Consumer exploitation is an unending story in almost all parts of the world. Johnson, the President of the United States, once pointed out that “for far too long, the consumer has had too little voice and too little Weight in Government. As a worker, as a businessman, as a farmer, as a lawyer or doctor, the citizens are well represented. But as a consumer, he has to take a back seat. In the following article, you will know the reasons for consumer protection. That situation is changing.
The consumer is moving forward, and we can rest content until he is in the front row, displacing the interest of the procedure right to be heard”. The state of Indian consumers is not on the positive side but far on the opposing side compared to many countries worldwide.
In countries with seller’s markets, widespread illiteracy, and the non-existence of consumer organizations, traders and manufacturers often exploit the consumer. These are the five reasons why we need consumer protection. Such exploitation may take the following forms:
(i) Adulteration of food items such as vegetable oil, ghee, turmeric powder, spices, etc.
(ii) Poor quality of goods and services.
(iii) Use of fractional weights and measures.
(iv) Misleading advertisement, i.e., false claims through advertising.
(v) Overcharging of goods and services.
(vi) Carelessness by doctors in attending to the patients.
The abovementioned practices imply that the business people cheat the consumer. He does not get value for money. He also has to suffer harmful health from adulterated and deteriorated food and medicines. Above, we mentioned the reasons why consumers need protection. This highlights the need for consumer protection through legislative and other measures such as consumer organizations.
In the mid-sixties, the consumer movement started in advanced countries, and now it has spread to others, too. Consumerism attempts to eliminate unfair trade practices such as spurious products, unsafe products, adulteration, deceptive pricing, deceptive packaging, false and misleading advertisements, black marketing, short weights and measures, etc.
6 Important Reasons for Consumer Protection
With the widespread exploitation of consumers, there is an urgent need to protect consumers and help them get value for their money. Consumer protection is mandatory according to the following grounds:
1. Globalization of the Economy
The economic reforms were initiated by the Government of India in 1991. The government suggested three mantras of economic prosperity-Liberalisation, Privatisation, and Globalisation. The government’s policies facilitated the entry of Multinational Corporations in the country, which created many problems for the consumers. It is one of the reasons for consumer protection.
Due to the globalization of the economy, goods manufactured in far-off countries by unknown manufacturers are flowing into Indian markets. If such goods are of substandard quality or not valuable for the intended purpose, it is easier for the consumers to get replacement or redressal. Technological development is paving the way for the production of more complex goods, making it difficult for consumers to make a purchase decision or exercise their choice. Thus, there is a need for taking steps for consumer protection. It shows why consumer protection is necessary.
2. Lack of Responsible Industry and Business
One of the severe problems faced by the consumers in India is unfair and unethical practices adopted by businessmen. J.L. Main, the former chairman of MRTP foundation, rightly pointed out that “unfair and deceptive trade practices are as old as the hills.” It is one of the consumer protection reasons. In a healthy society, the business community is responsible for providing quality goods at reasonable prices. They should avoid black marketing, adulteration, misleading advertisements, etc.
Unfortunately, most businessmen do not follow ethics and values in business for want of quick money from the company. We need responsible firms and industries to protect consumers from such practices.
3. Misleading Promotional Campaigns
Business concerns take up promotional campaigns to inform, educate, and persuade consumers to purchase products and services. This campaign includes advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity, and direct marketing. These provide valuable information to consumers. However, the problem is that these exploit the consumers’ emotions and influence them to favor their products. Several cases filled with MRTP commission relate to unrelated claims, high promises, etc.
Many consumers are getting trapped by such traders who make misleading promotional campaigns. Therefore, these are the reasons for consumer protection. Thus, there is a need to protect consumers from such movements. Businessmen should ensure that accurate and adequate information is supplied to the consumers in the right way, at the right place, and at the right time.
4. Increased Competition
After liberalization and globalization, competition has increased tremendously. Unless Indian firms become consumer-oriented, multinational companies try to beat them. Hence, it is in the interest of the business itself to protect consumers. Moreover, the government has enacted laws and regulations for consumer protection. Businessmen who violate the rules will likely lose their goodwill and clients for all the time to come.
5. The Polluted Environment
Every human has the right to live in nature. However, the growth and development that has taken place during the 20th century in the world leads to changes in the lifestyle and consumption patterns of the people. This also leads to environmental degradation and pollution. As a result, the population faces health hazards and various threats to their lives. Some scientists believe that ecological threats could Jeopardize the future existence of human life. Therefore, the consumers’ associations strongly demand that politicians, industry, and trade should act and lead the way to an ecological consumption of natural resources. It is one of the reasons for consumer protection.
6. Consumer Dissatisfaction
The essential function of business is to anticipate and satisfy consumer needs and expectations. Consumer satisfaction and protection provide the rationale of business. The consumer is the source of income for the business. But Most businessmen need to deliver goods and services up to consumers’ satisfaction level. Nowadays, shrewd businessmen develop the use and throw products without considering consumers’ satisfaction.
In this article, you knew why consumers needs to protect from the exploitation. You know the reasons for consumer protection. These are mandatory due to these reasons globalization of the economy, lack of responsible industry and business and many more.