GU Consumer Affairs and Customer Care Solved Question Paper 2023 [Gauahti University BCom 6th Sem Hons] PDF

Guwahati University B.Com 6th Sem Consumer Affair and Customer Care Solved Question Paper 2023

GU Consumer Affairs and Customer Care Solved Question Paper 2023 [Gauahti University BCom 6th Sem Hons] PDF

2023

COMMERCE

(Honours Elective)

Paper: COM-HE-6026

(Consumer Affairs and Customer Care)

Full Marks: 80

Time: Three hours

The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions.

Answer either in English or in Assamese.

1. Answer the following as directed: 1X10 = 10                                                                       

(i) In Monopoly market, price of goods and services is fully controlled by one seller. Known as the "monopoly firm" or "monopolist."

(Fill in the gap)

(ii) The term describes the handling of customers' complain within a customer-centric company. (Fill in the gap)

(iii) Write the full form of IRDA.

ANSWER - IRDA stands for "Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority."

(iv) Which standard mark is printed on gold Jewellery?

ANSWER - BIS hallmark is printed on gold jewelry as a quality assurance mark in India.

(v) ceiling price is the highest price that can be charged for a product.

(Fill in the gap)

(vi) What is the pecuniary jurisdiction limit for District Forum?

ANSWER - The pecuniary jurisdiction limit for District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum is typically up to 20 lakhs.

(vii) Professional Tax is levied and collected by whom in India?

ANSWER - Professional Tax is levied and collected by the respective State Governments in India.

(viii) In case of death of a consumer, his/ her legal heir can make the complain. (Waite true or false) 

ANSWER - True. In case of the death of a consumer, their legal heirs can make a complaint on their behalf.

(ix) Write the full form of FSSAI.

ANSWER - FSSAI stands for "Food Safety and Standards Authority of India."

(x) How many members are there in the Board of Governors of ASCI?

ANSWER - The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has 16 members in its Board of Governors.

2. Answer the following questions:   2×5=10                                                                                                                                                                   

(i) What is fair price?

ANSWER - A fair price is a reasonable cost or value for a product or service, ensuring fairness and equity for both buyers and sellers in a transaction.

(ii) State the meaning of local taxes.

ANSWER - Local taxes are taxes levied by municipal or regional governments on residents, businesses, or properties within their jurisdiction to fund local services, infrastructure, and public programs.

(iii) Write two powers of Central Information Commission.

ANSWER – 

1. The Central Information Commission (CIC) has the power to adjudicate on appeals and complaints related to the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

2. It can issue directives, penalties, and recommendations to ensure government transparency and compliance with RTI provisions.

(iv) What is Insurance Ombudsman?

ANSWER - Insurance Ombudsman is an independent authority appointed to resolve disputes between policyholders and insurance companies, providing a quick and cost-effective way to settle insurance-related grievances.

(v) Write about National Consumer Helpline.

ANSWER - The National Consumer Helpline is a toll-free telephone service in India that offers assistance and guidance to consumers regarding their rights, complaints, and disputes with businesses and service providers.

3. Answer any four questions from the following:                                                           5x4 = 20

(i) Distinguish between goods and service.

ANSWER -

Basis

 Goods

Services

1.Meaning

Goods are tangible items that can be felt, touched or seen.

Services are intangible that cannot be seen, felt, touched or seen; but are experienced by the consumer

2. Nature

Goods are tangible in nature

Services are intangible in nature.

3. Type

Goods are homogeneous and can be produced exactly the same.

Services are heterogeneous and depend upon the person providing the service and the customer’s preferences

4. Transfer of Ownership

The ownership of goods can be transferred from one person(seller) to another(buyer)

The ownership of services cannot be transferred from one person to another. 

5.Inconsistency

There is consistency in case of goods, as different customers get standardised demand fulfilled. For example, laptops

There is inconsistency in services, as different customers have different demands and get their demands fulfilled accordingly. For example, different people need different services in salons.

(ii) Explain the consumers' rights under Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

ANSWER -

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, grants several key rights to consumers in India. These rights include the right to information, which ensures access to product details and pricing, the right to choose from a variety of goods and services, the right to be protected from unfair trade practices, the right to seek redressal through consumer courts, and the right to be educated about consumer rights and responsibilities. These rights collectively empower consumers and promote fair trade practices in the market.

(iii) Explain five causes of dissatisfaction of consumers.

ANSWER -

1. Poor Quality: When products or services don't meet expectations or have defects, it makes consumers unhappy.

2. Misleading Advertising: Consumers get upset when advertisements promise one thing but deliver another, like exaggerated claims.

3. Bad Customer Service: Rude or unhelpful staff can frustrate customers and lead to dissatisfaction.

4. Hidden Fees: Extra charges or fees that weren't disclosed upfront can make consumers feel deceived.

5. Product Safety Issues: If a product is unsafe and causes harm, consumers are rightfully dissatisfied due to potential risks.

(iv) Explain the process of complaint registration under banking ombudsman scheme.

