Who is a Consumer?
If you pay for and buy a product or service and use the same for
personal purpose, then you are qualified as a consumer. The product
can be tangible goods or intangible services.
What is a consumer complaint?
After you consume the product or service, if any of your
expectations are not met, then you have a consumer
Your expectations may not be met because the company selling you
the product may have omitted or misrepresented some information; or
did not deliver something promised; or the product's quality was
There may be instances where you do not actually consume the
product, but still have a consumer complaint. For instance, you
observe an advertisement where a company is falsifying facts about
a product. Another example could be when you want to buy a product
but do not because the merchant was charging more than the maximum
retail price (MRP). All these qualify as consumer complaints.
How will Consumers Association of India help solve my
Our expert support team and legal counsel will
handle all consumer complaints. Your complaint will first be
reviewed and validated, then you will be guided on how to
effectively format your letter and approach the company regarding
If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the company,
we will then negotiate on your behalf with the company and work
towards alternate dispute resolution. In the event that we are
unable to resolve the matter, we will direct you to a lawyer and
you will work with him directly.
Will CAI file legal case against the company?
We will provide you required legal counsellingto resolve your
complaint but we will not file a case against the company. We have
stopped providing that service for the past few years. Filing a
formal court case is both time consuming and costly. Therefore, we
strive hard to arrive at out-of-court settlement.
In the event we are unable to resolve your complaint through
alternate dispute resolution methods, we will direct you to a
reputed lawyer who will handle your case and take the needful legal
action. CAI will not represent you in court.
How many complaints have you resolved?
We receive over 3000 complaints per year and over 90% of these
complaints are resolved through alternate dispute resolution
Should I become a member in order to submit a
No, you need not become a member to submit a consumer complaint.
However, we are a voluntary consumer organization and depend
primarily on membership, grants and donations. While we strongly
encourage all to join us as members we will address your consumer
complaint in the same manner described above even if you are not a
What information do I need to file a
You must have proof of purchase in order to file a complaint.
Proof of purchase can be a bill or credit card statement, a
delivery chalan, an AMC contract, receipt for payment, a voucher,
policy, agreement or a letter from company or even a sale deed or
any form of evidence that establishes the fact that YOU have paid
for and bought the product or service.
In the event where you come across any product or service that
is marked over MRP (maximum retail price) or see an advertisement
that is falsifying facts and wish to file a complaint even before
purchasing the product or service, then you need an advertisement
video or a photograph showing the company making false claims about
the product or service.
What are the charges for filing a consumer
It is FREE. There are no charges for filing a consumer complaint
with us. However, as a member, you are entitled to FREE legal
counselling. We therefore encourage you to register as a member to
avail of this and other benefits.
In the event we are unable to resolve your complaint, we will
direct you to an lawyer. You will then work directly with the
lawyer who will help you take needful legal action. Legal fees,
stamp fees etc will apply.
What benefits do I get as a member of CAI?
- Membership entitles you to receive Free legal
guidance for your consumer problems.
- Members can send queries to CAI in person, by
email, post, via website or via CAI CONSUMER
CONNECT, the newly launched mobile application.
- Please note that Consumers Association of
India will not take up anyissues with the
statutory bodies. Our response will be restricted to
legaladvice and guidance only.
- Members will get an opportunity to participate in
our training programs, workshops and seminars at reduced
- You will also receive our bi-monthly publication,
- Personal Accident Insurance Cover for Rs.100,000/-
from United India Insurance Co.at our cost
- Discount in rates for membership of Automobile
Association of Southern India
What is the duty of a consumer in exposing misbranded
A label is said to be misbranded if it does not have any of the
mandatory information / or misleading / or carries
false information as per law. (A) List of ingredients (B)
Maximum Retail Price (C) Date of Packing / Manufacturing (D) Best
before Date (E) Net weight/Volume (F) Nutritional Information (G)
Contact Address for consumer complaints.
A consumer who comes across a label which is deficient /
misbranded can take it up with the FSSA Authorities of the state or
the Controller of Legal Metrology.
What are misleading statements / advertisements in the
Any label which contains a statement in contravention of law or
can not be substantiated by testing in a laboratory can be called
misleading. Consumers can bring such labels to the notice of the
manufacturer of the product whose address is printed in the label.
If no satisfactory reply is furnished, he can take it up with the
FSSA authorities in the state who have set up a special panel to
look in to this. Even very popular brands are misleading the
What is FSSAI?
FSSAI is the Food Safety and Standards Authority
of India which, oversees the food safety in our country. This
authority is governed by FSS Act 2006. Each state will have a food
safety commissioner assisted by designated officers in each
district. Food safety officers will be the enforcing officers in
each town. FSSA believes in the policy of training the food
business operators (manufacturers, sellers, hoteliers, street
vendors etc) on the hygiene and safety of food products their
handling etc. the FSS Act 2006 is replacing the PFA Act 1954 and
has come into force with efforts from 5th August 2011
What are the other activities of CONCERT besides giving
training to women?
The CONCERT does not stop with just training. It is always on the
search for products on sale which are misbranded or spurious. We
take up with the concerned regulatory authorities after writing to
the suppliers about the defects in the label / products.
We have conducted analysis of
Quality of drinking water in city schools
Quality of Idly / Dosa batter sold in Chennai.
Quality of water supplied through tanks erected in many parts
We have conducted a survey on the milk sold through AVMS
of AAVIN with reference to their volume, mandatory availability of
measuring equipments etc
What is the recent work going on in
The fuel lab attached to CONCERT is taking samples of
petroleum products from retail outlets and testing their quality.
The results are being monitored by the Civil Supplies and Consumer
Protection Department of Tamil Nadu.
CONCERT has taken up an ambitious project on consumer product
comparative testing with a grant received from the Ministry of
Consumer Affairs. It has taken up 7 products and 3 services for
testing in the first year. The products are Oil, Milk,
Toothpaste, Mosquito Coil, Pain Relief Balm, Wet Grinder, Water
Purifiers, Banking, Insurance and Mobile Phone Services.
Products are tested after procuring selected brands in selected
towns. They will be tested in NABL Labs for their declared quality
and with ref to ISI and other existing Standards.
Services are compared by conducting survey among consumers and a
technical audit of their performance.
Reports on all the products / services will be published in
leading magazines of all the 4 southern states.
Are Neutraceuticals covered under PFA Act?
As per provisions of PFA Act, 1954 neutraceuticals are not
covered under food but as per the FSSA Act 2006 which came into
force from 5th August 2011 these will also be covered by its
How does CONCERT influence the Government of
India on consumer issues?
CONCERT is representing consumers in as many as 14 committees
of Food and Agriculture Divisions of Bureau of Indian
Standards besides the committee on toys. The founder trustee is a
member of the central advisory committee of the FSSAI.
How doesCONCERT Trust involve consumers especially
students in consumer awareness activities?
CONCERT is proud to inform that it has been conducting surveys
with the help of students of various colleges like MOP Viashnav
JBAS, Chennai and Ethiraj College for Women
Currently a survey on the various products sold with reference
to their actual weight / volume compared to the
declared quantity in the label was conducted by enlisting the
support of a girl student of MOP Vaishnava College and the report
is being finalized. Students of all educational institutions are
welcome to take up similar surveys/ tests with our guidance.
9. Does CONCERT do anything on drug
During the years 2007- 2009 as many as 1509 drug samples were
tested for four quality parameters among 10 medicines. 4 spurious
medicines were found. Reports were sent to the Director /Drug
Control for taking further action. Several media published