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Consumer Velocity @ NCH
(Toll Free No.: 14404, 1800-11-4000)

     July 2018  
                          The monthly e-newsletter from the National Consumer Helpline
Inside the issue



Snapshot of activities


CPGRAMS Complaints


Goods & Service Tax



Consumer Kaleidoscope
Events Gallery

Students of class 12th from Heritage School, Vasant Kunj, South Delhi-110070 from the commerce stream came to IIPA and attended the program




To seek information, advice and guidance on consumer problems

National Consumer Helpline

Toll Free Numbers

14404, 1800-11-4000

(All Working days)
09.30 AM to 05.30 PM
SMS your name and city to
+918130009809 (Charges Apply) .

Editorial Team

Editor in Chief:
•Prof. Suresh Misra

Consulting Editor:
•Mr. G. N. Sreekumaran

Editorial Team:

• Ms. Deepika Sur
• Ms. Sunita Manik

Designing & Development:
• Mr. Ashish Kumar Gaur

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The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is the project of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India and operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi. The web portal is the platform to record and handle complaints received at NCH. either through phone, directly on the website ,Consumer App, letters etc. The web chat facility is also available for consumers for any query that they may have.

NCH does the following:

Information & guidance: NCH counsels, guides and supports aggrieved consumers to get their complaints redressed.

Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 452 companies as convergence partners. Convergence partners are across the spectrum of sectors like Banking, e-commerce, telecom, consumer electronics, higher education etc.

Big Data Analytics: Analysis of data helps in knowing trends - sector wise, time wise and the different patterns that emerge from analyzing and stratification of the data collated.

Advocacy: Based on the analysis done, specific type of complaints affecting a large number of consumers is highlighted to the organizations. Also, advocacies are brought out to sensitize Regulators and Departments on various pain points of consumers.


Jagriti’ – empowering young consumers from schools:

Jagriti’ – the consumer empowerment initiative of the National Consumer Helpline in the past few years has generally been events based – like nukkad nataks, programs in community radios, participating in melas etc. From the month of April 2018, NCH has started a half day program for empowering school students in the area of consumer protection. Young minds are impressionable and empowering students goes a long way – as discerning, responsible and alert consumers of the future.

NCH had sent out invitations to various schools to visit IIPA to see the working of the National Consumer Helpline. This would give a chance to acquaint the students on various consumer sectors.

On 17th July 2018,27 students of class 12th from Heritage School, Vasant Kunj, South Delhi-110070 from the commerce stream came to IIPA and attended the program

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The visit of two hours - from 10.00 am to 12 noon was informative and covered various consumer topics. After a one hour formal presentation on the history and background of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and sectors of interest, the next hour was a ‘live’ hearing of calls that are received, handled and redress by the National Consumer Helpline. Students were encouraged to ask questions and get queries resolved by the team of counselors at the helpline.

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The presentation covered briefly the setting up of NCH facets of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, and the Rights & Responsibilities of Consumers. The sectors explained were Junk Food, Legal Metrology ( Weights & Measures), E-commerce , Digital transactions and LPG. Besides discussing in detail with the students, they were also encouraged to share the information ,Dos and Dont’s and knowledge gathered from the visit with their parents, relatives and friends. Notable aspects were on how to check expiry of an LPG cylinder, mandatory labels on food items and pre-packaged products ,and precautions to be taken while doing e-commerce and online transactions.

The visit ended with refreshments being served to the students and the teachers. These visits by school children have generated positive feedback and we have many more schools wanting to visit NCH

Data for the Period 1st-30th June 2018

  • The Website registered a hit count of 2,44,170 during the month.

  • In the month of July 2018, National Consumer Helpline registered 47,143 dockets on the portal - Out of the 47,143 dockets, 31,437 dockets were handled at Toll free number, 1803 calls were made to SMS received, and 13,317 dockets were registered on the Website. 97 complaints were reported through “Consumer App”
State-wise Dockets Registered: 

The number of calls received from top ten states in descending order are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat ,Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

image loading for Percentage of calls State wise...

Major Complaint Sectors: 

Majority of the complaints are received from sector of e-commerce, Banking, Telecom, Electronics Products, Consumer Durables and Agency services.
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Besides consumer awareness, NCH also works towards 'making Companies responsible’ in resolving consumer grievances at the pre-litigation level itself, by the ‘Alternate Dispute Redressal Mechanism. Currently over 452 companies/ organizations are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All organisation have partnered with NCH voluntarily.

