What was the first product you purchased online? For me, it was a USB pen drive from Flipkart way back in 2011. What started with a small order soon became a way to make big-ticket purchases like TVs, ACs and so on. I’m sure most of you would have had a similar journey. Along the way, some of you might have had a bitter experience. Consumer Rights is one thing which was totally unheard of a few years back. But thanks to a few soap bars disguised as iPhones, we know that it exists. However, I’m sure that most of you still don’t know your consumer rights. With Consumer Rights Day around the corner, I decided to pen this post to know your consumer rights.
My Bitter Experience with a well-known e-commerce portal
(Just checked my Order history on that e-commerce portal, and the last order I placed was in June 2018 !) That clearly shows how I have stopped purchasing from there. And the reason for this was probably a couple of fake RAM sticks that I had ordered way back in 2015. I was upgrading my desktop’s memory and decided to order the exact same memory that my system already had – Transcend 4GB DDR3 RAM. Now since I was ordering the exact same RAM stick, I knew what to expect.
The first time the order came in, it was a fake one thanks to CPU-Z for telling me that. I returned and requested a replacement. To my shock, the replacement order too was a fake one and this time with a broken seal. Next, I know I decided to raise a complaint with the Advertising Standards Council of India. What happened next? Read this to find out.
Know Your Consumer Rights
How many of you faced a similar experience while shopping online? Quite sure that there would be many of you who would have faced this. As consumers, we must at all times know what our consumer rights are. There are laws in place that ensure we get what we pay for. So what are consumer rights in India? The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 lays out the Consumer Rights in India which ensure that everyone has the right to exercise their consumer rights. Let’s look at all the consumer rights in India.
Consumer Rights in India
- Right to be protected from all hazardous goods & services
- Right to be fully informed about the performance & quality of goods & service
- Right to free choice of Goods and Services
- Right to be heard in all decision-processes related to consumer interests
- Right to seek redressal, whenever consumer rights have been infringed
- Right to complete consumer education
Exercise your consumer rights – iConsumer
Now that you know what your consumer rights are, it’s equally important for you to understand when and how to exercise them. I’m quite an avid shopper and do keep a check on everything I do. I read about the product completely before purchasing, check that it is certified by an authority that ensures it is safe to use. Amidst all these, there are chances that you might be at the receiving end of a fraudulent transaction like I was in.
What do you do in such cases? Well, you have the right to seek redressal and head to the consumer court. Alas, how I wish things were easy. “I’ll see you in court” – it’s easier said than done. Not everyone can drag a service provider to court as it involves a lot of things which not everyone can do. And that’s when you should seek advice on your issue. Just like a doctor’s advice, legal advice is important too.
On this occasion of Consumer Rights Day in India, Vakilsearch has come up with their iConsumer campaign. Under the campaign, they are providing FREE legal consultation on consumer rights related issues. The team will hear out your situation and guide you on the legal remedies. Not only that, they can even draft a legal notice for you along with providing you access to top lawyers to handle your case. I so wish they were established in Hyderabad during my issue, I could have surely relied on them to handle the issue and give me my piece of mind.
Jaago Grahak Jaago
I’m sure all of you would remember the famous Jaago Grahak Jaago campaign issued in public interest by the government a few years back. Thanks to that, most of us know what our rights as consumers are. However, not many exercise it due to various reasons including time, money & effort required. With the iConsumer campaign, you can let Vakilsearch handle your case because legal is simple now. Also so that you don’t have to say ‘tareekh pe tareekh‘ 😉 What’s the most daunting online shopping experience you’ve ever had? If you had a chance, what could you have done? Mention in the comments below or tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj with the hashtag #iConsumer and #Voiceitindia.