Friday, April 23, 2010

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPA)

Under this Act, a customer, as an individual or along with other individuals, or through a consumer organization, can approach the various forums prescribed under the Act for redress, in case he is not satisfied with the goods or services provided. He has to allege a defect in the goods or services A defect or deficiency is a fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature or manner of performance, which is required to be maintained by or under any law or in pursuance of a contract or undertaking in relation to that service.

Consumer dispute redressed forums are established in each district and for each state. The three tier set up will hear complaints at these three levels up to the value of –

District Level ----> 20 Lakhs
State Level Forum ----> 1 Crore
National Commission ----> Above one core and also appeals against the decision of a state forum

The COPA applies to the insurance business. Policyholders have the right to seek redress against unfair practices or unsatisfactory service from insurers and agents. The majority of disputes relating to insurance arise out of repudiation and delays in settlement of claims.


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