Whatever you do, don’t forget the receipt


The Consumer Council Lahore (CCL) on Thursday held a seminar on premises of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) to create awareness procedure of filing complaints against defective products and faulty services, rights of consumers and role of the Consumer Council.
“Even though people have hundreds of complaints against the traders, marketers and manufacturers, it is regrettable that 90 percent of them have no awareness about their rights and utility of the Consumer Council and forget to take receipt of the products which they purchase in daily life,” the participants said.
Speaking on the occasion Consumer Council Legal Assistant Director Awais Kamboh said the working of Consumer Courts and Consumer Council was so simple that complaints could be filed on a simple paper without hiring lawyers. Awais said district coordination officer (DCO), being the CCL chairman, had powers to impose Rs 50,000 fine on manufacturers and traders of defective products which also include daily usage items like shoes, meals, dress and electronic products and faulty services. He said citizens, being unaware of their rights and the law, do not approach the proper platform and continue to be cheated by profiteers and manufacturers.
Advocate Atif said due to lack of awareness many consumers did not take receipt of products they buy and when they noticed any defect in the product they could not file complaints or get relief and Consumers Council, Consumers Courts and the law can not help them. He said the shop keepers and the manufacturers were taking benefit from unawareness of the consumers and could not be held accountable.
Advocate Ambreen said buyers should check date of expiry, date of manufacture and time period of warrantee, if any, of the product and if the products had any defect they should approach the Consumer Council within warrantee time. About the procedure Advocate Shahzad Ahmed said when a complaint was filed before the council it issued notices to the manufacturers and if reply was not received in 15 days, the case was referred to Consumers Courts for further action.
He said in the general public, only 1 percent consumers knew that they could claim damages from service provider companies or origination like Wapda, Lesco, and Sui Gas on inflated bills also and they run from pillar to post for relief but do not come to the Consumer Council or the courts. Similarly, suit/cases may be filed against NADRA for damages on delay in issuing CNIC, which might have caused any loss to a person. Similarly if a bottle of water or pair of shoes were found to be substandard, a case could be filed. He said due to lack of awareness about consumers rights, just 5 to 10 percent consumers of four districts Sheikhupura, Nankana, Kasur and Lahore filed complaints against manufacturers and service providers for substandard or faulty products.