Consumers must assert their rights:Consumer activists

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New Delhi, Dec 24 (UNI) Consumer right activists today urged the people to come forward promptly for redressal of any grievance.

Speaking on the occasion of the 'National Consumer Day', Consumer Voice's Bejon Misra said, ''Any faulty product or service should be brought to the notice of the manufacturing company and if the complaint is not redressed, the consumer can approach our helpline at the toll free no.--1800-11-4000.'' The National Consumer Helpline (NCH)is a project of the University of Delhi and its toll free number, 1800-11-4000, can be contacted from any MTNL or BSNL line. The other numbers are 011-27662955--upto 59.

The helpline provides telephonic advice, information and guidance to empower the consumers and persuade businesses to reorient their policies and management systems to address consumer concerns and grievances by adopting world class standards.

The NCH received about 49,373 calls between March 2006 and February 2007 on complaints pertaining to telecom, electricity, postal, courier sales tax, medical negligence, public distribution services, transport, food adulteration, education, banking, insurance, real estate, LPG, defective products and others.

FICCI's Amit Chatterjee said the business grows with satisfied consumers, adding, ''The companies will now have an inbuilt mechanism to redress the consumers' grievances. We are not only taking steps to educate the consumer about their rights, but are also making the industries aware of safegaurding the interests of the consumers.'' ''It is the consumer who has to assert his rights. The time has come, when the consumer must protest and come forward to get redressal of his grievances. He must unite and take the ministers to task. The situation around is so grim that no one wants to deliver,'' Consumer Welfare and Research Society's J N Singh said.

''The problems related to bad roads, cleanliness, safety and other civic problems come under the Consumer Protection Act. We must approach the authorities first for redressal and if they do not hear the problem, approach the courts,'' he added.

The NHC, which aims at supporting the consumers, guides them and finds solutions to the problems related to products and services, helps them file a complaint against faulty service provider. It also helps in providing the consumer the requisite information related to the companies and their regulatory authorities.

Apart from creating consumer awareness about their rights and responsibilities, the NHC empowers them to use the available grievance redressal mechanisms.

The NCH has urged all consumers to call to them in cases of delay, late delivery, non-repair and non-replacement of products and all help will be rendered to them for redressal of their grievances.

UNI

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