Monday, September 21, 2009

Consumer Protection Law: Deficiency in Services

An average subscriber generally pays his bills regularly. If for any reason he defaults, he pays a surcharge for late payment. But what if he receives a hefty bill for calls that he has not made and which, he believes, are excessively high. To his utter dismay, the bill also contains a warning in red letters that if the bill is not paid by the prescribed date, the phone will be disconnected without any notice. And this threat is usually enforced. But he has no means to prove that he has not used his telephone to the extent indicated in the bill. For, one of the unique and, perhaps, the most unfortunate features of this service is that, unlike electricity or water meters that are installed in the premises of the consumer, the telephone meter is installed elsewhere away for the gaze or access of the consumer. So he has no means of knowing the mistake beforehand and he has to suffer for a mistake that he has not done. In such a case, then what are the remedies available to such a consumer? Whether he has rights to raise his voice against the exorbitant bill or he has no way except to pay the amount by any means and get ii done away with.

We have seen the evolution of law in the field of Deficiency in Service with respect to Telecom Services with a special emphasis on inflated billing. The purpose is that the citizens should not feel cheated and helpless when such a thing happens. He should know his rights and must use them against injustice done to him.

For the same purpose, the government has launched the Jago Grahak Jago Abhiyaan in order to sensitize the citizens specially the consumers of different goods and services of their rights. Such a move is highly appreciated and it is sincerely believed that it goes a long way in enlightening the citizens specially consumers.
Read more:
Deficiency in Telephone Services
Consumer Protection Law
How to file a consumer complaint?
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

Military Welfare Organisations
Oftentimes products and items purchased form CSD (I), unit run canteens are defective, poor quality, shelf- life expired items. The consumers need protection against spurious, sub- standard and rejected products palmed off to the CSD (I) at reduced wholesale, bulk and retail rates. The aim of CSD (I) is to reap in greater volume of profits. Similarly AWHO palms off sub- standard housing to the Defence Personnel. The main culprits are the contractors who reduce the quality of work at every stage.
Defence personnel need protection against all such exploitation by profit generating organisations whose aim to "serve" has been replaced to "generate huge volume of profits". The Consumer Protection Law must be applicable to all Military Welfare Organisations. There should be provision for return of products and instant cash refund on products, in all CSD (I) unit run Canteens and similarly adequate compensation for poor quality houses delivered by AWHO.

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