NCH
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IIPA
 

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


 
       1st-15th  
Nov 2017               The fortnightly e-newsletter of the National Consumer Helpline
 
      Inside the issue

 

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Snapshot of activities

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CPGRAMS Complaints

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Goods & Service Tax

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CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
   
          Events Gallery

Participants of the 12th Training of Trainers (TOT) Programme for Heads and Members of VCO/ NGOs in Consumer Protection and Welfare organized by CCS, IIPA visited to National Consumer Helpline on 10th November 2017

             Contact

To seek information, advice and guidance on consumer problems

Contact
National Consumer Helpline

Toll Free Numbers

14404, 1800-11-4000

(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. Sunanda Dey

Designing & Development:
• Mr. Ashish Kumar Gaur

 
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Editorial Team




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CONSUMER VELOCITY @ NCH.

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a project of the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India and operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi. The web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in is the platform to record and handle complaints received at NCH. In addition, ‘Consumer App’, which can be downloaded from Google Play Store, can be used to register complaints. The web chat facility is also available for consumers for any query that they may have.

NCH helps in the following ways:

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

Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 334 companies as convergence partners. Convergence companies have got login credentials to redress consumer complaints on the portal itself. Convergence partners are across the spectrum of sectors like Bank, e-commerce, telecom, consumer electronics etc.

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

Research & 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.

EVENT GALLERY:  

Participants of the 12th Training of Trainers (TOT) Programme for Heads and Members of VCO/ NGOs in Consumer Protection and Welfare organized by CCS, IIPA visited to National Consumer Helpline on 10th November 2017 to get a firsthand experience on the way consumer grievance are redressed. Sector experts took sessions on topics viz. Banking and Consumer Protection Act (Mr. Prabhat Kumar); Legal Metrology and Consumer (Mr. J. N. Parjapati); Food Safety and Consumer (Dr. Mamta Prajapati). Project Manager, Ms. Deepika Sur took a session on ‘Consumer Grievance Redressal through Helplines’. The participants also interacted with Project Manager who answered their queries and related concerns of consumer complaints during the visit.

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SNAPSHOT  
Data for the Period 1st-15th Nov 2017

  • The Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in registered a hit count of 1,24,279 in this period.

  • In the first fortnight of November (1-15) 2017, National Consumer Helpline registered 17,858 dockets on the portal - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in. Out of 17,858, 11,296 complaints were handled at Toll free number, 1,394 calls were made to SMS received, and 5494 complaints were registered on the Website. 61 complaints were reported through “Consumer App” .On the web chat facility, 1393 user’s queries were handled. On an average 116 users are making enquires at NCH per day through web chat.
State-wise Dockets Registered: 

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

image loading for Percentage of calls State wise...

Major Complaint Sectors: 

Majority of the complaints were received from e-commerce, telecom, banking and consumer electronics sectors.

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Besides consumer awareness, NCH also works towards 'making Corporates responsible’ in resolving consumer grievances at the pre-litigation level itself, by having an alternate redressal mechanism. Currently over 334 companies/organisations are listed under the ‘convergence’ programme. All companies 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 & Holidays are all ‘convergence’ partners of NCH. Complaints received are accessed by the nodal person (SPOC) of the company who is also responsible for uploading the responses. 8,574 complaints were registered for convergence companies and 3,054 (i.e. 35.6%) were suitably responded.

Real Estate Sector:

190 complaints were received during 1st Oct. 17 - 2nd Nov.17 out of which 26% consumer complaints are of delay or not getting possession. Within the stipulated time, not giving property documents, changing the plan or area of the flat without informing consumers, not registering flats, charging extra for possession, not giving completion certificate, not providing promised infrastructure or amenities as promised. Also, the builders are not making a balanced agreement.

Complaints related to non refund from builders comprise 18 percent of complaints logged. The other complaints consist of Builders not refunding the token amount, not refunding the amount on cancellation of booking, giving cheques as refund which bounce, consumers are paying interest on housing loan but builders not crediting their part of the amount.

General enquiries comprise 12% queries on whether builders are registered with RERA, about Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna scheme, GST, TDS on the charged amount by builders or builders not traceable.

Airlines Sector :

157 complaints were received during 15th Oct. 17 - 9th Nov. 17 out of which 22% complaints relate to lost/damaged/pilferage luggage. Consumers complain that airlines are refunding less amount in case of loss or damaged baggage, customer care not responding in case of lost luggage, missing goods in the luggage. In spite of filling property irregularity report no luggage provided, missing of connecting flights due to delay in getting luggage as well as extra charges for carrying the allowed weight of luggage.

18% complaints are related to wrong information provided at enquiry/ airport. Consumers have complained that no communication or information was provided in case of early or late departure of flights, mentioned wrong boarding number on the tickets, no prior information in case of cancellation or rescheduling of flights, didnot provide accommodation or refreshment in case of delay or rescheduling of flights.

31% general enquires are related to delay in getting refund amount , amount deducted but no tickets generated , not providing promised services in spite of charging for the same, levying of convenience charges on the online booking of tickets, misbehavior by airlines staff, contact nos. of different airlines.


NCH in addition 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. From 1st – 15th November 2017, NCH received 305 complaints and redressed 74 of them.


