Consumer Issues
RBI Governor: Please Stop Banks Fleecing Customers and Depositors!
A group of bank customers, consumer activists, policy watchers, bankers, trade unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), has requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to urgently change policies to ensure that banks treat bank customers fairly. 
 
In a Memorandum sent to RBI Governor Dr Urjit Patel, they said, "We are disturbed at the unfair treatment that bank customers suffer in the form of frequent, arbitrary and one-sided increase in banking charges, or the refusal of banks to automatically pass on contractual benefits such as lower interest to those with floating rate home loans, or the rampant mis-sellling of third-party products such as insurance."
 
 
"The RBI as the banking regulator has been proactive in improving the customer service rendered by banks. However, the RBI has not taken banks to task on the many customer-unfriendly practices that are increasing with impunity. Over the years, the RBI has remained silent on several anti-depositor actions of banks. The Banking Ombudsman's rulings also tend to side with banks, making no attempt to observe the pattern of complaints which would amply bring out rampant mis-selling of insurance and wealth management products. We have identified some specific areas and request RBI's intervention to take corrective steps after engaging with customers," the Memorandum says.
 
 
The Memorandum is sent to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Secretary of Financial Services as well. Those who have signed and endorsed the Memorandum, include, RN Bhaskar (Free Press Journal), Dhirendra Kumar (Value Research), Abhay Datar (Mumbai Grahak Panchayat), Shubha Khandekar, Harsh Vardhan Roongta, Dolphy D'souza (Police Reforms Watch), Mahua Ghose, Partha Mansukhani (Public Concern for Governance Trust -PCGT), Lalita Joshi (All India Bank Employees Association -AIBEA), Raj Vaidya (Central Bank Employees' Union -CBEU), Adv Bapoo Malcolm, Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu (Moneylife Foundation), S Saroja (Citizen consumer and civic Action Group -CAG, Chennai), AV Shenoy (Rashtriya Matdata Manch) and Yogesh Sapkale (Moneylife), among others. 
 
 
Based on the Memorandum, Sucheta Dalal, Founder-Trustee of Moneylife Foundation has started an online petition on Change.org. Here the link to sign the Petition online
 
Here is the copy of the Memorandum
 
 
 

User

COMMENTS

Richard Armond

7 months ago

RBI has always bailed out SBI. RBI loves corrupt nationalized banks. Especially SBI. They always print more notes and supply to SBI, let the rupee devalue heavily and they let common man suffer as long as SBI's corrupt management is safe. So do not worry, people. SBI will never fail.

Richard Armond

7 months ago

RBI has always bailed out SBI. RBI loves corrupt nationalized banks. Especially SBI. They always print more notes and supply to SBI, let the rupee devalue heavily and they let common man suffer as long as SBI's corrupt management is safe. So do not worry, people. SBI will never fail.

Balaji Kasal

7 months ago

Hi,

I wonder does RBI too care for bank customers? It might think itself as Banking regulator... Not customer centric.

Since last months I am requesting SBI bank to move my home loan to MCLR regime without any charges. Raised compliant till SBI Principal Nodal Officer. Till date no response... forget about action.

On 7th March 2017 raised compliant to RBI on Mumbai Office of the Banking Ombudsman. No response.... Then raised compliant to RBI against its BO for no response. Received a auto mail saying - 'We acknowledge having received the above complaint letter and we will revert to you in due course.'
No date for resolution. No contact person.

Finally today sent mail to Moneylife Foundation for help to put in right forum. I am sure my concern would be take up to right forum/people.

Thanks.

REPLY

Richard Armond

In Reply to Balaji Kasal 7 months ago

Use RBI's SCORES online form to file complaint. You will definitely get a response.

Deepak Narain

7 months ago

I am a Senior Citizen. My main problem is that the ICICI Bank does not accept Form 15H online though some others do. If they too start, it will be a great relief to me and many others in my situation.

SuchindranathAiyerS

7 months ago

Indian Banking: A blend of Indian Governance (unaccountable profligacy, incompetence and corruption) and Ivy League Banking (Junk Bonds, Non Performing Assets and Insurance rip offs):

As per the over arching and Constitutional principles of the Indian Rapeublic, the good are made to suffer to benefit the wicked.

