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Consumer Movement Features

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The consumer is the center of all business activities. In modern days, it is said that the consumer is the king of the market. Business activities are carried out to satisfy, the wants of consumers. A commercial organization totally depends on the customer not only for its survival but also for its growth. At present customer is given top most importance and every attempt is made to satisfy the customer.

But in reality, the position of the consumer is different. He is like a slave. He is exploited by well organized and well informed sellers by charging higher prices, by supplying poor quality goods, even by supplying adulterated goods, shot weight, misleading advertisement, etc. Customers are still un-organized and have no idea about their basic rights of safety, right to choose, right to be heard, etc.

In the word Consumerism, “Consumer” means the user or customer and “ism” means movement”, and hence, consumer movement is popularly known as “Consumerism. It is an organized and collective movement of consumers. This movement started in the year 1920 to protect the interest of the consumers.

The main object of this movement is to educate and unite consumers and to fight for the protection of their rights. Consumer movement is similar to trade unions because it is a collective approach to solve the malpractices and injustice done by any organization.

Thus, it is a movement of the consumers, for the consumers and by the consumers because it is a social movement of consumers and it has came into existence to educate and unite consumers to fight for their rights. In short the process of uniting consumers is nothing but Consumer Movement. Definition of Consumer Movement:

According to Philip Kotler and G. Amstrong, “Consumerism is an organized movement of citizens and government to impose the rights and powers of buyers in relation to sellers.” Features of Consumer Movement

The features of consumer movement can be explained with the help of the following points:-

(1) Voluntary Movement: It is a voluntary and collective movement of consumers. A group of active consumers come together and form an association to fight for the protection of consumers. It is non political and non religious association of consumers.

(2) Protection of Rights: Consumer movement improves the strength and unity of consumers. It uses this strength to make the businessman and the government to give guarantee of the products sold and to give the rights to consumers such as right to choose, right to safety, etc.

(3) Wider Term: The concept of consumer movement is not only restricted to commercial activities, but it is also extended to public utility services like banking, transport, telephone, medical, etc. According to the provision of the Consumer protection Act, 1986, the term consumer includes all types of user of goods and services.

(4) Democratic Movement: Consumer movement is powerful but democratic movement of consumers. It ensures that, the rights of consumers are recognized and protected. For taking the decision the meetings are adopted in a democratic method. It desires to end capitalist exploitation but in a democratic way.

(5) Prevention of Unethical Practice: The consumer movement prevents the adoption of unethical practice like black marketing, adulteration, under weight, etc.

(6) Safety and Security: The main object of consumerism is to ensure safety and security of consumers. It helps in promoting consumer welfare.

(7) Creating Awareness: Consumer movement aims at creating awareness and unity among consumers so that collective action can be taken against various malpractices.

(8) Caveat Venditor: It means “Let the seller beware”. Before consumer movement, goods were sold with the condition “Caveat Emptor” which means “Let the buyers beware, and every buyer while buying was forced to check the goods and make sure that the goods are as desired quality. Because once goods were sold, co complaints were entertained but now seller has to be careful before selling the goods and this is all because of the consumer movement.

(9) Enforcing Consumer Rights: Consumer movement not only aims at protecting consumer rights but also aims at enforcing four basic rights of consumers, i.e. rights to safety, rights to choose, rights to redress, rights to be informed.

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