Consumer perception of Indian Standards: 69% say they look for an ISI mark while buying a product but a large majority of them don’t file complaints when the product fails
- • Majority unaware about IS and CML number significance
- • Majority buy non-ISI mark product due to lower price and better availability
- • Only 7% complain to BIS when an ISI marked product fails
October 14, 2019, New Delhi: Oct 14th is World Standards Day. For many consumers, the ISI (Indian Standard) mark has been synonymous with quality for many years now. ISI mark is a certification mark for industrial products developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, and an ISI mark on a product usually means that the product is of a good quality and worth the buy. Diwali is a time when most Indians indulge in appliance shopping. Surrounded by big ads and cheap prices, many buyers are unaware of what to look out for while making such a purchase.
LocalCircles conducted a large survey to check the consumer perception of the ISI mark and its importance for them. The survey received around 21,000 votes from close to 10,000 unique consumers from across the country. In the first poll, consumers were asked if they generally look for an ISI mark while buying a product. 60% answered in a ‘yes’ while 28% answered in a ‘no’.
69% consumers say they look for an ISI mark when buying a product
Second question asked consumers what they do when a product with ISI mark fails. 64% said they call/visit the company service center and 19% said they get the product repaired locally. Only 7% said they complain to BIS and 10% said they just go and buy a new product.
When an ISI marked product fails, most consumers pick up the phone and contact the customer service of the brand and most of us have heard horror stories of how that plays out. What buyers do not know is that they have an option of complaining to the Bureau of Indian Standards when an ISI marked product fails.
Only 7% consumers say they complain to BIS when an ISI mark product fails
The consumer trust on ISI is so high that some manufacturers have started to misuse it. Many complaints surface from time to time where an ISI mark is found on products which are not authorised to use it, or simply put – non-compliant to the ISI guidelines. The sole purpose of using a fake ISI mark is to fool the consumer and to put the product in the ‘high selling’ category.
Majority consumers don’t know what IS and CML number on a product stands for
66% consumers in the next poll said that they do not understand what IS number and CML number on the product stand for. Only 30% said they know about it.
For the authorised products, it is mandatory to print the IS number and the CML number on the product for the reference of the consumer. The consumer can easily log on to the BIS website and check if the product is genuine or not, using the IS and CML number, including the product features as well as the manufacturers name and address.
42% consumers have experienced that ISI marked products are better than ones without
In the next question, 42% consumers said that their recent experience proves that ISI mark products are better than non-ISI mark products. Only 23% said this was not the case and 20% said they don’t really check for an ISI mark. 16% were unsure about it.
Various Government departments have also been making ISI certification of products coming under their purview mandatory to ensure that consumers receive only high-quality products. As per a recent Government mandate, sales of non-ISI-marked helmets will soon be a criminal offence. ISI marking for some medical devices have also been made mandatory by the Government.
Majority buy non ISI products due to lower price and better availability
The final question asked the reason why consumers choose to buy a non-ISI mark product over an ISI mark product. 20% said it was due to price and 32% said it was due to ease of availability. 47% said they have not bought a non-ISI over an ISI marked product.
In a recent LocalCircles survey, only 8% consumers said that their defective products were timely replaced by the company and 62% said it took more than 7 days for their complaints to get resolved. The non-standardised processes and non-responsive brand customer service is largely to be blamed for this. It is quite evident from the consumer response that the importance of the ISI mark in their everyday life is quite high. Having said that, the Government will have to work on creating more awareness about the ISI mark & the BIS complaint feature, and will have to work towards reducing the cases of ISI mark being used for non-licensed products.