REPLY

Richard Armond

In Reply to SuchindranathAiyerS 7 months ago

Yes totally agree

Unnikrishnan Nair B C

7 months ago

I had sent a mail regarding this petition through change.org. Just because some so called big wigs have signed the memorandum whatever is said in it need not become true. The services from a bank, which is a commercial organisation, cannot be expected to be free. Does the site carry ads on it free of charge? One may argue that one has been forced to go to the banking channel and then he is being charged. The country's monetary policy framed by rbi needs to be honoured by everybody.

REPLY

MDT

In Reply to Unnikrishnan Nair B C 7 months ago

Thanks for your comment. We request you to carefully read the Memorandum and the text of the article once again. Nowhere it is mentioned that all should be 'free', as you stated. What bank consumers need is a fair treatment and no frequent, arbitrary and one-sided increase in banking charges, or the refusal of banks to automatically pass on contractual benefits such as lower interest to those with floating rate home loans, or the rampant mis-sellling of third-party products such as insurance. But may be for you, this unfair treatment towards consumers by banks falls under 'services' and nobody should complaint.

Jaijawan Jaikisan

7 months ago

Don't spread panic in people. This could be temporary situation to complete the merger process not a sign of bankruptcy (also as march 31st is getting closer). It might also be doing investigation on influx of fake currency into its system.

Now, get fast justice for online shopping complaints through mediation
If you are facing issues with your online purchase from an e-commerce site, you can now get a faster justice through an online through mediation process launched by the Bengaluru-based National Law School of India University (NLSIU). The law school has set up a Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC), which is supported by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. The ministry has also written to leading online marketing companies asking them to participate in the mediation process. This gives the entire exercise some official support, as it is more likely to bring companies to the mediation table.
 
The OCMC began operations on 24 December 2016, which is marked as the National Consumer Rights Day. It aims to provide an innovative online mediation tool that permits consumers get justice through quick and easy redressal mechanism and also provides opportunity for businesses to maintain good customer relations. This service in its initial stages can be accessed by login to https://onlinemediationcenter.ac.in/. There is a small fee of Rs100 charged to avoid non-serious complaints. 
 
"When a customer lodges a complaint, the OCMC staff gets into action. We inform the e-commerce company about the complaint and check if they can arrive with an amicable solution by communicating (through our platform) with the customer. If both parties fail to settle the matter between themselves, then they can ask for a mediator,' says Prof Dr Ashok R Patil, Chair Professor for Consumer Law and Practice at NLSIU as well as Director at OCMC. 
 
Interestingly, Dr Patil also says that there have been cases where the mere fact that the OCMC approaches a company with a request to participate in mediation has led to direct contact between the company and the customer to resolve the matter. 
 
What separates OCMC from other forms of consumer grievance redressal is the time limit set for the solution. Dr Patil says, "Under OCMC, both the parties get 30 days from the date they started negotiation process to resolve their dispute through this platform. If required, they can seek a onetime extension of 15 days. But they need to complete the mediation process within this time limit only."
 
At present, OCMC has eight mediators empanelled for helping in mediation. 
 
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has requested industry associations and e-commerce companies to use OCMC for addressing customer grievances in an easy and speedy manner.  
 
How OCMC works...
 
If you are unhappy with the product or service and you want to file a complaint against the e-commerce company, you may choose to file complaint with OCMC.
 
Sample Complaints:
•Item not delivered/ received.
•Item Significantly Not as Described.
•Item not replaced/ exchanged.
•Item returned but money not refund
 
STEP 1- Registration with OCMC/Sign in
1. The first time you file your complaint, sign-up/ register with OCMC by filling a simple registration form.
2. Furnish the following mandatory fields at the time of registration: 
•Name
•Age
•Gender
•Address
•City
•State
•Country
•Mobile No.
•Email
•Password
•Confirm Password
•Identity Proof No. 
 
3. By signing up with OCMC you agree to be bound by the website’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
4. Upon signing up, you are sent a Welcome email.
5. Your validation will be confirmed by an email once you are registered with us.
6. An account is created with details of your profile. You may choose to either file a new case or view case history.
7. Subsequently, when you visit the website you can sign in with the registered email and password
 
STEP 2 – Select E-commerce Company
1. Select the company against whom you want to file your complaint from amongst the list of e-commerce companies provided by OCMC.
2. Enter the invoice no. /order no./ bill no.
 
