NCH
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IIPA
 

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


 
       16th-31th  
Oct 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

International Conference on Consumer Protection “Empowering consumers in new markets” on 26-27 October 2017 which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi

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 Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi. The web portal www.consumerhelpline.gov.in developed by NIC is the platform to record and handle complaints received at NCH. In addition, ‘Consumer App’ can be downloaded from Google Play, can also be used to register complaints. The web chat facility is also available for consumers for enquire that they may have.

NCH helps in the following ways:

Information & guidance:NCH advises guides and handholds aggrieved consumers to get their complaints resolved.

Alternate Dispute Redressal system (ADR): The alternate dispute redressal system has 325 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 durables 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:  

On 24th October, 2017 a team consisting of Ms. Gail Pearson, Professor of Business Law, University of Sydney, Australia; Ms. Betsy Broder, Counsel for International Consumer Protection at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission,accompanied by faculty members of IIM Kashipur who are working on a project related to consumer affairs; visited the office of National Consumer Helpline. Prof. Suresh Mishra, Project Director, National Consumer Helpline accompanied the delegates. Ms. Deepika Sur, Project Manager gave a presentation on the functioning of the National Consumer Helpline along with the nature and quantum of calls received at the helpline and discussed the redress mechanism provided. The delegates later got an experience of listening to live calls attended by counselors which helped them understand the complaint redressal done first hand.

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In the backdrop of the United Nations Revised Guidelines on Consumer Protection (UNGCP) 2015, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Consumer Affairs), Government of India and UNCTAD organized the first International Conference on Consumer Protection of East, South & South East Asia with the theme of “Empowering consumers in new markets” on 26-27 October 2017 which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi at Vigyan Bhawan. It was attended by 1600 participants that included delegates from 19 countries, Senior dignitaries from the Central Government, State Governments from India, Presidents of the Consumer Commissions, as well as private sector, consumer associations and academia. Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD addressed the conference in the Inaugural session.

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The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is part of the UN Secretariat to create awareness by providing analysis, consensus-building, and technical assistance by which Member States, businesses and civil society can promote consumer protection in the provision of public and private goods and services. It supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively and helps them to use trade, investment, finance, and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.

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The Prime Minister in his inaugural speech stated that Consumer Protection is one of the priority areas for the Government. Government’s vision is a step further from Consumer Protection to Consumer Empowerment. Prime Minister emphasized that it is also essential for well-functioning financial markets, and efforts should be devoted to consumer to achieve financial literacy. He informed that the capacity of the National Consumer Helpline has been enhanced four times and social media were integrated. He also informed that 40 percent complaints received at the NCH pertain to private companies are directed to them automatically by the portal. He appreciated the National Consumer Helpline for their immediate complaint redress system in the present times.

Shri. Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution chaired the conference. The two day conference was divided into six technical sessions, each focusing on a specific theme. A number of experts shared their views as panelists. The Chairperson, Shri. Ram Vilas Paswan, expressed India’s interest to pursue the exchange of experience and strengthen cooperation on consumer protection matters in the South, East and South-East Asia region in the future, explore the points of common understanding and further discuss the possibility of building a Regional partnership with the support of UNCTAD.

The deliberations and exchange of experiences led to- comprehensive implementation of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection is a priority for Governments and stakeholders in ensuring more effective and better-coordinated protection efforts; Wide stakeholder participation and engagement of consumer associations, businesses, and the academia is necessary for a successful consumer policy-making and enforcement; protection of consumers’ rights in the digital context is key for a sustainable and inclusive development of e-commerce and creating a structured mechanism for communication, mutual sharing of best practices, creating new initiatives for capacity building and starting joint campaigns in this regard should be pursued in mutual interest.

SNAPSHOT  
Data for the Period 16th-31st Oct 2017

  • The Website www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in registered a hit count of 1,15,360 in this period.

  • In the second fortnight of Oct (16- 31) 2017, National Consumer Helpline registered 19,918 dockets on the portal - www.consumerhelpline.gov.in. Out of this, 12746 complaints were handled at Toll free number, 1061 calls were made to SMS received, and 6292 complaints were registered on the Website. 44 complaints were reported through “Consumer App” .On the web chat facility, 804 user’s queries were handled. On an average 62 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, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Telangana and Bihar.

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Major Complaint Sectors: 

Majority of the complaints were received from e-commerce, telecom, banking, consumer electronics and 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 325 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. 9,407complaints were registered for convergence companies and 3,365 (i.e. 38%) were suitably responded.

Govt.Taxes Sector:

Total of 193 complaint dockets were received in the period 1st Oct- 14th Oct 2017 out of which 40% of the complaints pertain to enquires on GST like percentages charged on goods like recharge coupons, medicines and petroleum products. Also GST slabs on food and beverages in AC restaurants/ Non AC restaurants. Complaints were also received on mentioning GSTIN on bills, registration of shops with GST, charging of GST on packaged and unpackaged food items whether GST refundable or not, notifications and slabs.

