the country and an educated individual is able
to make rationale choice as a consumer. An aware consumer protects
himself from trade and business
exploitation

WHO IS A CONSUMER?

A consumer is defined as a person who purchases goods for personal use as opposed to resale.
An individual who purchases and uses products and
services in contradistinction to manufacturers who produce the goods or
services and wholesalers or retailers who distribute and sell them.

Every
consumer in own interest has to realize the role and importance in the
right perspective. In a competitive economic environment, the consumer
has to exercise the choice either
in favour of or against the goods and services. Focus
groups continually fail to tell us what customers want.  The
fundamental problem is that in spite of what conventional  wisdom tell
us, it is not the voice of
the consumer that matters, what matters is the mind of
the consumers. 

How is a consumer motivated to buy products?

Consumer
needs – Human needs are the basis of all modern marketing.  To
satisfy unfulfilled consumer needs  better is the basic
objective of the companies survival, profitability and growth in the
highly competitive world. Every individual has needs, some are innate 
others are acquired .
"Innate needs for food water, air, clothing , shelter
and sex.  Because they are needed to sustain biological life, the
biogenic needs are considered primary needs or motives."

Acquired
needs are those that we
learn in response to our culture or environment, which
include needs for self esteem, prestige, affection, power and learning.


Marketers have long tried to appeal to consumers in terms of their personality characteristics. 

In
simple words CONSUMER is any person who buys anything in the market and
uses it. Within law the notion of
Consumer is primarily used in relation  to consumer
protection laws, the definition of consumer is often restricted to
living persons( not corporations or business) and excludes commercial
users.

The
consumers
good days are over.  After the double digit inflation
shocker, the consumer must get prepared for paying more for basic
essentials from cereals, pulses to cosmetics and even electronic goods. 
The prices could get worse,
inflation could also get worse.  The ripple effect of
high price will start happening.

Industrial
development in the field of manufactured goods has led to the influx of
various consumer goods into the Indian market to cater
to the needs of the consumers and a variety of services
such as banking, financing, insurance, transport, housing construction,
entertainment have been made available to the consumers.

Consumer
law is designed to protect consumers and provide the legal framework
for certain types of transactions. Although consumer law deals with
everyday transactions where very little
usually goes wrong, it exists as a set of rules that are
in place to settle any disputes that may arise. Consumer law usually
deals with smaller amounts of money than business law, but sometimes
hundreds of thousands of dollars are
at stake, considering that home buying and some types of
investing can be categorized as consumer transactions. The links
included herein relate to consumers and legal protection.

In
order to protect the consumers from exploitation and to save them from
adulterated and substandard goods and deficient services the Consumer
Protection Act came into force on 15th April,
1986 and it applies to the whole of India except the
State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Consumer
Protection Act (CPA) was enacted in 1986 and  has been recognized as
one of the finest basis of legislation enacted in any part of the
world and India can boast of being only country having
such specialized legislation for consumer protection. The CPA has
hearing at different levels evolving standards for different products to
enable the consumers to make an
informed choice about different products

Consumer
protection laws are designed to ensure fair competition and the free
flow of truthful information in the marketplace. The laws are designed
to prevent businesses that
engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from
gaining an advantage over competitors and may provide additional
protection for the weak and unable to take care of themselves. Consumer
Protection laws are a form of government
regulation which protects the interests of consume

One of the major developments in the Consumer protection Act has been with respect to  services provided . 

1. Consumer
protection is a
form of Government Regulation which protects the
interest of consumers.  For Eg.  A government may require businesses to
disclose information about products, particularly in areas where safety
or public health is an
issue.  Consumer protection is linked to the idea of
consumer rights and to the formation of Consumer originations which help
consumers make better choice in the market place.

The
Consumer Protection Bill, 1986 seeks to provide for better protection
of the interests of consumers, and for the purpose, to make provision
for the establishment of Consumer councils and
other authorities for the settlement of consumer
disputes and for matter connected therewith.

2. It seeks, inter alia, to promote and protect the rights of consumers such as-


(a) the right to be protected against marketing of goods which are hazardous to life and property;

(b) the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods to protect
the consumer against unfair trade practices;

(c) the right to be assured, wherever possible, access to an authority of goods at competitive prices;

(d) the right to be heard and to be assured that
consumers interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums;

(e) the right to seek. redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers; and


(f) right to consumer education.

3.
These objects are sought to be promoted and protected by the Consumer
Protection Council to be established at the Central and State level.

4.
To provide speedy and simple redressal to consumer
disputes, a quasi-judicial machinery is sought to be set up at the
district, State and Central levels. These quasi-judicial bodies will
observe the principles of natural justice and have been empowered to
give relief of a specific nature and to award, wherever appropriate,
compensation to consumers. Penalties for non-compliance of the orders
given by the quasi-judicial bodies have also been provided.

CONCLUSION

Protecting
the interest of consumers and ensuring that entrepreneurs have an
opportunity to compete in the market economy are often treated as
important objective.


References:

1. Business Law for Managers—P.Saravanavel  and S. Sumathi

2. Business Law for Management- k.R. Bulchandani.
 






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