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CONSUMER RIGHTS, CONSUMERISM AND BUSINESS

Ch 10

Consumer movement had its beginning in the US. Since then there has been a growth in consumer awareness in most countries which has led to the growth of consumerism and demand for consumer protection. In India, consumer movement is growing, although at a slow pace.

There are several consumer organizations in India like the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), Mumbai and the Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) , Ahmedabad.

CONSUMER RIGHTS
1. Right against exploitation by unfair trade practices. 2. Right to protection of health and safety from goods and services the consumers buy or are offered free. 3. Right to be informed of the quality and performance standards, ingredients of the product, operational requirements, freshness of the product, possible adverse side effects and other relevant facts regarding the product or service.

4. Right to be heard if there are any grievances or suggestions. 5. Right to get the genuine grievances redressed. 6.Right to choose the best from a variety of offers. 7. Right to physical environment that will protect and enhance the quality of life. These rights have been listed in the Consumers protection Act of 1986.

Responsibilities of Citizens
1. The consumer should not make vague or general complaints, but have specific complaints supported by proof such as a bill. 2. The consumer should try to understand the view of the seller before complaining. 3. In some situations, consumers have to cooperate with the seller. 4. Consumers, in asserting their rights, should not hurt or inconvenience others. 5. The consumers should complain against the system and not attack individuals who are incumbents of posts.

CONSUMERISM : Philip Kotler defines consumerism as a social movement seeking to increase the rights and powers of the buyers in relation to sellers. According to Mr. T. Thomas, former Chairman of HLL, while the producer has the right to produce, design and price a product, the consumer has only one right that of not buying it.

But the consumer is not always fully equipped to exercise this right because of lack of information, misinformation or too much indigestible information. This problem facing the consumers has led to consumerism.

Consumer Protection : For effective consumer protection, a practical response from the government, the business and the consumers is essential. The business must pay due regards to the consumer rights. The producer must ensure efficiency in production and the quality of output.

The producer must not charge