Important terms and definitions in Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (repealed by Consumer Protection Act 2019)
A consumer can raise a valid consumer dispute when the goods purchased by him/her suffers defects and the services availed by him/her suffers from deficiencies. Let us see some of the important terms that a consumer needs to be aware of while raising a dispute.
Consumer: A Consumer is a person who purchases a product or avails a service for a consideration, either for his personal use or to earn his livelihood by means of self employment. The consideration may be:
Partly paid and partly promised.
It also includes a beneficiary of such goods/services when such use is made with the approval of such person.
Who is not a Consumer ?
A person is not a consumer if he/she:
-> purchases any goods or avails any service free of charge;
-> purchases a good or hires a service for commercial purpose;
-> avails any service under contract of service
“Goods” means every kind of movable property other than actionable claims and money, and includes stock and shares, growing crops, grass and things attached to or forming part of the land, which are agreed to be severed before sale or under the contract of the sale.
“Defect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for time being in force or under any contract, express or implied, or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods.
“Service” means service of any description which is made available to potential users and include, but not limited to, the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal services.
Contract of Service –It implies a relationship of a master and servant and involves to obey the order in the works to be performed and as to its mode and manner of performance. This does not come within the purview of CP Act.
Contract for Service – It implies a contract whereby one party undertakes to render services e.g., profession or technical services to or for another in the performance of which, he is not subject to detailed direction and control but exercises professional skills and uses his own knowledge and decisions.
Deficiency in Service: “Deficiency” means any fault, imperfection shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.
Unfair Trade Practice: An “unfair trade practice” means a trade practice, which, for the purpose of promoting any sale, use or supply of any goods or services, adopts unfair method, or unfair ordeceptive practice. Some of these practices include:
* When goods and services are not of stated standard, quality or grade;
* When second hand, renovated goods are sold as new ones;
* When goods and service do not have the claimed use, usefulness or benefit;
* When products / services do not have the claimed warranty / guarantee;
* When the price of product or service is misleading.
* False and Misleading Advertisement of selling at Bargain price.
* Offering gifts, prizes, etc. to lure customers with no intention of providing them.
Selling goods which do not fall within the safety standards set up by competent authority.
* Hoarding or destroying goods with the intention of raising the cost of these or similar goods manufactured in greater number so as to manipulate higher prices.
* Manufacturing or offering spurious goods or adopting deceptive practices in the provision of services.
Do you know?
“Goods once sold will not be taken back” or “No exchange”, or “No refund under any circumstances” amount to Unfair Trade Practice and does not carry any legal weight.
Restrictive Trade Practice:
Manipulation of price or conditions of delivery or to affect flow of supplies in the market relating to goods or services in such a manner as to impose on the consumers unjustified costs or restrictions and shall include—
a) Delay beyond the period agreed to by a trader in supply of such goods or in providing the services which has led or is likely to lead to rise in the price;
b) Any trade practice which requires a consumer to buy, hire or avail of any goods or, as the case may be, services as condition precedent to buying, hiring or availing of other goods or services