The consumer and supplier relationship has been existent ever since the market and exchange system was formed. It is an accepted thing that the consumer should pay the decided amount for the product or service to the supplier who in turn should provide the product or the promise with its full features as promised. However, in some cases, the promise is half-fulfilled meaning the supplier or the service provider fails to provide the expected product or service.
In general, situations, the consumer will go to the service provider and will either ask to rectify his mistake by providing another product or at least repair the given one. All is hanky and dory as long as the supplier agrees to do so. However, if the supplier refuses to take the blame, then the problem starts.
It is the right of every consumer to get the product in its full working condition as described during marketing. When all the efforts to get the product or service as per the agreement fail, the consumer has to approach Consumer Forum.
Formation of Consumer Forum
Earlier there was no special platform for registering consumer complaints. Due to this, the consumers in serious cases had to approach the regular court and had to undergo all the procedures as are deemed necessary for filing a case like hiring lawyer, submitting bunch of various documents and so. This procedure was not only time taking, it was also very costly and sometimes out of the reach of common person.
This situation was prevalent not only in India but all over the world. Understanding this plight of the consumers, UNO in 1983 directed the governments of different countries to come up with a non-profitable organization that would look into the consumer grievances and settle the disputes.
In India, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was introduced in 1986 for handling the consumer grievances. Three bodies with different levels of authority and working areas were introduced. The State Commission that will handle the consumer grievances at the central level, the consumer court that will handle the consumer grievances in metro areas and cities and the consumer forum that will address the grievances at the district level.
Benefits to the consumers
The introduction of these organizations has made it easier for the consumers to settle their dispute and now they have a body that especially deals with their problems. Although, earlier, people were not much aware of the working of consumer forum, now even in rural areas people have started coming up with their complaints.
The main reason behind increasing response to these forums and courts is that the process is relatively simple as compared to the general court practices. Moreover, if the case is simple and the consumer is confident of handling it on his own, he is not expected to hire any lawyer or advocate for representing his case. The consumer himself can do so.
The formalities and the overall process are cheap and within the budget limits of common person.
By geralt from Pixabay