STEP 3 – Payment
1. Next, you are taken through a secured payment gateway, Atom Technologies Ltd, where you pay your registration fee. 
2. Once the payment is processed, you will receive message that payment has been successfully done.
3. The registration fee shall be applicable to ONE CASE only.
 
STEP 4 – Complaint Intake
1. On successful payment, you will be redirected to the ‘File a Case’ Button.
2. In case of a technical error between the payment and proceeding to ‘File a Case’, you can go back to ‘Case History’ in your Account to view the case.
3. In the form, choose if the complaint was already filed before court/forum/commission  – Yes/ No.
4. If yes, then you need to give pending case details in addition to the details of the transaction and complaint you wish to make and relief you are seeking against the e-commerce company.
5. The complaint form requires the following details to be filled by you: 
•Transaction details –Purchase date, Receipt date, value of goods/service, nature of dispute, description of issue.
6. Upload documents supporting your complaint. The files shall be in PDF, PNG, JPG, JPEG, GIF.  MS Word documents in .doc or .docx format are not allowed.
7. For subsequent registration of complaints, you may simply sign in with the platform using your login and password and proceed with payment of fee and file new complaints.
 
STEP 5 –Negotiation with the E-commerce Company
1. On this platform, you will get the opportunity to directly communicate with the e-commerce company to resolve your case and discover a mutually agreeable solution.
2. In case you are not able to settle the matter through negotiation or if the parties could not reach agreement on terms, you may choose to escalate the case to mediation.
 
STEP 6 – Mediation
1. On choosing to settle the matter through mediation, OCMC appoints a third- party neutral party or mediator appointed by OCMC.
2. Mediation is a voluntary, party-centred and structured process where a neutral third party called mediator assists the parties in amicably resolving their dispute by using specialised communication and techniques.
3. Overall you have 30 days from the date the parties started with the Negotiation process (as under Step 5) to resolve your dispute through this platform. The parties may agree to a one-time extension of 15 days to complete the process.
4. If both parties agree to terms, the same can be finalized by a formal Settlement Agreement.
 

User

COMMENTS

Simple Indian

8 months ago

Seems like a good option for both e-com sites and buyers to settle disputes. However, Govt of India should also setup a OCMC type of statutory body, where disputes can be resolved with legally binding solutions for both parties. E-com is a highly unregulated sector in India (like real estate sector) and with the sector growing hugely over the years, there is a need for a statutory body to regulate the sector and resolve disputes as well. It will also add greater credibility to the e-com sector, as many are still wary of shopping online due to poor dispute resolution mechanisms at present.

Anand Vaidya

8 months ago

Very good initiative. In line with the gov pro-poor work, this can also be extended to brick and mortar shops, rental agreements, hotels etc

Parimal Shah

8 months ago

I think this is a very good initiative and will help both customers and e-commerce companies.

Pesticides, Toxic Heavy Metals Found in Organic Rice
UPDATED on 22 February 2017: Updated to post reply received from Organic Tattva
 
Grahak Sathi, a National Consumer Magazine in Hindi, published by the Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad, has released the findings of its in-house comparative product-testing laboratory on seven brands of organic rice. The findings revealed that six out of seven brands had pesticide residues and all seven brands contained toxic heavy metals. The very rationale of buying an organic product is to ensure it is pesticide-free.
  
The brands carried a variety of logos and certifications from national and international agencies. This is confusing for consumers. Why should a product meant for the domestic market carry so many international logos?
 
The three heavy metals tested for in the products were lead, copper and arsenic. “We tested the products for 16 pesticides. The four pesticides detected belonged to the organophosphate group,” says the report.
 
Six of the seven brands of organic rice contained pesticide residues. Fabindia Organics did not have pesticide residues. Two brands, Organic on Call and Sanjeevani Organics, had Chlorpyrifos levels above the prescribed limit. Two of the four non-organic rice brands had pesticide residues.
 
Over a long duration even microscopic quantities of pesticides can be harmful. The pesticides detected by the tests are not in the US list of pesticides permitted in organic products.
 
