Consumer Protection Laws Policy - Narrative .

NARRATIVE:

Even though there are consumer protection laws in India, by and large these are carbon copies of consumer protection laws framed by the West, which are designed more to protect industry than the consumer except in the most peripheral way.

For instance, with few exceptions if any, once a product is sold, and the product or service provided is unsatisfactory, the consumer nightmare has begun. In the case of all corporates, the consumers complaint is auto-channeled to a robotic call center to play which, the consumer will spend huge amount of time, sometimes more than an hour, just to get to the right person who can hear, or pretend to hear you. Then the fun-around starts. If the consumer asks to speak to a real person, an employee of the company, or a responsible quality assurance department, or service person head, there is no chance that this will happen.

Companies have started going incognito, with no law to stop them. They do not publish real addresses, so even if a consumer wishes to send them a legal notice they would need to spend hours just to get to the right address. No names of any officials are published, no phone number, no email addresses, except of the, generally, outsourced call-centers. Strangely, no government on earth, let alone the Indian government, has even noticed let alone addressed these issues.

Companies make their money from the consumer, making promises of quality or service, but once a sale is achieved, good-bye Charlie. Take the case of the modern airline. These behemoths have been given absolute freedom to do as they please and hang the consumer. Consider this; over the past 20+ years, they have steadily reduced leg space and narrowed the seats in order to fit more bodies in their planes; hang the consumer right to minimum comfort. The seat space in economy between the front row has been reduced to an extent that a person of 5’9” height will find his knees pressing against the seat in front of them. The recline of the seat has been progressively reduced such that they hardly recline, perhaps 4-6 inches against the 12-18 inches in days gone-by.

Then there is the pricing game. They shift pricing each minute or each hour, ostensibly due to demand-supply factors, but in practice, a game where they are playing for the maximum money they can get from the hapless consumer. Many times, their public system will show the plane is full or near full, and you get on board to find 30% or more vacancy. No government has framed any laws to reign in such blatant gaming of the unfortunate consumer.

Hotels play the same game, as does almost every other corporate; corporate that report billions of dollars as profits with no responsibility to those from whom they make this money. Car makers, white goods manufacturers et el play the same one-sided game in principle. Such predatory practices have to stop. The only way to stop these is through sensible and fair policies to both sides, the consumer and the business entity.

The Rising India Party, will on winning election undertake a complete overhaul of consumer laws within the principle that companies have to stand by their products, adhere to minimum delivery standards set for their products and / or services that they will pre-define; and a set of laws when it comes to airlines and such like, that would deal with seat space, comfort and predatory pricing, refund policies etc. that protect consumers. India will take its own position on these matters and ignore what-ever narrative the West has set and we have copied without thought.


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