ANSWER -

1. Contact the Bank: Initially, you should approach your bank with your complaint, either in writing or verbally.

2. Wait for Resolution: Give the bank some time to address your concern. They have 30 days to resolve it.

3. No Resolution? Contact Ombudsman: If the bank doesn't resolve your complaint to your satisfaction or doesn't respond within 30 days, you can contact the Banking Ombudsman.

4. Fill Complaint Form: Obtain and complete a complaint form from the Banking Ombudsman's office or website.

5. Submit Complaint: Submit the filled form and relevant documents to the Ombudsman for investigation and resolution.

(v) Explain five objectives of ASCI.

ANSWER -

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has five main objectives:

1. Self-Regulation: ASCI aims to promote responsible advertising by encouraging advertisers to follow ethical practices voluntarily.

2. Consumer Protection: It safeguards consumers from misleading or harmful advertisements by monitoring and taking action against violations.

3. Industry Credibility: ASCI helps maintain the credibility and trustworthiness of the advertising industry in India.

4. Fair Competition: It ensures a level playing field for advertisers and prevents unfair or false claims that could give some brands an unfair advantage.

5. Education and Awareness: ASCI educates stakeholders about responsible advertising practices, promoting awareness and compliance.

(vi) Explain the role of consumer organisations in the protection of consumers.

ANSWER -

Consumer organizations play a crucial role in protecting consumers:

1. Advocacy: They voice consumer concerns to governments and businesses, influencing policies and regulations that benefit consumers.

2. Information and Education: These organizations provide consumers with valuable information, helping them make informed choices and understand their rights.

3. Redressal: They assist consumers in resolving disputes with companies, ensuring fair treatment.

4. Product Testing: Consumer groups conduct product testing to identify unsafe or low-quality items and warn consumers.

5. Research and Awareness: They conduct research to uncover consumer issues and raise awareness about them, empowering consumers to demand better products and services.

4. Answer any four questions from the following:                                               10x4=40                              

(i) Discuss the evolution of consumer movement in India. 

ANSWER -

1. Pre-Independence Phase (Pre-1947): The consumer movement in India traces its roots to the pre-independence era when consumer issues were sporadically raised by individuals and social reformers.

2. Post-Independence Growth (1950s-60s): After independence, the focus on development led to the neglect of consumer rights. However, with industrialization, urbanization, and globalization in the 1950s and 60s, consumer exploitation grew, leading to the emergence of consumer forums and associations.

3. Rise of Consumer Activism (1970s): The 1970s saw a significant rise in consumer activism. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was a landmark legislation that gave consumers more rights and established consumer courts.

4. Formation of Consumer Organizations: Various consumer organizations like the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), and others were established to champion consumer rights.

5. Consumer Education and Awareness: These organizations focused on educating and creating awareness among consumers about their rights and responsibilities.

6. Proactive Role in Policy: Consumer organizations began participating in policymaking, pushing for laws and regulations that protect consumers.

7. Globalization Challenges (1990s): With globalization, the consumer movement faced new challenges related to product quality, pricing, and multinational corporations.

8. Digital Era (2000s): The internet and e-commerce added a new dimension to consumer issues, with organizations addressing online fraud, data privacy, and digital rights.

9. Recent Developments (2010s onwards): The consumer movement has continued to evolve, with a focus on sustainable consumption, responsible advertising, and food safety.

10. Ongoing Advocacy: Consumer organizations in India continue to play a vital role in advocating for consumer rights, redressal of grievances, and ensuring a fair marketplace for consumers.

(ii) Explain the nature of con packaging.  Briefly discuss the functions of   5+5=10

ANSWER – IT WILL UPDATED SOON

(iii) Discuss the functions and powers of TRAI. 5+5=10

ANSWER -

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector in India. Here are 10 of its key functions and powers:

1. Regulating Tariffs: TRAI controls the pricing of telecom services, ensuring fair and affordable rates for consumers.

2. Quality of Service: It monitors and enforces service quality standards to improve customer experiences.

3. Licensing: TRAI issues licenses to telecom operators and regulates the terms and conditions of these licenses.

4. Spectrum Allocation: TRAI manages the allocation and efficient utilization of radio frequency spectrum, a vital resource for wireless communication.

5. Interconnection Rules: It sets rules for interconnection among telecom operators, preventing anti-competitive practices.

6. Consumer Protection: TRAI safeguards consumer interests by addressing complaints, ensuring transparency, and promoting fair competition.

7. Competition Promotion: It fosters competition in the telecom industry to encourage innovation and affordability.

8. Recommendations to Government: TRAI provides recommendations to the government on policy matters, including licensing, spectrum auctions, and industry regulations.

9. Dispute Resolution: TRAI acts as a mediator to resolve disputes between service providers and consumers.

10. Research and Analysis: The authority conducts research and analysis to stay updated on industry trends and technological advancements, helping in informed decision-making.

(iv) Explain the characteristics and advantages of monopoly market. 5+5=10

ANSWER -

A monopoly market has the following eight characteristics and advantages:

1. Single Seller: In a monopoly, there's a single dominant seller controlling the entire market, allowing them to set prices and output levels.

