We need strong consumer protection movement to curb lingering loot
Without going into the political aspect of this week-long disorder, letís have a look at the impact of this disorder where a common man is subjected to unfair trade practices as the prices of consumer goods in the markets here are settled arbitrarily by the seller. This all happens under the nose of authorities.
Ours is a place where within one city, a particular brand of consumer products have different rates. It becomes very difficult for consumers to check whether retailers are actually charging the right amount of local taxes on the products they sell or they are overcharging. This has led to a situation where the confusion in respect of price of the goods is natural for the consumer. The trader in league with the manufacturers of products most of the times arbitrarily fix the price and the consumers are forced to purchase goods at higher costs.
This time cold drinks, particularly the branded ones, remain in demand. Donít be surprised if you find different prices of a single brand in the same market. Just ask a simple question to yourself. How many times have you paid more than the maximum retail price (MRP) mentioned on the bottle while buying a cold drink or packaged water?
It was a surprise to a tourist when he was charged Rs.5 extra for a medium sized bottled drink which otherwise is pegged at MRP of Rs.27. The oft-used excuse by the retailer was that heís charging extra for cooling the product.
Charging over MRP even in branded bottled drinks pinches a common consumer but he is helpless to counter the retailersí profiteering practices. Even as manufacturing companies have consumer grievance cells in place to resolve such issues, they have proved toothless tigers. No manufacturer would like to see a reduction in sales by annoying a retailer. They turn blind eye to the malpractice and donít take any action even when a consumer complaints.
Take the case of restaurants. They charge more for cold drinks and bottled water. Hardly anybody shows resistance and most of the consumers pay gladly. Is this overcharging justified? No, provided the restaurants serve the packaged water or bottled cold drink in their own crockery. In this case they are offering a service in addition to the product.
Sometimes it also happens that the manufacturer increases the price of a product and sells old stocks/products on new price rates. But this new price does not apply to the stock already with the retailer. And this is where retailers try to make a quick buck by trying to sell the old stock at the new revised rate. So this is simply an unfair trade practice.
If you as a consumer want to set the overcharging trader or retailer right, you have help at hand. Instead of being a dumb driven consumer, you can take consumer court route.
Meanwhile, we as consumers should know the difference between the maximum retail price and actual price of the goods. The maximum retail price is inclusive of all taxes and a retailer can sell at a price below the MRP. In fact consumers should always look for retailers who sell below the MRP because the MRP is the maximum retail price allowed for that commodity and not the actual price and a retailer can well reduce his margin built into the MRP.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM GK MAGAZINE
PATHRIBAL FAKE ENCOUNTER
D A RASHID
Srinagar, June 29: The Army has decided to opt for court martial to try five officers accused of killing five civilians in Pathribal fake encounter in south Kashmirís (Islamabad) Anantnag district More
- Srinagar City
Workshops after workshops held on preparedness, none for safety against fire at shrines
Srinagar, June 29: The fire at shrine of revered saint, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) popularly known as Dastgeer Sahib (RA) seems to have reduced to cinder not only the historic wooden structure but More
Budhal (Rajouri), June 29: Political Advisor to Chief Minister Devender Singh Rana Friday alleged that the Peopleís Democratic Party and its leadership have ďalways indulged in politics of conspiracies More