Today’s world is based solely on how a product sells and what different ways are there to sell a product. Under these circumstances, it becomes increasingly difficult to figure out what is real and what is just gimmickery. The advertisements often mislead the customers into believing that their product is the only option available and is nothing but the best, nothing could be further from the truth. The advertisements were made for the purpose of telling the consumers what all options they have and for giving the specifications of the products while the consumer is sitting in the comfort of his home.
Log onto the App – For the benefit of the consumers the Advertisement Standard Council of India (ASCI) has started an app on which the consumers can lodge a complaint. The app has already been made available for Android and IOS users. The app will help not only the consumers who will be able to lodge a complaint which ease and track the status later, but also the ASCI, which will be able to keep a track of the complaints which have been registered on the app.
Voicing the opinion – I believe one can think whatever he/she wants to but it will make a change only when that thought is communicated to the rest of the world. Thoughts are probably the most dangerous weapon for a human being and thankfully human being is the only living being who can talk and convey exactly what he means. So, why not use this to tell the people in advertising that we are not idiots.
Going to the consumer court – When the customer feels cheated, the only law that they have at their disposal is the consumer protection law. So, if you don’t get exactly what was promised to you, head to the consumer court. If you get fake stuff and if all the conditions and terms, that are to be applied, do not allow you to make a free choice, head to the court because if you don’t fight for yourself, nobody will.
Bring an end to the T&C game – Terms and conditions have made the marketing and selling of the product a game for the seller. The buyer often comes across an asterisk(*) or T&C on the covering of the product, and seldom are those terms and conditions in the favor of the customer. Those terms are nothing but another way of exploiting the customer, the conditions are hidden unpleasant surprises for the buy.
Listen to those PSAs – The government has started various Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in the form of Jaago Grahak Jaago etc, but because we are too busy watching nonsense tv soaps, we don’t pay attention to something that should really be taken into account. These PSAs are for your own good, listen to them, act accordingly and don’t let yourself get cheated.
Calling on the Helpline – The National Consumer Helpline helps the consumers by solving their queries on the phone or via SMS. An initiative taken by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, this helpline acts as a medium between the consumers and the government. A person could call on the toll free number 1800-11-4000 or simply send an SMS on +918130009809. This helpline will take complaints and provide information regarding any querries that the consumers have.
Advertising is a very creative field and people who love to play with words often showcase their talent and make brilliant ads, what they need to keep in mind is that being a medium between the buyer and the seller doesn’t give you the authority to cheat the buyers on the behalf of the seller. Also, not all the advertisements are bad or made to cheat people. There are people out there who stick to the ethics of advertising and convey only what is the truth. We need to use our brains and segregate the right from the wrong.
Image courtesy : Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements: http://gama.gov.in/