Consumer Education To educate the consumer as to what , how much , where and how to buy ad how to use what they have bought Objectives • Understand how the economy functions • Learn how to make wise purchase in the market • Learn how to guard against: Sales tactics , advertising , dishonest selling products. • To become aware of consumer rights and responsibilities. • Become aware of redresses mechanism Need for Consumer Education • New developments and technology: Customers are confused as what to buy, limited knowledge and most of the consumers are not well informed. • Lack of awareness. • Absence of effective consumer organizations • Programmes will help to develop awareness abt consumer rights and resp –choice and evaluation. Advantages of C Edu • To develop the ability to decide and select intelligently. • Demand safe ,reliable and good quality products at reasonable price. • Make consumer alert ,well informed and vigilant against corrupt practices in the market. • Take suitable actions when faced with problems. • Make appropriate decisions and not get misled by salesman • Helps the consumer how to use the product. • Aware of rights and responsibilities. Problems faced by consumers • Adulteration and poor quality-adding something inferior to the product being sold, thereby lowers it’s quality. • Defective weights and measures-Use of false wt and measures –malpractice which is adopted by selling the goods. E.g. vegs , cereals , sugar, etc. Using false measuring tapes or sticks having wrong markings. • Hoardings and black marketing- Any essential commodity is not made available in open market and the stock is intentionally held back. • It creates artificial scarcity , to push the cost. • Black-marketing: an illegal business of buying and selling hoarded goods ,secretly at a higher price. • Unfair Trade Practices: Use of brand names , labels and packaging similar to good quality products of low quality products. Dealers also announce-gifts, lottery ,contest etc • Misleading advertisement: Falsely represent a product or service of superior quality .e.g. Scooter with collaboration with foreign company • Price Variation While Purchasing: As it is observed that same products are sold at diff cost in diff shops. Valid reason or salesmen wants to overcharge you. Reasons: • Better quality cost more than lower quality. • Purchasing power of people varies in diff areas • Prices in wholesale market is low in retail areas • Packaging of products cause rise in cost than sold loose. • MRP printed on label includes commission of the retailer , if he is ready to forgo a part of it cost can be reduced. • Other ways : By coping brand names , selling loose products without label , charging highest MRP –price varies in different states • Lack of Information: Consumers rely on the retailers and manufactures for information The main problems faced by consumers is lack of information. The customers even do not know the sources of getting information. • Lack of standardized products : Some products bear standard marks like wool mark , Agmark , ISI etc. Duplicates goods are available in the market having such certification mark to mislead the consumers. Role of Consumer Education • Always do market survey and tap all information • Buy from Big Bazar, authorized company , show rooms , cooperative stores. • Read the labels carefully for brand names , ingredients, net weight, expiry date, • Take bills , receipts and guarantee cards • Instead of loose items prefer to buy in bulk • Do not accept irregular weights like bricks and stones. • Think of alternative items , in place of items which are scarce. • Buy products that guarantee good quality. • Do not get cheated by sales tricks and talks. • If any trader uses any unfair means do not remain quiet. Consumer Behaviour • Study of when , what ,how , where and why people do and do not buy products. • Blend-Psychology , sociology , economics , social psychology, anthropology. • Understands buyers decision making processindividual and group. • Consumer verifies the quality , quantity and correct price of the product. • Consumers get attracted towards numerous discount offers and sales ,but try to know hidden components. • Are more informed about rights ,duties and resp –more responsible. • Move towards well defined process to make decisions ie Recognition of their needs, Types of Market • Consumer Market- Market for products and services bought for their own self or family • Fast moving consumer goods-FMCG’s-High volume , low unit value , fast repurchase. E.g. ready meals, baked beans , newspaper. • Soft goods- similar to consumer durables, except they wear out quickly and have shorter replacement cycle. Clothes and shoes. • Consumer durables: low volume but high unit value. White goods-fridge , cookers, dishwashers Brown goods- DVD players , computers. Services: hairdressing , dentist ,childcare • Industrial Market-sale of goods between businesses. Not directly for consumers. • Selling finished goods- office furniture , comp systems • Selling raw materials-steel , coal , gas, timber • Selling services to business- waste disposal , security , accounting & legal services. • Reseller’s Market- Wholesalers and retailers who buy finished goods and resell or rent them to make profit . Instead of producing the utility , they produce time, place and possession utility. Types of goods • Shopping goods-2 types fashion + service. Need time to purchase and not urgent. E.g. furniture , jewelery. • Specialty goods- Goods are unique and need shopping efforts. Special shops- TV ,laptops • Convenience goods- bought in small quantities ,easily reachable. E.g. washing materials, soaps , detergents. Wise Buying Decisions • • • • • • Consumers are faced with complex situations. Decide on what to buy. Planning skills help to avoid unnecessary items Decide on the quantity to avoid wastage. Check the plan of realism Evaluate by seeing the price , brand, label, quality marks , net weight , content/ingredients. What to buy? • Family to decide of its needs and buy accordingly • Size of the family • Family budget • Standard of family members. • Storage facility ,spoilage of perishable food ,wastage due to poor storage condn that results to increased cost. When to buy • Time of buying based on work habits of different members. • What is to be bought. • Vegs and Fruits are fresh in the morning. • Perishable foods only in seasons • Durables Refrigerators ,AC –off seasons. • Woolen clothes in winter & cotton in summer- no of variety is available • Grains in particular seasons. • Buy when is less crowded . Do not be rushed. Where to buy • Decision about the market or shop of purchase. • Keep to one store –food stuffs • Daily use items –cooperatives /nearby stores as the items are cheap & good quality. • Large quantity –whole sale market –cheap & good quality. • Shop at stores that are reliable/licensed shop only . • Shop policy on replacing faulty goods. How to buy • Payment mode: cash or cheque • Cash is better than credit • Credit is better for purchasing expensive items like TV ,car etc.