A Consumer is a person or an organization that uses a commodity or service within the economy. consumer protection is a concept of legal framework in the form of Government Regulation to promote customer safety and education and providing protection from hazardous or substandard products and from fraud. In the year 1985, the United Nations Organizations brought out its principal guidelines for the protection of the Consumers of the world and it was subsequently updated in 1995. These guidelines address the issues of consumer safety, standards of product and education, thereby prescribing a model and standard for all the nations of the world and especially the underdeveloped countries.
Consumerism may be perceived as a movement or policy that regulates consumption in favour of the buyers by way of ascertaining the quality of products, services, methods and standards of manufacturers, sellers and advertisers. There may be institutional regulation, statutory regulation, or voluntary code accepted by a particular industry to implement such policies. The consumer organizations have also greatly contributed to the growth of Consumerism. Consumer protection is also secured by the formal regulatory agencies of the governments. For instance, in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration promotes consumer protection.
Until the mid twentieth century consumers were not aware of their rights as buyers in the economy. They could not defend themselves in case they were cheated in any transaction or misled by deceptive methods of advertisement. With the growth of consumerism in the 1950s, movement for the consumer rights gathered momentum with strong protests against malicious business practices. There are four basic rights of consumers as envisaged in the “Consumer Bill of Rights” (originated from the Speech of President John F. Kennedy in 1962). They are – right to be safe, right to choose freely, right to be heard and right to be informed.