All the organic rice brands showed presence of all three heavy metals, though they were within the prescribed limits. None of the non-organic rice brands had arsenic. Copper levels were higher than in organic rice brands, though within limits. Lead levels were within limits and slightly lower than that in the organic rice brands.
 
Organic rice brands are much costlier than ordinary brands. Comparing the extremes, you would be paying more than five times the price for the costliest organic rice brand –Fabindia Organics – than you would for the cheapest non-organic rice brand – Hypercity. 
 
Most organic rice brands claimed to be free of pesticides. Morarka Organic’s Down to Earth, which contained both pesticide residues and toxic heavy metals, claimed to be: “…free from chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, toxic substances, synthetic hormones…” Two organic rice brands – Vikalp Organic Product and Organic on Call – did not have any organic certification.
 
Manufacturers’ Response
As a policy, the laboratory conveys the test results to manufacturers. It received the following responses:
 
Sanjeevani Organics said that organic certification was done for the practices and processes, and not for the products. But consumers are concerned not with processes and practices but with the end product. Certification for processes must reflect in quality of final product.
 
24 Mantra Organic said that the pesticide detected by the tests, Chlorfenvinphos, was not used even in conventional paddy cultivation and not available in their project area. 
 
Organic Tattva said that as per the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) guidelines there is no requirement for testing for heavy metals for organic products. While this is true, CERC says “we have tested for them as consumers should be concerned about their presence in foods. Heavy metals accumulate in the human body over a period of time and cause harm.”
 
CERC has urged that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) should set specific mandatory standards for organic foods. “In response to our appeal over a year ago, we received a letter from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) saying that BIS has constituted a committee to formulate standards for organic foods. However, no concrete action has been taken as yet,” says CERC. 
 
It also argues that National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) certification should be made mandatory. NPOP, which currently certifies organic process standards, should also certify the final product. Also, India needs to follow labelling norms as per global best practices.  Regular monitoring of organic food quality, including that sold online, is necessary and advertising claims made by organic product manufacturers should be closely monitored.
 
Grahak Sathi’s conclusion is that “organic brands of rice are not safer than non-organic ones. There is no concrete evidence that organic food has higher nutritional value than regular food. Also, organic rice brands are much more expensive. Our advice is not to buy organic rice. People want to make healthier choices and the Government must support them in this matter. It should ensure that consumers do not get exploited in the name of organic foods. It is vital that the regulatory authorities set standards and closely monitor the quality of organic food products.”
 
UPDATE:
In good faith, we have changed the photo in this article. We have sent emails to CERC, which is one of India's leading consumer organisations with its own testing laboratories, and the one on whose findings this article is based. CERC is supported and recognised by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. It has been doing such product testing for decades.

We will take further action on the article when we hear from CERC.

Here is an email we received from Kriti Mehrotra of Organic Tattva...

"There is no proof in this article that shows that we are manufacturing food not fit for consumers. We had received an email from Ms. Mehta few months ago where she told us that when she tested our products, there were no traces of Pesticides, however there were traces of Heavy metals, which were within the FSSAI limits. That being said, there was no need to put our Brand name and logo on this article, when we are following all government norms. Since the publication of this article, we are getting calls from consumers and retailers and its not right that we have to answer to this, when our company follows all food safety and APEDA guidelines."
 

User

COMMENTS

ishan girdhar

7 months ago

Being a enlightened customer one need to know the truth, as all these companies are here for business not for any social cause, so would look forward for a deeper investigation in this matter and companies involved in fraudulent activities, have their licensed be cancelled and strict action should be taken. Do Business but the Right Way.

krishna

8 months ago


1)
-Land test(chemical free, )
2)
-Underground water test(chemical free)
3)
-No Hybrid Seeds(non genitically modified natural very old indian seeds)
4)
-No Pesticides & inceticides( use non chemicals like turmeric, calcium corbonate, dung, neem,)
5)
- No Fertilizers. (Only compost manure and animal dung.)
6)
-Radio active test. (are they radio active free)

All these 6 aspects (land, underground water, seeds, manure, natural pesticides, radioactive free).

ONLY, if these tests are passed, then call them "organic" and charge high price.

MONEYLIFE need not worry that they will be challenged in courts.