-monthly or yearly payment. • Use of credit should be minimum. • Read the information: date of manufacture, ingredients, precaution, dt of expiry , how to use. How much to buy? • Amount of items to be purchased. • Buy fresh foods as per the quantity reqd. • Dry provisions can be bought and stored for month . • If there is good storage facility – can store for 6 to 8 mths –non-perishable food items. • Garments- occasional and season wise Consumer Guidance • Make people aware of their rights and responsibilities • Develop person’s ability to choose goods and services. • Provide info about existing laws and stds to benefit the consumers • Help a person to become a discriminate buyer who can differentiate between want and need. • Prepare consumer to demand safe , reliable, quality products and service at fair price Consumer Faces Problem Needs knowledge of rights and resp consumer laws consumer aids leads to Consumer Education Consumer Rights • Preserving bills, receipts , records, guarantee cards. • Ask for bills and receipts/guarantee card –check before leaving the shop. • Freedom to choose should not harm or interfere with others. • To remember he is the member of the society and citizen of the country- in case of scarcity of any product he can buy less • Not remain silent when a salesman cheats him – should complain to the consumer association. Methods of Consumer Protection • Self Regulation by business- Business community have high ethical standards. • Consumer self help- consumers should know about their own rights. • Legislative Regulations- Consumer associations , consumer rights, consumer protection act , consumer protection councils are the bodies which help to regulate consumer protections Law for Consumer Protection • Agricultural Produce Act –Agmark , standarization , ISI mark is given by the government to agriculture or farm produce eg wheat flour, gram flour, ghee etc. • It ensures purity, graded according to their quality and packed suitable • Drugs and Cosmetics Act: It regulates and ensures that only standard quality medicines and cosmetics are sold – proper cash memo /bill. • Prevention of Food Adulteration Act: It protects the consumer against adulterated and spoilt food items. • Essential Commodities Act: All goods are available at reasonable price. It includes cereals, pulses, sugar, cotton, textiles, medicines ,paper , coal, petrol, iron , steel , etc. Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices ACT(MRTP): It protects consumers from being exploited by unfair means like giving false or misleading statement and advertisements. Standards of weight and Measure Act: This prevents the use of non standard weighs and measures. A detailed label is needed to avoid and misled to consumers. Fruit Product Order(FPO) : All the fruit and veg manufacturers have to maintain a certain standard with respect to quality , packaging , storage and sale. All products following FPO are given FPO standardized mark. • Consumer Protection ACT: (COPRA-1986) Majority people are poor in our country and most of them are ignorant and can be fooled easily. They need more protection and support. They all need quick action . The Central Govt legislated a law in the year 1986 known as Consumer Protection Act: This act – Magna Carta of Consumer . This Act recognized consumer rights and also established redressal sys through out the world. The aim of this act was to provide better protection of consumer and establish consumer council in each state by the resp state govt. Rights of COPRA (Consumer Protection Act) • Right to be protected against market goods – harmful to life and property. • Right to be informed –quality , quantity, purity , standard, price etc • Right to be assured – access of variety of goods at competitive prices. • Right to be heard –Consumers interest to receive consideration at appropriate forums • Right to redressal mechanism- unfair means • Right to Consumer education • This act provided a more accessible and speedy legal avenue for consumers. No fees , no lawyers and judgment to be delivered in 90 days. It is throughout India except Jammu and Kashmir Bureau of India Standard Act (BIS) • The quality certification mark ISI is given to the product which will meet the specification and standards set by the Govt. • It gives std in terms of material used, method of production, labeling, packing , storage and sale. • For quality control BIS gives a surprise visit , if and improper use or mispresentation is done they may prohibit the product. • E.g. ghee, biscuits, geyser, detergents, LPG cylinders. CONSUMER AIDS • Anything that helps and guides a consumer in selecting the product he wants to buy –consumer aids. • Standardization Mark –ISI , Agmark , FPO , Woolmark,Eco mark. • Labels and catalogue • Packages • Advertisements • Legislation • Consumer associations and co-operatives Standardization Mark • ISI (Indian Standard Institute)- biscuits, pressure cooker • It is mark that indicates that the product is tested and is good quality. • The product that has ISI mark contains right amount of ingredients , correct weight , not adulterated and prepared under hygiene condition. AGMARK • Agricultural , horticultural , forest and livestock products. • To prevent poor quality , duplicate and unsafe products from coming into the market. • It saves time, energy and money. • E.g. wheat flour, gram flour, rice , pulses , jaggery, honey , eggs. ECO and FPO Mark • ECO • Launched by BIS • Given to products who meet ISI stds and save energy – environment and friendly • Eg edible oil , tea , coffee , textiles, food , food additives soaps , batteries , electrical goods . • FPO: Fruits and Vegs products to acquire licence of their production and sale • E.g. jam, pickles , squashes , frozen and canned food. Advertisements • It informs the consumer about the availability , use and specialty about the product. • T.V , Radio, newspaper, magazines • It gives you correct information about a product and not mislead you. • Be a conscious and alert consumer – judge a particular product by examining it and not on the basis of advertisements. Packaging • Containers and wrappers – products are kept. • Good packaging- Protects the goods from damage, breakage and spoilage. • Easy to handle , transport, and store • Prevents from adulteration • Attractive package invites you to pick the product. Properly packed product will cost more. Labeling • A piece of paper of information or attached on the package • Following information: Name of the product • Brand Name, Manufacturer's Name and address, Content/ingredients, Warning and precautions, Date of manufacture and expiry date, Dose in case of medicines, net wt/volume/length , max retail price, use of the product, guarantee period, direction of use , care and maintenance.