A wide spectrum of companies in sectors ranging from consumer electronics and durables to services such as Banking, Insurance, Electricity, Telecom to diversified sectors such as Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Travels are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Complaints received are accessed by the nodal person of the company . 18,853 complaints were registered for convergence companies.

NCH tries to resolve complaints forwarded by the Department of Consumer Affairs received on This is a Govt. of India Public grievance portal administered by DARPG for citizens to voice their grievances. In July 2018, NCH received 462 complaints during this period.

(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)

  • Handling Fake Note during ATM transaction

  • Consumers who receive fake notes from ATM’s, should not to panic, They should check the currency notes by holding up the fake notes in front of the CCTV camera. If the camera is not working, there is a guard at each ATM who should be informed. It is better to raise the complaint at the ATM itself as it will be difficult to prove the origin of the note, once the person steps out of the ATM. Also, consumer should make sure that the ATM receipts kept safe .

    For fake notes consumer may complaint to

    • Bank to which the ATM belongs to with a copy to Currency Department, RBI .

    • Please note that the Reserve Bank of India guidelines on counterfeit notes holds the bank responsible for fake notes. This is because all currency notes go through forged note detector machines before the contractors outsourced by the banks, deposit money into ATMs.

    • All branches of public, private, cooperative and foreign banks, treasuries and sub-treasuries along with issuing offices of RBI have the authority to impound counterfeit notes.

    However, no bank is going to exchange the consumer’s counterfeit notes based only on the consumer's word. So Complaint has to be lodged to initiate any action.

    (Compiled by Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Sector Expert: BFSI -Banking, Financial Services and Insurance)

  • Adulteration in fish

  • Fish is a highly perishable commodity. Retailers, traders, suppliers extend the shelf life of fish by lowering the temperature in which it is stored. If proper temperature is not maintained, the fish gets spoilt. The term “fresh” refers to the fish and fish products that are untreated except for refrigeration, storage on ice, or freezing, in order to prevent decomposition and spoilage. No additives are permitted in “fresh” fish and fish products. However it has been seen that sellers now a days use sodium benzoate, formalin and ammonia to reduce the cost of keeping fish fresh on the market shelves. Sodium benzoate and formalin are sprinkled over fresh fish or mixed with water and sprayed on the catch. Liquid ammonia, which is a refrigerant is mixed with water used in manufacturing ice to restrict the ice from melting fast. These chemicals, when added to fish ,make the fish look fresh for more days. Sodium benzoate is used as preservative in foods @ 0.1% but as mentioned above, no preservative/additive is allowed in fresh fish. Sellers ignorantly use exorbitant amount of sodium benzoate to increase the shelf life of fresh fish sold in the market which is harmful to human health. Formalin, a lethal chemical is identified as a carcinogen. Ammonia being used to slow down the melting of ice is corrosive in nature and cause harm to the human intestine. The main issue is that vendors do not use the required quantity of ice needed to preserve fish, rather them use chemicals like sodium benzoate, formalin and ammonia which also improves the sensory attributes, so as to give an appearance of fresh fish.

    Parameters to check freshness of fish.

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    Tips for consumers

    • Wash fish thoroughly in running water before cooking to remove the preservatives added.

    • Fish must be cooked thoroughly to remove the preservatives which are volatile in nature.

    • Report to the Food authorities in case of any obnoxious smell or texture found in fish.

    • Consumers can complaint to the Commissioner of Food Safety of the State / Union Territory

    • If the case remains unheard, consumer can report to Central Food Authority, FSSAI at or

    Rapid Test Kit for checking adulteration

    A rapid detection kit has been developed by Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) for easy detection of ammonia and formalin in fish sold in the domestic markets, This kit is manufactured and marketed by Himedia laboratories, to whom CIFT had given the rights. The method to test is simple, rapid and consumer friendly, containing thin paper strips and testing solution. The kit contains 50 strips and each strip costs around ? 3/- . Two kits are available one for detection of ammonia and other for detection of formalin. The paper strips provided are to be rubbed on the surface of fish. One drop of testing solution is added to the rubbed strip. If the color changes to dark blue the fish is contaminated. More research is to be done to develop a simple method to detect Sodium benzoate in Fish. For more details visit website:

    Compiled By: Dr. Mamta Prajapati,(Food) Sector Expert


    National Consumer Helpline 
    Centre for Consumer Studies , Indian Institute of Public Administration
    Toll Free :
    14404 , 1800-11-4000 (All days -09.30 AM to 05.30 PM )
    SMS can also be sent to +918130009809 (charges apply) mentioning the name and city .
    You can also register your complaint on mobile application "Consumer App" of Department of Consumer Affairs and website

    Published by : National Consumer Helpline :
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