What to do if you find a lost appliance?

The National Consumer Disputes Resolution Centre has started an online campaign to raise awareness about lost and stolen appliances, which are often left in unsecured areas of homes and businesses.

The campaign, which is part of a national initiative, has been launched by the Centre for Consumer Protection (CCPC) and aims to highlight the fact that lost appliances are common, said S. R. Krishna, a consumer rights activist based in Bangalore.

“The public should not be fooled into thinking that these appliances are just for fun or for sale,” he said.

“If someone is missing a certain item, they will have to go through a lengthy process, which can take a long time,” Krishna said.

“It is common for a person to leave behind a small amount of money in the bank account and then the person needs to deposit it in a bank account that has a good credit rating.

This is the reason why many people have an ‘in-home’ bank account, to help with the initial deposit.”

The CCPC campaign, titled ‘Lost and stolen items’, aims to raise the awareness of people who may have a lost or stolen appliance and to help the owners of these appliances find a way to get them back, said R. Krishnamurthy, a spokesperson for the CCPC.

The campaign has already received more than 1,000 responses from consumers across the country, said Krishna.

“We have already started the campaign and are doing everything we can to get this campaign launched.

It is important that people get the message,” he added.

The Centre for Fairness in Consumer Information (CFICI) has launched a separate campaign titled ‘Missing and stolen objects’ which is aimed at raising awareness about the issues around lost and misplaced household items, such as TVs, computers, stereos and other appliances.

The campaign is being launched at a time when people are being urged to report stolen items.

“The Centre is trying to make the message about missing items as simple as possible.

The Centre is providing tips on how to call the police and report the incident,” said K.S. Ramachandran, general manager, CFICI.

“If someone has lost an item that belongs to them, they need to contact the police or the Centre, so that we can get it back,” he noted.

The initiative has also been launched in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Jaipur and Kolkata.

“There are several organisations in the city who are providing advice on how and where to report an incident of a lost item,” said Ramachanda.

According to the National Consumer Forum, an organisation which works to protect consumers, the number of people reporting lost or damaged household items is increasing every year.

“In the past three years, we have seen an increase in cases of lost or misplaced household appliances and electronics,” said Anupam Pandey, president of the National Consumers Forum.

“More people are reporting these lost items to us, and the police are taking more cognisance of it,” she added.

Sources: The Times Of India, Times Of Asia, CCPC, National Consumer Council, The TimesOfIndia,  Associated Press