Definitions of the Terms Consumer, Consumer Dispute, Defect, Deficiency, Unfair Trade Practices, and Services

26/02/2024 0 By indiafreenotes

The terms “Consumer,” “Consumer Dispute,” “Defect,” “Deficiency,” “Unfair Trade Practices,” and “Services” are key concepts in consumer protection laws, which vary by jurisdiction but share common principles globally. In the context of Indian law, these terms are defined primarily within the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which aims to protect the rights of consumers and establish authorities for the timely and effective administration and settlement of consumer disputes.


Consumer” is defined as any person who buys any goods or hires or avails of any service for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment. This definition includes any user of such goods or beneficiary of such services when such use is made with the approval of the person who bought the goods or hired the services. It does not include a person who obtains goods for resale or goods or services for commercial purposes.

Consumer Dispute

Consumer Dispute” arises when a consumer makes a complaint against a seller, manufacturer, or service provider, and the complaint is not amicably resolved by both parties. Disputes can arise over issues like defects in goods, deficiency in services, overcharging, and unfair trade practices. Consumer disputes are adjudicated by Consumer Commissions (formerly known as Consumer Forums) at the District, State, and National levels, depending on the value of the claim and the nature of the complaint.


Defect” refers to any fault, imperfection, or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity, or standard of goods or services that is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be maintained by a person in a contract or transaction.


Deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming, or inadequacy in the quality, nature, and manner of performance that is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be maintained by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.

Unfair Trade Practices

Unfair Trade Practices” include a practice of making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation, which:

  • Falsely represents that the goods are of a particular standard, quality, quantity, grade, composition, style, or model.
  • Falsely represents that the services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade.
  • Makes a false or misleading representation concerning the need for, or the usefulness of, any goods or services.
  • Engages in conduct that is misleading or deceptive, or is likely to mislead or deceive the consumer. This term also covers practices like offering gifts, prizes, or other items with the intention of not providing them as offered or creating the impression that something is being given free when it is fully or partly covered by the amount charged in the transaction.


Services” means service of any description which is made available to potential users, including the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, boarding or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement, or the purveying of news or other information. It does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.