2. Unique Product: Monopolists typically offer a unique or differentiated product that has no close substitutes, giving them a competitive edge.

3. High Barriers to Entry: Monopolies often have high entry barriers like patents, control over essential resources, or economies of scale, making it difficult for new competitors to enter the market.

4. Price Maker: The monopolist has the power to determine the price of the product, maximizing profits.

5. Profit Maximization: Monopolies tend to maximize profits by producing at the level where marginal cost equals marginal revenue.

6. Long-term Stability: They can enjoy long-term stability and sustained profits due to limited competition.

7. Research and Development: Monopolists often invest heavily in research and development, leading to innovation and technological advancement.

8. Economies of Scale: Monopolies can achieve economies of scale, reducing production costs and potentially passing on cost savings to consumers.

(v) Discuss the procedure for filing and hearing of a complaint of a consumer.

ANSWER -

The procedure for filing and hearing a consumer complaint typically involves the following eight steps:

1. Complaint Filing: The consumer submits a written complaint to the appropriate consumer forum, providing details of the grievance, along with copies of relevant documents.

2. Forum Selection: Depending on the value of the complaint, it may be filed with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, State Commission, or National Commission.

3. Complaint Admission: The forum examines the complaint's validity and, if accepted, serves notice to the opposite party (the business or service provider) to respond.

4. Opposite Party's Response: The opposite party submits its response within a specified time, either admitting or contesting the complaint.

5. Evidence and Arguments: Both parties present evidence, documents, and arguments to support their case during the hearing.

6. Mediation and Settlement: Some cases undergo mediation or are settled amicably during the proceedings.

7. Final Hearing: If a settlement is not reached, a final hearing takes place, and both parties present their case before the forum.

8. Judgment: The consumer forum delivers its verdict, which may include compensation or other remedies, based on the evidence and applicable laws.

(vi) Discuss the role of Supreme Court under CPA Act, 1986.

ANSWER -

The Supreme Court of India plays several crucial roles under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 1986:

1. Judicial Review: The Supreme Court has the authority to review decisions of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) and State Commissions, ensuring they follow the law.

2. Interpretation of Laws: It interprets and clarifies legal provisions related to consumer rights and protection, setting important precedents.

3. Appeals: The Supreme Court hears appeals against decisions made by the NCDRC or State Commissions, providing a final avenue for legal recourse.

4. Landmark Decisions: The court's rulings in consumer cases often establish landmark judgments that influence consumer protection jurisprudence.

5. Legal Guidance: It provides legal guidance and principles to lower courts, ensuring uniformity in consumer protection cases.

6. Protection of Fundamental Rights: The court safeguards consumers' fundamental rights, such as the right to a fair hearing and access to justice.

7. Constitutional Validity: It assesses the constitutional validity of provisions within the CPA or related laws.

8. Public Interest Litigation (PIL): The Supreme Court can take suo motu (on its own motion) cognizance of consumer-related issues in the interest of justice and public welfare.

(vii) Discuss the merits and demerits of Maximum Retail Price. 5+5=10

Maximum Retail Price (MRP) is a price set by manufacturers or suppliers as the highest price at which a product can be sold to consumers. Here are eight merits and demerits of MRP:

Merits:

1. Consumer Protection: MRP prevents retailers from overcharging consumers, ensuring price fairness.

2. Price Uniformity: It maintains consistent pricing across different retailers, reducing confusion.

3. Transparency: Consumers can easily identify the maximum price they should pay.

4. Anti-Hoarding: MRP discourages hoarding and black marketing, benefiting consumers during shortages.

5. Manufacturer Control: Manufacturers can control pricing in the market, protecting their brand image.

Demerits:

1. Lack of Flexibility: MRP may not reflect market changes, causing products to be overpriced or underpriced.

2. No Incentive for Discounts: Retailers might not offer discounts below MRP, limiting price competition.

3. Inefficient Regulation: Enforcement of MRP can be lax, allowing some retailers to overcharge.

4. Reduced Competition: MRP can discourage price competition, potentially harming consumers in the long run.

(viii) Discuss the consumer grievances redressal mechanism by FSSAI.

ANSWER -

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has a consumer grievance redressal mechanism to address food-related concerns effectively:

1. Online Portal: FSSAI provides an online platform where consumers can file complaints and grievances related to food safety and quality.

2. Toll-Free Helpline: FSSAI operates a toll-free helpline (1800-11-2100) for consumers to report issues and seek assistance.

3. State Food Authorities: Consumers can also approach their respective State Food Authorities to register complaints at the local level.

4. Central Consumer Grievance Redressal System (CCGRS): FSSAI has established the CCGRS to centralize and streamline grievance resolution processes.

5. Timely Action: FSSAI ensures prompt action on registered complaints, including investigations and follow-up.

6. Status Updates: Consumers receive updates on the status of their complaints through the online portal.

7. Resolution and Penalties: FSSAI takes appropriate actions, which may include product recall, penalties on violators, and improved food safety measures.

8. Awareness and Education: FSSAI also focuses on consumer awareness and education regarding food safety through various initiatives and campaigns.


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