The harried Indian consumer, generally taken for granted and frequently short-changed by government-run organisations - and often by private companies as well - may have finally found a voice. Consumer Complaints India has launched its official website www.consumercomplaintsindia.org, which gives a platform for consumers to voice their grievances, and try to address them effectively and efficiently.
The organisation says it is a step towards promoting consumerism in India. While The Consumer Protection Act 1986 came into force only with effect in 1987, a large section of consumers in India remain unaware of their rights as consumers.
The forum operates for various categories of goods and services, including airlines, BSIF, automobiles, clothing, shoes and accessories, computers, education, electronics and appliances, entertainment and recreation, government organisations, stock markets, investors' issues, health and beauty, law and civil rights, real estate, telecommunications, as well as unsolicited phone calls.
Apart from providing a platform for voicing out consumer complaints, the portal also provides guidelines on safety measures that consumers should consider before and after buying a product or service. It also offers the brands a forum to create awareness about their products and services in its news stories section. The section also looks at upcoming developments in the field of consumer rights in India.
Talking about the thought behind Consumer Complaints India, director Prince Mohan said, "The main motive behind launching this unique website is to give consumer an opportunity and platform through which they can discuss their grievance and inviting companies on the other end to address those issues and look for solution. This is a perfect platform to open a dialogue and thus reinforce the trust factor between consumer and company."
McKinsey Global has released its India consumer research, which highlights the fact that over the next two decades, the country's middle class will grow from about 5 per cent of the population to more than 40 per cent and create the world's fifth-largest consumer market.
'Consumerism' is likely to dominate the Indian market in the next millennium, thanks to the economic reforms ushered in and the several agreements signed under the World Trade Organisation.
Given the size of the consumer market in India, it is essential to plug in checks and controls within the system to ensure that the rights of the consumers are protected and market is fair and transparent. Consumer Complaints India aims at bringing both the brands as well as the consumers to one single forum to create and foster the environment of trust and transparency between organisations and consumers.