Today is World Consumer Rights Day.
As consumers of various products and services on a daily basis, we have been on the receiving end of numerous instances of harassment, verbal and in some cases physical. The standards of customer service in India stands no chance when compared to the International benchmarks and neither does most of our products and services. The general apathy of the consumer can be cited as a reason for this while the arrogance of the producer can be cited as another reason. When a consumer compromises with the quality of the product or the service he receives, the producer is armed with the power of such compromise. He goes home with the knowledge that people do not care to check if they are receiving what they pay for. He is empowered to adopt unethical means to improve his profits and his lifestyle.
This post is aimed at bringing some information regarding one’s rights as a consumer.
Imagine this – You are traveling in a train. You feel sleepy and hence decide to buy a cup of coffee/tea from the vendor who sells it in the train/railway platform. You pay him Rs. 7/- for a cup of tea. Do you realize that the amount you paid was for 150 ml of tea with tea bag? Do you check if you are getting the 150 ml of beverage that you paid for? I guess not.
We are used to this kind of lethargy that the vendors have gotten used to taking us for granted.
Did you know that you can deny to pay him the money and ask for a complaint book? This solves a lot of hassles, to be honest. Stand up for the money you pay. Simple. This is not embarrassing or a waste of time. This is how it is supposed to be.
Same advice goes for unclean trains, lack of water in the compartments etc. Approach the station master. Be firm that you will record a complaint in writing, in the complaint book that he has. Things will happen.
Many of us would have been on the receiving end of pathetic services in Banks. How many of us are aware that, apart from the Nodal offices of the banks, we also have an Ombudsman functioning exclusively for this purpose? If you want to know more, search “Banking Ombudsman” and there you will have your answer. Personally I have gotten a few of my serious issues sorted by using this facility.
The reason of highlighting just two of the numerous problems of similar nature we face is that we need to put our foot down and learn to be accountable for the money we shell out. Gathering as a group to oppose a Chief Minister or to express displeasure in something is different and doing our duty at the grassroots level is different.
Small blocks, strong ones at that, make a lovely building. Let’s resolve on this day that we shall stand up for what we deserve and to not let people take us for granted. Ignorance is not always bliss. Lets be the real partners in Nation building.
Author Credits- Megha Sreeram
An aspiring journalist and a semi qualified Chartered Accountant, I find solace in writing my heart out. A true Madrasi fan-girl who loves her coffee fresh and hot from the filter,I consider the medium of writing to be my own where I can be unabashed and just me. Extremely sarcastic, snarky and nerdy, I love reading non fiction books that centre around economics, politics and Finance.
Megha blogs at Satan’s Minion and has a dubious knack to invite controversies.