34% complaints related to not providing bills, mainly from local shopkeepers like tailors, grocery, cable operators, problem in refund when charging of VAT and GST both. Also, not getting bills on online ordering of food items and extra charging on providing the bill.

11% complaints related to charging more amount of GST. Consumers have complained that traders are charging excess GST than the prescribed slab, shops registered under composition scheme are also charging GST and unregistered shops are also charging GST.

Electricity Sector :

Out of total 356 complaints received in the period 1st Oct- 19th Oct 2017, 34% complaints pertain to inflated billing, amount mentioned on bill without actual meter reading, wrong meter reading/ non timely meter reading, delay in changing of faulty meters, amount paid but still showing as due.

22% complaints relate to unsatisfactorily redressal; connection not provided even after making payment, unscheduled power cuts, no response from customer care , not getting bills on time.

12% are general enquires like contact care number of electricity companies, agriculture connections, commercial connections, electricity theft cases, availing of new connection, billed amount.


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. From 16th – 31st October 2017, NCH received 289 complaints and redressed 93 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 -16-31 October 2017
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CONSUMER KALEIDOSCOPE
(Recent announcements in Consumer Interest)


  • Single Pan Mechanical Jewellery Weighing 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.

    Mandatory declarations to be observed near Mechanical Totalizer on Mechanical Single Pan Jewellery Balances

    • Accuracy class for Single pan scales: Special Accuracy Class- I, High Accuracy Class-II only for jewellery and precious stones

    • Maximum capacity, Minimum capacity, & Graduation (e) in SI Unit near the display panel of the balances.

    • Model Approval Number issued by the Central Govt. displayed near the panel.

    • Trader Name & Name of manufacturer near display panel or on the stamping plate.

    • Seal of the Legal Metrology Inspector valid up to 1 year on Stamping plate & Stamping stud of sealing arrangement (either on one side or backside of single pan jewellery balances)

    Additional observations which consumer is advised to do:

    • The balance should be well leveled on horizontal hard surface like granite stone without running fan and magnetic material in its surroundings.

    • Room temperature should be between 20 to 23 degree Celsius and normal humidity in A.C room.

    • Balance should not be installed in-front of window & should be free from sunlight / effect of temperature.

    • Analog Display System should be easily visible to the Consumer & Trader at the same time.

    • Sealing & Stamping arrangement with the stamping plate affixed either side or backside and Year, Quarter of three months (A/B/C/D) and code of inspector may be seen on the lead seal affixed by the Inspector Legal Metrology which is valid up to 1 year.

    • Stable zero indication should be observed in the analog display on empty weighing pan.

    • Correctness of the Weighing Scale may be checked by using verified and stamped weights.

    • Jewellery items should be purchased by verifying only in air and dust proof glass covered single pan.

    • Consumer may also demand the Verification certificate valid up to 1 year of weighing scale issued by the NABL accreditation laboratory also.

    If there is violation in the trading/weighing by the jeweler, Consumer may complain to
    • the nearest local office of the Inspector Legal Metrology Officer

    • Controller Legal Metrology of the state/UTs.

    • Complaint is to be filed along with following necessary details:

    • 1. Complete address, phone number and email of the shop keeper

      2. Name of items, commodity and its quantity by weight.

      3. Proof of purchase(BiIl / Invoice).

      4. Serial number of weighing scale used in the weighing of jewellary items.

      5. If shopkeeper refuses to give cash memo/bill and his name & address of the shop, the photograph of shop and product purchased may be provided / uploaded with the documents of the complaint if required.
    Compiled by Mr. J. N. Prajapati, Sector Expert: Legal Metrology


  • Two Wheeler Motor Insurance
  • Multi-year policies seem to be the emerging norm for two-wheeler motor insurance. Some Insurance Companies now offer multi-year policies, as per IRDAI guidelines. These Insurance companies have introduced Two Wheeler Long-Term Insurance Policy, where a 2- wheeler owner can purchase it for an extended period of time (two or three years) to avoid the hassle of going through the renewal process annually. This insurance policy is convenient and, at the same time, lets the insured individual enjoy additional benefits. One time purchase of the two wheeler Insurance makes the person worry-free for 3 consecutive years.

    • No hassle of annual renewals.

    • Long term policy for 2 or 3 years with discounted premium, that is, these are cheaper than annual-renewal plans. Insurance companies give discounts ranging from 2%-6% on own-damage insurance for such plans.

    • No effect of change in Third Party Liability Premium during the policy period

    • No effect of change in Service Tax during the policy period.

    Apart from the convenience, another added advantage is that multi-year motor policies are exempted from rate hikes like third party premium rate hikes and increase in service taxes that occur almost every year.

    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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