Consumer Forum India here

Consumer is the most important entity of any financial eco-system. Consequently, the welfare of consumers is an essential pre-requisite for a healthy and sustainable economy. Against this background, the Consumer Protection Act was passed in 1986 to ensure that consumer interest are appropriately safeguarded. This Act was enacted with the primary objective of ensuring a quick and effective grievance redressal system for the consumers and to protect their right to safety, right to choose, right to be informed, right to be heard, right to seek grievance redressal and right to consumer education.

There are 3 primary things that a consumer must know before he approaches a consumer forum for any grievance-Is he a consumer? This is crucial because only a consumer can file a complaint in a consumer forum.

What is a consumer complaint? Crucial because unless a consumer is aware of the form and format of the complaint, he will be hassled while filing it.

Which consumer forum has a jurisdiction over the issue? This is an important point for every aggrieved consumer. Jurisdiction is a technical legal issue and filing a complaint in the forum which does not have a valid jurisdiction can lead to rejection of complaint

For a quick reference and convenience of all our consumer-readers, below is a brief overview of these 3 essential points.

List of Consumer Forums (Districts)

5 things you need to know before approaching the consumer forum

Which consumer forum should I be approaching?
A consumer complaint has to be filed at the place where the company has its office or does business. If it is impractical for you to file a complaint there, you can use the "cause of action" clause to file it in a nearby forum. Please read this document carefully.

How much time will the whole thing take?
Depending upon which district forum you file the complaint with, it may take from 8 months to 1 year for the consumer forum to decide on your complaint. Once you file the complaint, the forum asks the company to reply to your complaint and present its arguments. During this period, you might have to go to the forum 3-4 times.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to approach a consumer forum. You can approach the forum directly.

How much will it cost?
The cost of filing the complaint is nominal (from Rs.100 - Rs.1000). If you hire a lawyer, he/she can charge anywhere between Rs.2000 to Rs.30000 depending on the facts and complexity of your case.

Should I really do it?
In our experience, for complaints in the automobiles, banking, insurance and real estate sectors, it is effective to approach the consumer forum. For other sectors, it might be better to try and get the complaint resolved amicably with the company.

How can Akosha help?
We can help you in resolving the complaint amicably by escalating it within the company. If that doesn't work, we help you in approaching the consumer forum by providing you the necessary advice and documents. We CANNOT represent you at the consumer forum.

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