Consumer awareness?

1. Who is a consumer?
2. What are the rights of a consumer.

Please give a good answer or link. I need this for my Project.

Thanks a lot!!

Answer:
Who is a Consumer ?

1. Buyer of any goods for a full or party paid promised on consideration or under any system of deferred payment.

2. Use of such goods with the approval of actual buyer.

3. Hirer or receiver of any services for a fully or partly paid and partly promised consideration or under any system of deferred payment.

Consumer Rights :

In the 20th century, the presence and influence of the market grew dramatically in consumer life. We began to purchase things from the market for a price. Soon, mass production and industrial production came into being, giving the consumer world an entirely new dimension. Have you ever wondered how much urban consumers depend on the market for fulfilment of even their basic needs. This over-dependence on the market and the inherent profit motive in mass production and sales has given manufacturers, and dealers a good reason to exploit consumers. As a consumer, you would know how market products are constantly under-weight, of inferior quality and do not prescribe to quality standards specified by quality-control agencies. Consumers not only do not get value for their money but also often have to suffer losses and inconvenience due to market manipulations.


III. The 8 Consumer Rights

In order to safeguard consumer interest, 6 consumer rights were initially envisioned by consumer rights activists of the West, namely:

Right to Safety

Right to Information

Right to Choice


Right to be Heard

The Right to Redress

The right to consumer education
These rights were conceptualised in the developed world's consumer context where consumers are wealthy and completely dependent on the market to fulfil their needs. These rights had to be redefined keeping in mind the realities of a developing country like India. Consequently, two very important rights were added viz.:

The Right to Basic Needs and

The right to a healthy and sustained environment.



These two rights are very closely linked with the realities of developing countries where environment plays a very important role as a resource and support-structure for the people. In a country like India, a large section of the population looks for food security, assured safe water supply, shelter, education and health services. Most consumers relate very little to imported goods stacked in supermarkets or for choice among latest models of cars, as is the case in the developed world. For India's 1 billion population, food security and a safe environment are more pressing needs than any other consumer options and rights. The developing country natural resources also serve as a resource base for the developed world's industrial output.

Right to Basic Needs

Access to food, water and shelter are the basis of any consumer's life. Without these fundamental amenities, life cannot exist. In September 2001, India's stock of foodgrains were around 60 million tonnes, yet one third of the Indian population lives below the poverty line and consumers often go hungry or remain severely malnourished, leading to poor health. The recent starvation deaths in Orissa are a case in point. A very crucial objective of the conceptualisation and existence of consumer rights is to ensure that consumers have an assured food supply, safe and permanent dwellings, basic amenities of life like sanitation and potable water, and power supply.

Urbanisation is seen as a mark of development but for rural migrant population, living conditions in cities is very poor. The population of cities is growing rapidly in India and after 1988, the percentage of urban poor has been more than that of the rural poor. Around 20 to 25 per cent of the urban households live in slums, make-shift colonies or refugee settlements due to non-availability of affordable and decent habitat in urban areas. . According to some estimates, in urban areas alone, there is a housing shortage of 17 million units. This has led to a habitat crisis in Indian cities. In rural India, the situation is equally bad, with a large part of the population still living in make-shift dwellings and hutment. With non-permanent housing comes lack of sanitation facilities and other amenities like running water and electricity supply. Due to burgeoning population, most people do not have access to dry toilets in rural and urban areas.
Consumers refers to individuals or households that purchase and use goods and services generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer is used in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary. Typically when businesspeople and economists talk of consumers they are talking about person as consumer, an aggregated commodity item with little individuality other than that expressed in the buy/not-buy decision. However there is a trend in marketing to individualize the concept. Instead of generating broad demographic profile and psychographic profiles of market segments, marketers are engaging in personalized marketing, permission marketing, and mass customization.[1]

In free market economics, consumers dictate what goods are produced and are generally considered the center of economic activity. Individual consumption of goods and services is primarily linked to the consumer's level of disposable income, and budget allocations are made to maximize the consumer's marginal utility. In 'time series' models of consumer behavior, the consumer may also invest a proportion of their budget in order to gain a greater budget in future periods. This investment choice may include either fixed rate interest or risk-bearing securities.Within law, the notion of consumer is primarily used in relation to consumer protection laws, and the definition of consumer is often restricted to living persons (i.e. not corporations or businesses) and excludes commercial users.[3] A typical legal rationale for protecting the consumer is based on the notion of policing market failures and inefficiencies, such as inequalities of bargaining power between a consumer and a business.[4] As potential voters are also consumers, consumer protection takes on a clear political significance.

