Of late, the number of complaints with the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) against consumer rights violations has seen a rise which certainly exposes the increasing awareness among the consumers; thanks to DNCRP for its rapid actions in implementing The Consumer Rights Protection Act. DNCRP is reportedly receiving more than 26 complaints every day and the number of complaints hit 4,121 from July 1 till December 6 of the current fiscal year.
DNCRP disclosed that the number of complaints in the last fiscal 2017-18 was 9,019, a 47 percent rise from the previous year. Complaints were lodged mainly against businesses like restaurants, retail chain shops, as well as e-commerce and telecom service providers. Until the last week of October, the directorate received 3,157 complaints against various business entities. However, such an increasing number of complaints signify the increasing awareness among the consumers about their rights.
Gone are the days when consumers in Bangladesh were helpless victims of the service providers. There was no scope for the consumers to address their complaints. Moreover, our constitution had no assimilation to safeguard the interest of the consumers. The country first came up with the consumer rights protection law in 2009 as per which the Directorate of National Consumer Rights (DNCR) was incorporated to protect consumers’ interests and ensure fair and transparent services in trading of goods and services. We are told that DNCR was not widely known by the mass people. Moreover, those who knew about the law were not that concerned about the fact that their rights as consumers were being violated.
According to the law if one is cheated by a business and by any means, he or she can avail the service by providing required evidence. If the complaint is justified after investigation, the consumer will immediately be given 25 percent of the amount charged as penalty. Protection of consumer rights empowers the consumers and makes them more confident. Thus it helps boost competition and spur economic growth. In this regard, there is a need to formulate a competition law in order to increase competitiveness among businesses so that consumers around the country can avail quality goods and services at fair prices. We appreciate the gravity of responses that has been showed by the consumers. But still there is a need for making further publicity regarding DNCR so that every citizen becomes conscious of their rights as a consumer.