NCH
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IIPA
 

Consumer Velocity @ NCH
(The monthly newsletter from National Consumer Helpline)

 
Issue No:5/IIPA   
May 2017
 
Inside the issue

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Snapshots
Call Statistics
Convergence&feedback
C S Index
Words of appreciation

 

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Consumer Kaleidoscope
Recent announcements for consumers
   
Events Gallery

96th OTP: Orientation Training Programme

 

 

Contact

To seek information, advice and guidance on consumer problems

Contact
National Consumer Helpline

Toll Free no.

1800-11-4000, 14404

(All Working days)
09.30 AM to 05.30 PM
or
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

Sector Expert:
• Mr. Prabhat Kumar
• Ms. Payal Choudhry

Designing & Development:
• Mr. Ashish Kumar Gaur

 
Jago Grahak Jago
 
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CONSUMER VELOCITY @ NCH.

You are reading of the fifth issue of Year 2017.

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a project of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies at Indian Institute of Public Administration. Keeping in view the increasing demand of NCH services by consumers, the Department of Consumer Affairs in October 2016 increased the capacity of NCH, and, at present 60 telephone Lines are available to consumers to call and register their complaints.

The web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in developed by NIC is being used to record and handle complaints received at NCH. In addition “Consumer App” launched by the Department of Consumer Affairs can also be downloaded to register complaints on the portal. Convergence Companies have also got login credentials to redress consumer complaints on the portal itself. Department of Consumer Affairs launched the web chat facility on World Consumer Rights Day ie 15th March 2017 for user’s queries.

- Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): NCH provide a digital platform to 240 convergence companies for resolution and redressal of customer complaints, as per the policy of the company. Industry interactions are platforms for open communication.

- Information & guidance: NCH provides information to consumers on Products, Services, Company addresses, Ombudsman, Regulators and consumer forums. Counselors of NCH provide information as per the stage of the complaint – Tier 1, 2 or 3. Information is also provided for standards Hallmark, ISI etc and other services like RTI, PAN card, UIDAI, Financial Inclusion programs etc

- 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. The problems and gaps that emerge through analysis are highlighted to the Department of Consumer Affairs by NCH.

- Advocacy:Based on the trends that emerge, specific type of complaints affecting a large number of consumers is highlighted by NCH to the organization and to the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the information is shared with consumers at various platforms.

EVENT GALLERY:  

96th OTP: Orientation Training Programme

96th Orientation Training Programme was for Presidents and Members of District Consumer Forum .The participants visited National Consumer Helpline on 24/5/2017 to understand and experience the activities carried out by NCH and the role it plays in resolving consumer grievance.

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SNAPSHOT  
  • - In the month of May 2017, National Consumer helpline registered 40,030 dockets on the Website - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in. Out of 40,030 complaints, 27,285 complaints were handled at Toll free number, 1138 calls were made to SMS received, and 11019 complaints were registered on Website,and 265 complaints were reported through “Consumer App” .On the web chat facility 5479 user’s queries were handled.On an average 211 users are contacting NCH per day through web chat. Convergence: 15477 complaints were registered for Convergence companies and 7721 responses were received from them.The NCH Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in has registered a hit count of 2,05,662 during the month.

  • CPGRAMS complaints:NCH also responds to complaints forwarded by the Department of Consumer Affairs received on www.pgportal.gov.in. This is a Govt. of India Public grievance portal administered by DARPG for citizens to voice their grievances.
Geographical Distribution: 
The numbers of calls received from top ten states in descending order are Maharashtra,Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka,Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh ,Gujarat, Haryana and Bihar.

image loading for Percentage of calls State wise...

Major Sectors: 
The top five sectors for which calls received are E-Commerce, Telecom, Electronics Products ,Banking ,and Consumer Durables.
image loading for Percentage of calls Sector wise...

Besides consumer awareness, NCH also works towards 'making Corporates responsible’ in resolving consumer grievances at the prelitigation level itself, by having an alternate redressal mechanism . Currently over 240 brands are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All companies have partnered with NCH voluntarily.