Concern over the interests of consumers has also spawned much activism, as well as incorporation of consumer education into school curricula. There are also various non-profit publications, such as Consumer Reports and Choice Magazine, dedicated to assist in consumer education and decision making.Consumer protection is a form of government regulation which protects the interests of consumers. For example, a government may require businesses to disclose detailed information about products—particularly in areas where safety or public health is an issue, such as food. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights (that consumers have various rights as consumers), and to the formation of consumer organizations which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace.Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered an area of public law that regulates private law relationships between individual consumers and the businesses that sell those goods and services. Consumer protection covers a wide range of topics including but not necessarily limited to product liability, privacy rights, unfair business practices, fraud, misrepresentation, and other consumer/business interactions.

Such laws deal with credit repair, debt repair, product safety, service contracts, bill collector regulation, pricing, utility turnoffs, consolidation, personal loans that may lead to bankruptcy and much more.“If a consumer is offered inferior products, if prices are exorbitant, if drugs are unsafe or worthless, if the consumer is unable to choose on an informed basis, then his dollar is wasted, his health and safety may be threatened, and national interest suffers.”

John F. Kennedy had equated the rights of the ordinary American consumer with national interest. He gave the American consumer four basic rights:

The Right to Safety - to be protected against the marketing of goods which are hazardous to health or life.
The Right to Choose - to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of products and services at competitive prices: and in those industries where competition is not workable and Government regulation is substituted, an assurance of satisfactory quality and service at fair prices.
The Right to Information - to be protected against fraudulent, deceitful or grossly misleading information, advertising, labeling, or other practices, and to be given the facts s/he needs to make an informed choice.
The Right to be Heard - to be assured that consumer interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration in the formulation of Government policy, and fair and expeditious treatment in its administrative tribunals.
Kennedy recognised that consumers are the largest economic group in the country’s economy, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. But they were also the only important group who were not effectively organised, whose views were not heard.
Therefore, the Federal Government, by nature the highest spokesman for all people, had a special obligation to the consumer’s needs. Thirteen years later President Gerald Ford felt that the four rights constituted in Kennedy’s Bill of Rights were inadequate for a situation where most consumers are not educated enough to make the right choices. So he added the Right to Consumer Education, as an informed consumer cannot be exploited easily.

While these rights served the interest of the American consumer well enough, they did not cover the whole gamut, because a global consumer did need, apart from them, other well-defined rights like basic needs, a healthy environment and redress.

The Consumers International (CI), former International Organisation of Consumer Unions (IOCU), the umbrella body, for 240 organisations in over 100 countries, expanded the charter of consumers rights contained in the US Bill to eight, which in a logical order reads:

1. Basic Needs
2. Safety
3. Information
4. Choice
5. Representation
6. Redress
7. Consumer Education and
8. Healthy Environment.
This charter had a universal significance as they symbolised the aspirations of the poor and disadvantaged. On this basis, the United Nations, in April 1985, adopted its Guidelines for Consumer Protection. India is a country, which never fell behind in introducing progressive legislation - we were among the first in the world to introduce universal adult franchise for women.

Gandhi had rightly said:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work - he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him.” The right to redress lead to the passing of the Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) in 1986 in India which has been defined as the Magna Carta of consumers but, it recognises only six of these eight rights:

1. Safety;
2. Information;
3. Choice;
4. Representation;
5. Redress and
6. Consumer Education.
Besides this statutory recognition, COPRA has succeeded in bringing about revolutionary judicial reforms by providing juristic quasi-judicial courts solely for redressal of consumer grievances (where a price has been paid), for adjudication within a limited time frame of 90 to 150 days.
The rights of basic needs and healthy environment could not be provided in COPRA as these symbolised the aspiration of the poor and the disadvantaged, and were not the subject matter of priced commodities and services available in the market place. However, these are the backbone of peoples’ movements in both the developing and the developed worlds.

Yet, inspite of pulsating movements, the rights of consumers could and were trampled on and often. There existed a vacuum in the definition of rights. It was often seen that boycotts would be spontaneous or organised in an adversarial situation, examples of, which are numerous. On an occasion in Calcutta a boycott of fish was successfully organised and the marketing cartel had to bow down, by cutting the
1) the end user of products & services.
2)to get the best of the above against his money.
We are all are consumers! We have a have a personal responsibity to use and apply products with an once of of common sense! To misuse a product and then blame or deal with a class action law suit is no in the best interest for the global society! Abuse is no excuse!

The answers post by the user, for information only, FunQA.com does not guarantee the right.



More Questions and Answers:
  • How does ridding the deficit sound by using all remaining money, and creating tons of fake $ for the citizens?
  • Beach worms??
  • Effective managers need technical human and conceptual skill?
  • What computer is used for economic defence in this country ?
  • How can income-expenditure framework determine the effect of perosnal savings on the economy?
  • Is the US economy in trouble?
  • Opinion: do you believe our economy runs on jealousy?
  • Wat is the exact definition of consumer awareness?
  • Homework help economics. @@@?