Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), the pioneer consumer organization founded in 1966 has been working for the protection of consumer interests since last so many decades. Its Consumer Complaints Redressal wing receives plenty of grievances from consumers which the legal aid arm addresses on a weekly basis.
CGSI’s weekly legal aid session at their office near Cama Hospital, Mumbai received many complaints and Dr. M.S. Kamath, Hon. Secretary, CGSIand volunteers addressed to the problems of the consumers.
One such complaint received in the latest session was from a consumer who bought Faber Kitchen hood in November 2013. Since the manufacturer offered a life time warranty for the product, to activate it the consumer had to send back the papers provided by manufacturer after filling in all the details in a self-addressed envelope provided by the company. Though the consumer completed and send all the papers, thecompany did not respond. On contacting the manufacturer’s call center, the consumer was asked to send duplicate copy of the cash memo, however the consumer did not have the same as the original had been already send to the company. With CGSI intervening through a mail, the manufacturer responded and sent the life time warranty to the consumer.
In another case, a consumer had invested in PACL Scheme which was for 66 months with a deposit of Rs 1000 per month. The consumer due to financial issues was able to fund this scheme only for 33 months, where in the total money invested was Rs 33000/- only. While following up with PACL, the consumer was told the money can be refunded only after the scheme ends after 66 months. The consumer turned to CGSI as he was in desperate need of immediate finances. The company did not respond initially, however with the second reminder by the consumer with CGSI’s intervention the consumer received full benefits of his investments to the tune of Rs 43888.
In this case, a resident of a housing society filed complaint at Bandra Consumer Court initiated with the help of CGSI regarding a non refund of a deposit by the society for the repair of his flat in which consumer was residing. The consumer won the case with the order stating refund of the money with 10 per cent interest and Rs 3000 as costs which will be given by the housing society within 4 weeks.
In another case a consumer invested in financial Path Pedi (Co-op Credit Society and he was not able to recover his dues over a long period and approached CGSI for advise. He has now won an order from the consumer court where he has to gain all money he invested with interest.
“We at CGSI are happy to solve all these four cases to the satisfaction of the consumers,” said Dr Kamath.
If a valid complaint received, as a practice, CGSI’s Consumer Complaints Redressal wing takes the next step. A letter will be written to the concerned company/party to solve the matter amicably with the complainant. Failing which, the legal arm guides the complainant to move forward with legal remedies. It is a complete consultation and guidance session where each complainant is addressed personally with a nominal fee of Rs 150 to 250 for the service. “The duration of these sessions depends on the gravity of the grievance,” concludes Dr. Kamath.
CGSI’s other activities include: Consumer education, conducting talks and exhibitions to spread consumer awareness among urban poor and rural areas, testing consumer products and publication of a bi-monthly magazine ‘Keemat.’