A wide spectrum of sectors ranging from consumer electronics and durables (Air conditioner, Mobile Handset, Television, Apparels, Footwear manufacturers) to services like Banking, Insurance, Electricity, Telecom companies to diversified sectors such as Automobiles, Courier, Tours & Holidays are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Complaints received are accessed by the nodal person (SPOC) at each company who is also responsible for uploading the responses. 15477 complaints were registered against convergence companies and 7721 responses were received from them in the month.

 

CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)


  • Safeguard for consumer while filling petrol

  • Before purchasing petrol / diesel from the filling station the following observation / precautions should be taken by the consumer

    1. Dispensing unit should be under the roof covered area for proper maintenance of temperature of the measuring system. (Density of the liquid and its temperature record maintained by filling station may be observed).

    2. Observe that all the displays of each parameter is working properly. Automatic zero setting and tracking devices should be working proper and smoothly.

    3. Ensure that the quantity of the fuel to be purchased is in unit ( litre/kg) should be demanded,as the Calculator is not secure and sealed by Legal Metrology Department of state.

    4. Before start of delivery of fuel ensure (00.000) reading of quantity to be purchased, (000.00) reading of total price to paid and display of correct rate per unit ( litre/kg ).

    5. Ensure the hose pipe of the dispensing system is complete full off by the fuel without any air bubbles before delivery. Indications may be observed on the nozzle of the hose pipe.

    6. If consumer is not satisfied by above facts, he has the right to ask to see sealing and stamping situation of metering unit, pulsar, and display units. Code of inspector, month and year of stamping and its validity may be observed by the consumer on the butterfly sealing and stamping arrangement of measuring unit, pulsar and display unit, .

    7. Consumer may demand the pre-calibrated Conical Check Measure (5 litre/kg) with its valid certificates (of one year) issued by the state enforcement authority to instantly check the correct delivery of fuel, of measuring system, at the filling station.

    8. Ratio of maximum and minimum flow rate (Qmax/Qmin) should not be less than 10, during the delivery, which may also be observed.

    9. Hose pipe of the dispensing system not more than 5 m in length.

    10. The dispensing pump should be approved by the Central Govt. and the approval mark on the dispensing machine can also be checked.

    11. Max. Permissible Error allowed +0.5% of the dispensed liquid fuel.

    If consumer is not satisfied due to malpractice or short delivery, he may complain to the Central/State Enforcement Authority as given below

    • Local Inspector of Legal Metrology (weight & measure) of that area,
    • Assistant Controller of Legal Metrology of the district / zone,
    • Deputy Controller of Legal Metrology of the Zone,
    • Controller of Legal Metrology of the concerned State,
    • Director of Legal Metrology of Dept of Consumer affairs New Delhi.


  • Information about Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)
  • The Real Estate sector got its own regulator from May 1, 2017, the date when the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) became effective in the entire country. Each state and UT will have its own Regulatory Authority (RA) which will frame regulations and rules according to the Act. As on May 1, 2017, only 13 states and Union territories had notified their final rules. Another 16 have prepared draft rules .Where the regulatory authority has not been established, the state government is required to designate any officer, preferably the Secretary of the department dealing with housing, as the regulatory authority.

    Real estate developer under the Act will be any person who develops a building or a township of apartments residential and commercial complexes on an independently or a jointly owned land, which are later partially or completely sold to the consumers. It also includes a person who converts an existing building or apartments thereof and who acts as a builder, contractor or colonizer. An intermediary who is a person who negotiates the transactions of buying and selling a property between two parties and receives remuneration for the same (It typically includes brokers and property dealers and Development Authorities and the Housing Boards are also covered under the Act. The Consumer who have not yet got the possession must check if their State is bringing such ongoing projects, without any conditions, under the purview of RERA or not? For projects where delivery is still a few years away,consumer should ensure that builder gets it registered under the Act so that the rules apply even to the said property, which is yet to to be possessed.