From July 1, 2017, Consumers in India are required to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST). Since it is a destination based tax, it is levied at all stages right from manufacturer up to the final consumer.

Docket Registered for GST in the period -1-15 November 2017
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CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)


  • Cooking Utensils-Types and Best Practices

  • Nowadays cooking utensils of different variety are available in the market. Cooking or serving utensils must bear an inert surface that does not peel, chip, crack, vaporize, dissolve or harbor bacteria. It should be a good conductor of heat, cook food uniformly and easy to clean. Out of so many options available, no one type is perfectly suitable for use.

    • Aluminum Cookware: Though good conductor, light weight, inexpensive and easy to use; it dissolves in food when acidic food is cooked. A safer alternative is hard anodized aluminum cookware in which the electrochemical anodizing process locks the aluminum leaching into the food. However scratches in the food contact surface will allow the aluminum metal to leach into the food. So, avoid hard metal spoons while cooking.

    • Non Stick Cookware: These are the most preferred ones nowadays due to decreased levels of oil/fat used during cooking. The non sticky teflon coating present is manufactured using perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is likely a human carcinogen. Due to overheating of non stick pans, scratching and chipping of material causes chemicals to enter into the food cooked.

    • Copper Cookware: These are popular due to their even heating. Copper leaching can occur when acidic food is prepared in copper utensils. Copper is both a toxic heavy metal as well as a mineral essential for good health. Copperware is best for storing water due to its bactericidal effect on the microflora present in water. But if used for cooking for their excellent heat conductivity, it must be lined with stainless steel.

    • Ceramic and Glass Cookware: Glazing or decorative substances like pigments containing lead and cadmium find their way into foods through leaching. It is advisable not to use conventional glassware, instead go for reputed ones. White crockery and borosilicate glassware are the safest.

    • Plastic ware: Hard plastics contain BPA (Bisphenol-A) a carcinogen. Choose BPA free plastics. Avoid heating food contained in plastic. Advisable to go for food grade silicone ware instead of plastic containers.

    • Ironware: Ironware may also be a good choice for some dishes. Cast iron is heavy and care must be taken to prevent rusting. Cooking in cast iron releases some iron into food, one of the few instances where metal leaching into food from cooking utensils is considered desirable. It also saves energy since it retains some of the heat when the heating source is turned off.

    • Stainless steel: These are the most hygienic and healthy cookware to be used. The heat conductivity is low but this can be easily taken over by lining the bottom of the utensil with copper or aluminum. With a new set of stainless steel cookware, always wash it thoroughly with hot water or boil some water in the pot and throw it. This reduces the release of metals like nickel, molybdenum, titanium, aluminum or carbon steel if any.

    So, depending on the specific needs of cooking choose wisely from the wide range available in the market.

                                    Compiled by Dr. Mamta Prajapati, Sector Expert: Food


  • Mechanical Beam scales / Counter scales
  • The Legal Metrology unit under Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (Government of India) was established to enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures, weighing and measuring instruments, pre-packaged commodities and other goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure or number giving an assurance to the public from the point of view of security and accuracy of weighment and measurement.

    Some of the Mandatory declarations which consumer should observe near the display are:-

    • Accuracy class for beam scales & counter scales : (Class- A, Class-B, Class– C)

    • Maximum capacity, minimum capacity, (in SI Unit)

    • Model Approval No. issued by Central Govt. (on the counter scales )

    • Brand & Name of manufacturer. (on the beam of the scales)

    • Stamping stud and seal of the inspector (on the beam of the scale)

    Additional observations that a consumer is advised:-

    • Platform of the mechanical balance should be well leveled on horizontal hard surface without running fan and magnetic material in its surroundings.

    • Balance should be properly stamped by the inspector (Year, Quarter of three months (A/B/C/D) and code of inspector may be seen on the lead seal which is valid up to 2 years).

    • Stable zero indication should be observed on the empty weighing pans.

    • Correctness of the weighing scale may be checked by using verified and stamped weights.

    • At the time of purchasing sweets, the empty container should be tared using weight pan.

    • It should be insured, whether container is not included by the trader with commodity purchased by mechanical counter scale.

    • Pointers should be coincided & parallel to indicator at the correct weighing or equilibrium stage.

    • Length of beam is not reduced by disturbing knife edges of the beam / counter scales.

    • Tare weight should not be affixed by the trader at the ends of the beam or in the weighing pan.

    • It is observed that the magnet should not be affixed below the pans of the beam / counter scales.

    If there is any violence with the above mentioned specifications by the traders, Consumer may file a complaint in the nearest local office of the Inspector Legal Metrology / Assistant Controller Legal Metrology / Deputy Controller Legal Metrology / Controller Legal Metrology officer of the state/UTs.

    Consumer needs to file a complaint with following necessary information.

    • Complete address, phone number and Email of the shop keeper

    • Name of items, commodity and its quantity purchased of items, by weighing.

    • Proof of purchase (Bill / Invoice).

    • Serial no./Brand/ related documents of weighing scale used for trading.

    • If shopkeeper refuses to give cash memo/bill and his name & address of the shop, the photograph of shop and product purchased may also be provided / uploaded with the documents of the complaint if required.

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

     

    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 .
    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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