Need For Consumer Protection
Need For Consumer Protection
Under the modem philosophy of marketing, consumer is supposed to be the king and business is expected to provide maximum possible satisfaction to consumers. But in reality, consumers are often exploited. In a country like India there is shortage of many products. A few firms enjoy monopoly powers in the market place. A large majority of consumers are ignorant and illiterate and do not know their rights. They are poor and there is lack of unity among them. Due to all these reasons, consumers are often deprived of their rights. They are often exploited through misleading advertisements, poor quality goods, fractional weights and measures, overcharging, etc.
Consumer Protection is necessary due to the following reasons:
1. It gets materials, manpower, machinery and other resources from society. Therefore, it is obliged to supply the right products at reasonable prices to the public.
2. It is the moral responsibility of business to protect and promote the interests of consumers.
3. The basic function of business is to satisfy the needs and expectations of consumers. It is through consumer satisfaction that business can earn profits and continue operations in the long run.
4. The Government of India is committed to the welfare of general public by encouraging fair trade practices.
5. Education and information through newspapers, radio and television has made people conscious of their rights as consumers.
Methods of Consumer Protection
There are four main methods of protecting the interests of consumers.
1. Business Self-Regulation: Consumer protection can be attained with the help of the business community itself through self discipline. Higher ethical standards need to be adopted by the businessman and unfair trade practice used by some businessman needs to be scrutinized by trade associations and consumer associations.
2. Consumer Self-Help: Consumer should have knowledge of his rights and shouldn’t allow unscrupulous traders to deceive him
3. Consumers' Associations: Voluntary associations should be formed by the consumers. Education of the rights and stopping unfair trade practice by the businessman should be the main motive of the voluntary organization.
Government Regulations: Consumer protection can be provided by the state government through legislatives, judicial and executive actions. Strict enforcement of the law by the executives would create a sense of fear amongst businessman vulnerable to unfair trade practice.
The Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States has the authority to protect American citizens from fraud. They have a wide range of problems to deal with. Many of those problems include telephone scams, which have so common, people almost laugh at those phone calls, yet many Americans still lose their money to these scams.
The theft of identities and social security numbers is another huge problem, and reporting these thefts to the Federal Trade Commission is very important, so they can have these thefts on file.
Lemon laws are also an important part of the Federal Trade Commission and many states have lemon laws on their books.