Thank You, Moneylife!

shiv

8 months ago

The label "Organic" is a racket which thrives on fear of cancer especially among the rich as they have so much money they seek uninterrupted cancer free long life.This racket will continue as long as people are loaded with money.easy come and easy go.for the information of penny pinchers watching every little nickel in their pocket, stay clear off this "Organic" label.To really get an organic product,everything starting with land,seed,manure should be free of "chemicals" especially pre harvest/post harvest treatment of pesticides on plants.But the most important factor is the land needs to be left fallow for 3 full years during which time the rains that fall on the land is supposed to wash off existing pesticides mixed in the soil.imagine 3 years of no harvest,,none of jokers who peddle these "Organic" products will tell you real story.they are a mafia thriving on each others silence -farmers/Scientists,Agriculturalists,media,Government.As far as rich people with loose cash, have no pity on them when they are short changed.easy come,, easy go.

REPLY

krishna

In Reply to shiv 8 months ago

CORRECT!
(in response to prev comment)

-Land test(chemical free, radioactive free)

-Underground water test(chemical free)

-Seeds(non genitically modified)i.e non-hybrid.

-Pesticides & inceticides(non chemicals like turmeric, calcium corbonate, dung, neem,)

-Only compost manure and animal dung.

All these 5 aspects (land, underground water, seeds, manure, natural pesticides)

ONLY, if these tests are passed, then call them "organic" and charge high price.

MONEYLIFE need not worry that they will be challenged in courts.

Thank You, Moneylife!

Kriti

8 months ago

It is unbelievable the limit you go will go to tarnish a brand's image. I am contacting you from Organic Tattva. There were no pesticides detected in our samples, and even the heavy metals were detected within FSSAI limits. How can you use our brand name and LOGO in this article? This is baseless. You should be ashamed. We are getting calls from consumers and retailers and all this because of an article where our name shouldn't even be mentioned!! We are following all norms and manufacturing food following all guidelines. It's best you rectify this right away because we will take legal action against you for defaming our Brand.

krishna

8 months ago

Pesticides, Fertilizers based is only SIDE OF STORY.

What is the other side is
"Whether the seeds are genitically modified international brands or pure unaltered natural indian seeds.

Difference:
1)Genitically modified Hybrid seeds are not good for health. They have less or inadequent nutrietion. They don't cure diseases. Some argue that they cause diseasws.Not sure.
2)They look shiny like germs but will not have taste.
3)Farmers are buying expensive seeds by discarding natiral seeds. They are investing more by taking loans to buy theae pest resistant and high yield seeds. In next crop again they need to buy new seeds, by taking another loan. On countrary , before farmers used to just save a bag of seed harvest for sowing. It used to not vost them anything.

Traditional indian meathods were to soak seeds in neem juice, use tumeric and calcium corbonate(white cement) as pesticides.

Then natural compost manure with leaves twigs, animal dung were in use.

To suppliment rlements like Nitrogen, Phosphrous, Magnenese, .etc they used rotation of crops instead of growing same crop again and again on same piece of land.

Wish MODI to do allocate some 1000 acres of land and take precautions to save indian original seeds(basmati case is one such example).

2

Sundaram Kumarappan

8 months ago

Thanks for this article and awareness that this has created. Its high time the committee acts and takes action. For the labeling and process of checking norms i believe there is a long way to go

Shweta Korgaonkar

8 months ago

"BIS has constituted a committee to formulate standards for organic foods. However, no concrete action has been taken as yet" -- This is very pathetic ... they are interested in forming committees only and by that some people are provided job and money ... the problem remains as it is.. by the time the report of this so called committee is out .. the damage is done...very poor

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

8 months ago

People simply believe that organic food is good for health. They don't cross check where all these organic grains are harvested, and how they are harvested. Even in cow dung we find toxic metals, since cows are not getting pure fodder for them to eat. Artificially made cow fodder is used, with the aim to get more milk. Naturally such cow dung, when used as manure for organic cultivation of harvest, will contain toxic metal traces.

REPLY

Balraj Amaravadi

In Reply to Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag 8 months ago

Only left out way is : Natural Farming. Very few started this way and yet, to see their products in store shelves( currently, these are distributed privately)

Ramesh Poapt

8 months ago

very good article!

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