The ministry’s advisory comes during the festive season, particularly ahead of Dhanteras and Diwali, when there is spurt in the sale of consumer durables, including the white goods.Sources said the advisory was issued considering there have been several instances of delay or longer time taken in delivery and installation of such products. The delivery and installation period is usually longer in case of products bought through e-commerce entities.
In his letter to the manufacturers and sellers, Union consumer affairs secretary, Rohit Kumar Singh said that white goods typically involve installation by trained technicians, and until they are correctly installed on the premises, consumers are unable to use such goods. “It is observed that this practice leads to a reduction in the total warranty period which a consumer would have normally enjoyed from the time he could use the product after its installation,” he said.
Singh has also said that initiating the warranty or guarantee period when consumers are unable to use the product constitutes an “unfair trade practice” under the Consumer Protection Act and “a contract imposing such terms which causes significant change in the rights of consumer is an unfair contract under the Act”.
The ministry has said that as the festive season begins, there will be increased footfall of consumers in the market and more business. The secretary has also referred to the call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Business 20 (B20) Summit for strengthening the trust between businesses and consumers while urging the businesses to shift their focus to ‘consumer care’, which will enable automatic resolution of many issues related to consumer rights.
The PM had also said that a profitable market can be sustained when there is a balance in the interests of producers and consumers.