    Key provisions of RERA

    • The promoter of a real estate development firm has to maintain a separate escrow account for each of their projects. A minimum 70 per cent of the money from investors and buyers will have to be deposited. This money can only be used for the construction of the project and the cost borne towards the land of that project ONLY. They also have to furnish details of revenue collected from allottees and how the funds were/will be utilized.


    • To provide clarity to buyers, developers will have to keep them informed of their other ongoing projects.

    • Builders to submit to RERA , the original approved plans for their ongoing and future projects and the alterations that they made later and all the documents that it would need to execute with the consumer. Number, type and carpet areas of units to be sold along with details of open areas if any like terraces, balconies etc.

    • Disclosure of timeline for construction, completion, and delivery that will need to be certified by an Engineer/Architect/practicing Chartered Accountant. Details of associated engineers, contractors and architects and intermediaries in the project.

    • State Regulator to register real estate projects and real estate agents operating in their state under RERA which will be put up on a website for public access.

    • Ensure quality of construction in projects. The regulator will ensure protection to buyers in this matter for five years from the date of possession. If any issue is highlighted by buyers in front of the Regulator in this period including the quality of construction and the provision of services, the developer will have to rectify the same in a matter of 30 days.

    • Developers can’t invite, advertise, sell, offer, market or book any plot, apartment, house, building, investment in projects, without first registering it with the regulatory authority. After Registration, all the advertisement inviting investment will have to bear the unique RERA registration number.

    • If the promoter defaults on delivery within the agreed deadline, they will be required to return the entire money invested by the buyers along with the pre agreed interest rate mentioned in the contract based on the model contract given by RERA. If the buyer chooses not to take the money back, the builder will have to pay monthly interest on each delay month to the buyer till they get delivery..

    • To add further security to buyers, RERA mandates that developers can’t ask more than 10 per cent of the property’s cost as an advanced payment booking amount before actually signing a registered sale agreement.

    • Carpet area is a measure of net usable area of the unit and does not include common areas, balconies, verandahs (even if exclusively available within a unit) ; whereas, the super built up area could be an addition of both. Therefore, to ensure that the consumer knows what he is paying for, it has been made mandatory for the real estate developer to specify carpet area. Carpet Area is the area within the walls of a unit where a consumer can reside or have his office.

    • Minor changes can be made to a unit plan (which includes plans, fixtures, fittings etc) after proper declaration and intimation to the customer and certification by an architect or an engineer that such changes are required for architectural and structural reasons. Such minor changes are also allowed which are requested by a consumer. But these do not include changes in area or height, or removal of part of a building or any such change which the authority feels materially deviates from the product offering.Any other change i.e. change in sanctioned plans, layout plans, and specifications of buildings or common areas can not be brought about without consent of at least 2/3rd of consumers of the project. The consenting consumers do not include real estate developer who might still own units in the project.

    There by the Act permits the real estate developers to register their projects in a phase wise manner as separate projects. Hence a real estate developer is then allowed to make changes in future to the phases not registered yet. While a developer is allowed to sell the project to another investor he can do so only by taking written approval of 2/3rd of project’s consumers and also the prior approval of the RERA.

    RERA is the first body to approach in case of disputes and as per set of rules this body can establish the nature of violation and prescribe the penalty/ punishment. Any person aggrieved by the decisions of the RERA or an adjudicating officer can appeal to the Appellate Tribunal. A person can appeal in High Court if he is aggrieved by decision of the Appellate Tribunal however, this is NOT allowed in cases where the decision was reached after consent of the parties. The person has to approach High Court within 60 days of receiving the decision.

    Authority should endeavor to dispose of the questions / complaints as expeditiously as possible but not later than sixty days from the date of filing the same. However, where it could not be disposed of during the said period the Authority is required to record its reasons for the same.

    Civil courts are barred from entertaining disputes (suits or proceedings) in respect of matters which the Authority or the adjudicating officer or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered under the Act. Consumer fora have not been barred from the ambit of the Act. It further permits the complainant to withdraw his complaint from the consumer forum and file it with the adjudicating officer appointed under the Act.

     

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

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