Most Indians unaware of consumer rights: Study

Only 30 pc of respondents claimed awareness
Last Updated 17 March 2014, 19:54 IST

Majority of Indians remain ignorant, complacent and ill-informed about their consumer rights, a survey by industry body Assocham has found. 

“Growing market for counterfeit products and imported goods from China largely driven by web-shopping portals are promoting trust deficit among consumers,” noted the survey, whose results the Assocham shared to mark world consumer’s day on March 15.

“Promotion of products and services through misleading advertisements in various media together with lack of transparency, complex terms and conditions, non-disclosure of hidden charges/fees, penalties and others are certain key concerns of modern Indian consumers,” the survey said further.

About 4,000 people were surveyed for the purpose at 15 centres – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Kolkata, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram during January-February 2014.

Thirty per cent of the respondents said they were aware of consumer rights. However, a majority of these admitted to have pursued their rights as consumers only after they were mistreated, duped or cheated.

“India Inc is taking significant steps in this direction. Companies today are serious about informing, educating and communicating with their target consumers, in a bid to enhance their knowledge and awareness about products, services offered by the company and also seeking consumers’ feedback, complaints and suggestions, thereby nurturing a positive culture of consumer consciousness and behaviour,” the survey said.

“Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, newsfeeds and others are certain significant innovative ways that companies in various domains are using to connect with the consumers of all age groups,” it said.

Government’s efforts to spread awareness among people through programmes like ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ may have left 30 per cent of urban Indians aware of their rights, but that seems inadequate, going by the survey’s findings. 

(Published 17 March 2014, 19:54 IST)

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