Grievances of consumers regarding deficient goods purchased or deficiency in services availed would be redressed by various agencies which can be categorized as below:



  • Manufacturers / Service Providers themselves

  • Enforcement agencies / Regulatory authorities

  • Reputed voluntary consumer organizations / groups

  • District Collector & Chairman, District Consumer Protection Council

  • Commissioner of Civil Supplies & Consumer Protection, Chennai

  • State Consumer Protection Council

  • District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum

  • State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

General advice:

Consumers may approach any or all of the above agencies in their quest for redressal of their grievances, not always in the same order. As a general rule, consumers must approach the concerned manufacturer/service provider first before approaching any others. Let us now see how consumers may get redress from each.

I. Manufacturers/Service providers

Consumers may contact a help line or consumer service department to get the problem sorted out across the board. If that does not work, a notice may be sent by Registered Post with Acknowledgement Due to the competent / senior most executive of the company / agency giving a time limit of 15 days to rectify your problem and the desire of the consumer to proceed further if the problem has not been sorted out within the said period.

II. Enforcement Agencies / Regulatory bodies  

Depending on the nature of infringement, wise spectrums of Government agencies are involved at the field level. A representation can be sent even at the initial stages to the concerned Government agency. (e.g.) if you find your bottle of pickle contaminated you will have to inform the Food Inspector having jurisdiction over your area. The representation can be preferably sent by registered post with acknowledgement or e-mail. Every field enforcement agency also has a State or National level Chief Executive to whom also a copy can be endorsed. You can also call up the agency over telephone and ask for immediate action. If enforcement agencies do not respond, the issue maybe brought to notice of concerned Ministry.

III. Reputed Voluntary Consumer Organisations 

Voluntary Consumer Organisations have been actively assisting consumers in their quest for redress. The do the task of counseling and assistance in drafting petitions for consumers as well as in taking up issues directly with the manufacturer / service provider on behalf of the consumer. VCOs are also empowered under Section 12(b) of the Consumer Protection Act to file a complaint on behalf of the consumer. However, consumers are advised to check on the integrity and reputation of the VCO before seeking their assistance.

IV. District Consumer Protection Council (DCPC): 

DCPC is a district body comprising of VCOs & Government enforcement agencies and service providers in Government under the chairpersonship of the District Collector as per Section 8(A) of the Consumer Protection Act. DCPC specifically duty bound to protect the rights of the customers enshrined in section 6(a) to 6(f) of the Consumer Protection Act. Petitioners can meet the District Collectors on any Monday between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm at the respective Collector’s offices. Consumers can also may send their specific complaints by e-mail / fax or RPAD to the District Collectors for redressal. Collectors, being District Magistrates, are also empowered under various sections of other laws to take up issues on behalf of consumers and protect their interests. The District Supply Officer and Consumer Protection Officer assist the District Collector as Member Secretary of DCPC in his day to day functions.

V. State Consumer Protection Council (SCPC):  

SCPC is headed by the Honorable Minister for Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection and has the Secretary of the Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection Department as Member-Secretary under section 7 of the Consumer Protection Act. This council is also helping in taking up matters affecting consumers at the policy level in Government. SCPC is liable to uphold the rights of the consumer under sections 6(a) to 6(f) of the CP Act.  

VII. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum:  

It is headed by a President and assisted by his members. Consumer Fora are governed by Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Any petition before the forum has to be accompanied by an application fee as prescribed by notifications applicable from time to time. Consumers can file petitions on their own or through reputed Voluntary Consumer Organisations. They are permitted to argue their cases without engaging any lawyer. Procedures in consumer Fora are simple and uncomplicated compared to those in civil law. The District forum can be approached only when value of goods / services / compensation sought is less than Rs. 20 lakhs.

VIII. State and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions:  

They are appellate forums over the levels below them. They also have original jurisdiction. When value of goods/services/compensation sought exceeds Rs.20 lakhs and below Rs.1 crore, the petition has to be placed before the State Commission situated at Chennai. In case of compensation over Rs.1 crore, the petition has to be filed before the National Commission at New Delhi.

IX. High Court and Supreme Court:

They are the Courts of last resort and can render justice if the appellant fails in Consumer Commissions / Fora under writ jurisdiction (original) as well as appellate jurisdiction.

Consumers are therefore advised to choose their own means of grievance redressal.




Total Value of Goods / Services / Compensation Claimed

Amount of fee payable



Upto one lakh rupees – for complainants holding Anthyodhaya Anna Yojana Scheme cards under Public Distribution System



Upto one lakh rupees – for other complainants



Above one lakh and upto five lakh rupees



Above five lakh and upto ten lakh rupees



Above ten lakh and upto twenty lakh rupees




Above twenty lakh rupees and upto fifty lakh rupees



Above fifty lakh rupees and upto one crore rupees




Above one crore rupees


The fee may be paid in the form of a crossed Demand Draft drawn on any Nationalised Bank or crossed Indian Postal Order in favour of President of District forum / Registrar of State Commission or Registrar of National Commission as the case may be and payable at the respective place where the district forum / State Commission / National Commission is situated

No fee is payable for making appeal before State and National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission against orders of lower fora

How to register the complaints? 

Complaint can be registered within 2 years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen.

Stamp paper is not required for declaration.

Complaint can be registered in person by the complainant or through his authorised agent or by post addressed to the Redressal Agency.

Lawyers are not necessary.

The complaint should contain the following particular:

  • The name and complete address of the complainant

  • The name and complete address of the opposite party/parties

  • Date of purchase goods or services availed

  • Amount paid for the above purpose

  • Particulars of goods purchased with numbers or details of services availed

  • The details of complaint, whether it is against Unfair Trade Practice / supply of defective goods / deficiency in service provided / collection of excess price, should explicitly be mentioned in the complaint petition.

  • Bills / receipts and copies of connected correspondence, if any,

  • The relief sought for under this Act.

Relief available under the Act: 

  • To remove the defects in the goods pointed out.

  • To replace the goods.

  • To return to the complainant the price of the goods

  • To pay such amount of compensation for the loss or injury suffered by the consumer.

  • To remove the defects or deficiency in the services

  • To discontinue the unfair trade practice or not to repeat it

  • To withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale

  • To provide the cost of expenditure incurred by the complainant