Voluntary Organizations for Consumer Awareness
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or
households that use goods and services produced within the economy. Voluntary
consumer organisations refer to the organisation formed voluntarily by the
consumers to protect their rights and interests.
1. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
operates the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF). The primary objective of the CWF is
to strengthen the Consumer Advocacy Movement in India.
2. A wide network of Voluntary Consumer Organisation
(VCO) is doing commendable work to raise awareness amongst consumers.
3. To strengthen consumer protection and welfare
and to provide counselling, guidance and mediation services.
4. VCO’s supported through CWF provides grants for
diverse projects including comparative testing of products and services and
dissemination of the findings
5. Steps have been taken to enhance transparency
and to digitalise the government’s interface with its citizens.
The first priority of a consumer organization is to
accelerate consumer awareness towards their rights. To accomplish this task the
following efforts are made:
i. To publish brochures journals and monographs.
ii. To arrange conferences, seminars and workshops.
iii. To educate consumers to help themselves.
iv. To provide special education to women about
To maintain desirable standards, the following steps
i) Collecting Data on Different Products and testing them
These organizations collect samples of different
products from time to time and test them. After that the results of the tests
are declared to public. In this way, these organisations provide prior
information to consumers about the authenticity of product and protect them.
ii) Filing Suit on Behalf of Consumers
Whenever a consumer fails to raise his voice of
protest regarding his complaints, these consumers’ organisations come to the rescue and file a case in the court, on behalf of a
consumer. By giving this service to the consumers, the consumers get a feeling
that they are not alone in their struggle.
iii) Organising Protests against Adulteration etc.
The consumer’s organizations play a significant
role in eliminating the evil of adulteration, hoarding black-marketing and
iv) Helping Educational Institutions
These organizations advice the educational
institutions the way to prepare courses of study keeping in view the interests
of the consumers.
v) Promoting Network of Consumer Association
Consumer organizations are trying to grow their
numbers. They want to cover all the regions of the country so that consumers of
all the regions are benefited by their services.
vi) Extending Support to Government
Consumer organisations keep informing the
government agencies about adulteration, artificial scarcity, inferior quality
produce etc. to help the government.
A complaint can be filed by a complainant against
the seller, manufacturer, or dealer of goods which are defective or against the
provider of services, if they are deficient in any manner whatsoever. An unfair
trade practice or restrictive trade practice can also invite complaint
The first step in filing a consumer complaint is to
send a legal notice to the seller or company. A legal notice must be drafted
with the help of a consumer court lawyer and include the following:
1. Details of the consumer like name, address,
product or services purchase details of the company, etc.
2. Necessary details of the problem faced and
describe the deficiency in service.
3. Action taken by the company in response to the
4. Action expected from the company
5. Time period given to the company to take action
6. The legal action that will be taken upon failure
by the company in sending a reply to the legal notice.
1. A consumer as defined under Consumer Protection
2. A registered Voluntary Consumer Association
3. Central Government
4. State Government / Union Territory
5. One or more consumer representing numerous
consumers having the same interest.
A complaint may be made in writing under the
1. Loss or damage is caused to the consumer due to
unfair trade practice of a trader.
2. If the article purchased by a consumer is
3. If the services availed of by a consumer suffer
from any deficiency.
4. When the price paid by a consumer is in excess
of the price displayed on the goods or when the price is in excess of the price
fixed under any law in force.
5. Goods, which will be hazardous to life and
safety, when used are being offered for sale to the public in contravention of
the provisions of any law.
The complaint should be registered by the following
1. Complaint can be registered within 2 years from
the date on which the cause of action has arisen, to the date on which the
completion from the deficiency in service.
2. Stamp paper is not required for declaration
3. Complaint can be registered, in person, by the
complainant or through his authorised agent or by post addressed to the
4. Advocates are not necessary.
The complaint should contain the following
1. The name and complete address of the complainant
2. The name and complete address of the opposite
3. Date of purchase of goods or services availed
4. Amount paid for the above purpose
5. Particulars of goods purchased with number or
details of services availed
6. The details of complaint, whether it is against
Unfair Trade Practices/supply of defective goods/deficiency in service
provided/collection of excess price, should explicitly be mentioned in the
7. Bills/receipts and copies of related
correspondence, if any.
The District Forum / State Commission can order the
following reliefs to the consumers:
1. To remove the defects in the goods pointed out
2. To replace the goods
3. To return to the complainant the price of the
4. To pay such amount of compensation for the loss
or injury suffered by the consumer
5. To discontinue the unfair trade practice or not
to repeat it
6. To withdraw the hazardous goods from being
offered for sale
7. To provide the cost of expenditure incurred by
1. Aggrieved by the orders issued by the District
Consumer Redressal Forum appeal, petition can be filed before State Consumer
Dispute Redressal Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of orders
2. Aggrieved by the orders issued by the State
Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission appeal petition can be filed before
National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission within 30 days from the date of
receipt of orders
3. Aggrieved by the orders issued by the National
Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission appeal petition can be filed before
Supreme Court of India within 30 days from the date of receipt of orders
4. No fee is charged for registering an appeal
petition before State / National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions
5. The appeal petition has to be filed with the
grounds for appeal with copies of orders of the lower redressal agencies and
registering procedures are same, as is being done in the case of registering
The International Organisation of
Consumers Unions (IOCU) was first established in 1960 to create cross-border
campaigns and share knowledge; it has over 250 member organisations in 120
countries. Its head office is based in London, England, with regional officers
in Latin America, Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Grievance Redressal District Forum Mechanism
Consumer Voluntary Consumer Welfare Organisation Fund Three Tier Court Consumer
For Future Learning
STUDENTS CONSUMER CLUB
Students may create “Students Consumer
Club”. They may create awareness about the Products and Services. They can
motivate the parents about the consumer awareness of the following
1. MRP of the Product. 2. Expiry of
the Product 3. Quality of the Product (ISI, ISO and Agmark, etc.)