Consumer Rights Day Special
No one else to blame except us... when we rush in to pick up any scheme promising us something for nothing or something for Free", we are often trapped into paying for things which should come for Free" as claimed by the manufacturers.
Consumers ought to be aware that it is not only an Unfair Trade Practice to offer schemes, which actually do not offer anything to consumers but also depend on false advertising to mislead unwary consumers.
Take the following case:
It is about Surf Excel and an accompanying free bucket and was mailed to us by one of our irate but ever so smart readers.
Here is how it goes:
writes to us:
Recently I purchased Surf Excel detergent powder 1.5 kg MRP 180.00 per unit. Later I went to market and found Surf Excel detergent powder 3.3 kg MRP 445.00 with bucket offer. My point is that company is charging cost of the bucket offer with the price of 3.3.kg surf excel pack. Cost of 1.5 kg Surf Excel is MRP 180.00 cost of 3.3 kg Surf Excel is 445.0 1.5 kg 180.00 3.3 kg should be 396.00 but company is selling with MRP 445.00 with bucket offer it means it is charging Rs 49.00 extra for bucket offer. I have read somewhere in your column that company should not add the cost of offer with the cost of product. You are requested to inform whether this act of the company comes under unfair trade practice?
Offering free gift does not mean that the cost of gift should be included in the MRP. If this is done, this is unfair trade practice of the company. This can be a case to be taken up before the Consumer Court provided you have the packing label indicating the gift offer and price with you. You have to see the date of packing and prices of both the packets (the one offers gift and the one that does not) for comparison.
HELP US TO HELP YOU:
The Advertising Standards Council of India
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self Regulatory Body, set up by Media and Advertising Agencies has been claiming that they are competent to deal with the issue of misleading ads if such ads are brought to their notice by consumers. Whenever you come across an advertisement which appears to be misleading,
please write to Mr. Alan Collaco, Secretary General, The advertising Standards Council of India,
219 Bombay Market, 78 Tardeo Road, Mumbai -400034
with a cutting of the advertisement. Also, please include following details of the avertisement Name of newspaper/magazine: Page No: Date of publication: Subject: Edition:
In case of any such instances connect with Consumer-Voice to complain and let us help you. In case of misleading advertisements, use the information in the box.
We invite all readers with similar experiences/observations to join us in the campaign against Unfair Trade practices
We wrote to Unilever to draw attention to the consumer complaint . Their response is still awaited.