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Q. Who is a Consumer?

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All of us are consumers of goods and services. For the purpose of the Consumer Protection Act, the word "consumer" has been defined separately for "goods" and "services".

For the purpose of "goods", a consumer means a person belonging to the following categories:
(i) One who buys or agrees to buy any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment
(ii) It includes any user of such goods other than the person who actually buys goods and such use is made with the approval of the purchaser.

Note: - A person is not a consumer if he purchases goods for commercial or resale purposes. However, the word "commercial" does not include use by consumer of goods bought and used by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood, by means of self employment.

For the purpose of "services", a "consumer" means a person belonging to the following categories:
(i) One who hires or avails of any service or services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment
(ii) It includes any beneficiary of such service other than the one who actually hires or avails of the service for consideration and such services are availed with the approval of such person.

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Q. What are the rights of a consumer?

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Under the Consumer Protection Act 1986, a consumer is guaranteed the following rights:

  • Right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property
  • Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices
  • Right to be assured , wherever possible , access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices
  • Right to be heard and to be assured that consumers' interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums
  • Right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices and unscrupulous exploitation of consumers
  • Right to consumer education.

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