At Power to Consumer, we believe our responsibility to consumers lie beyond just resolution of their complaints. We want to empower and educate them, irrespective of their levels and flavours, so that they are more alert when doing a transaction with an individual/trader/company/service provider. After all, an informed consumer is an empowered consumer .
With this objective in mind, we are starting a series of blog posts called ‘Top Tips’. These posts will contain tips on various subjects concerning you such as insurance, consumer goods, travel, medical facilities, railway services, electricity services etc. Some of these tips may look common place to you. But remember, sometimes it is the obvious that we all give a miss. And companies, manufacturer, trader take advantage of our ignorance and pass us sub-standard goods or give improper services.
So, here it is. Top Tips to be an Informed Consumer :
- Always stick on getting a bill/invoice/money receipt mentioning the amount paid while purchasing any goods or availing any services
- Do not hesitate to ask a medical receipt from the doctor or a medical practitioner and hospitals
- Be aware that, at times, you would be handed over with an ordinary paper termed as ‘Quotation’ or ‘Proforma Invoice’ when you demand a bill. The term may not be clearly visible on the paper header. Always accept the proper bill
- Never forget to ask the trader or manufacturer to provide you relevant warranty/guarantee on purchase of any good
- Be forthcoming in demanding a free gift if that is applicable on your purchase
- Always, always keenly verify the date of manufacture & expiry on a product before making the purchase. This is true specially for edible items, medicines and cosmetics. Decline goods with a short expiry date from the day of purchase
- Don’t walk into the trap of saving money by agreeing to the trader’s request of not providing you a bill/invoice/receipt. This is an old trick that many traders apply to save taxes on transactions. Always, pay the proper printed price and demand your receipt
- Preserve all your proof(s) of transaction(s)such as receipts, warranty card, guarantee document, etc. for the life of the good(s) or service(s)
- Be forthright in approaching the concerned trader/manufacturer/service provider on account of facing a grievance with purchased goods or hired services
- Maintain a file of such follow-ups, especially in print
We sincerely hope that these tips will alert and make you an informed consumer while you make that essential purchase or hire a service. Do let us know your feedback about what do you think of this list, or want us to add any important point that we must have missed inadvertently. Leave a comment here, or on our Facebook page, or mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Image By Victorgrigas – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19886338