Toll free national consumer helpline to protect consumers

The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) launched the toll free national consumer helpline number 1214 to provide access for consumer to communicate with OCP. “Toll free number will help engage consumers and make it easier to reach out for help, anytime without being charged,”OCP said.

According to OCP’s Officiating Director, Gopal Pradhan, “The toll free number is expected to eliminate any sort of uncertainty in the caller’s mind. The free aspect is expected to encourage increased number of enquiries.”

He said consumer having dispute with a business can seek protection services from any part of the country through the toll free number operated by the trade inspectors. The trade inspectors are the helpline advisers offering practical and impartial advice on how to resolve consumer problems.

The helpline is established as per the Section 84 of Consumer Protection Rules and Regulation, 2015 which states, “the Office of Consumer protection may establish a toll free national consumer helpline and online reporting and complaint lodging facility to promote and protect the interest of the consumer”.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs said during the launch, “The launching of toll free number would really take the agency one step closer to consumers, towards fulfilling the cherished vision of promoting and protecting economic interest and safety of the consumers.”

A consumer can access the toll free helpline during the office hours from Monday to Friday. The consumer helpline aims to go around the clock, all seven days a week, with the recruitment of full time telephone operators in the future.

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