Urban Inflation

Combined inflation for urban and rural areas eased marginally to 7.80% in August 2014 from 7.96% in July 2014. Inflation in urban areas eased to 7.04% in August from 7.42% in July. Food inflation in urban areas eased marginally to 8.40% in August from 8.45% in July. Inflation for vegetables in urban areas declined significantly, to 7.68% in August from 11.38% in July. Inflation related to fuel & power declined marginally to 2.69% in August from 3.24% in July. Inflation for housing remained steady at around 8.50%. Inflation for clothing stayed at 7% and miscellaneous items declined marginally to 5% in August from 6% in July.


New California Law Says You Have a Right to Gripe

California becomes first state in the US to ban non-disparagement clauses. Similar federal proposal expected to follow


Score one for consumers with opinions. California has enacted legislation – the first state in the nation – that prohibits non-disparagement clauses aimed at preventing customers from writing negative reviews of a company. And Californian Congressman Eric Swalwell is set to propose similar federal legislation this week.

The new law prohibits a company from threatening or otherwise penalizing a consumer for making certain disparaging statements regarding the seller or its products or services and will slap companies with fines ranging from $2,500-$5,000 plus an additional $10,000 for violating it – in essence reversing an alarming trend of penalties washing over consumers.

In the past few years, consumers have reported being ensnarled in some outrageous non-disparagement clauses, including one that fined a couple $500 for every negative review of the venue posted by wedding guests.

In another example, a Utah couple – John and Jen Palmer– who refused to pay a $3,500 fine imposed by an online store, Kleargear.com, saw their credit downgraded after posting a negative review of the company when the products they ordered didn’t arrive.


However, a suit against Kleargear brought on the couple’s behalf by Public Citizen, a Washington D.C. based consumer advocacy group, yielded the couple a $306,750 judgment in their favor. The U.S. District Court in Utah held that:

KlearGear.com is liable to Plaintiffs for violating the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, for defamation, for intentional interference with prospective contractual relations, and for intentional infliction of emotional distress…

TINA.org reached out to Kleargear for comment but the company has not responded.
Jen Palmer told TINA.org that she hoped the judgment and passage of the California legislation would spur further legal protections for consumers.

“We’re very pleased that California was inspired by our situation and has taken the initiative to pass consumer protection legislation,’’ she said. “One of the things that John and I were hoping for in the process of our lawsuit, aside from clearing up his credit report, was that we could ensure nobody else would have to go through the nightmare we experienced. We knew early on that this fight would be for everyone else who might also be threatened by a company simply for posting a truthful but negative review about a transaction.”

Scott Michelman, staff attorney for Public Citizen Litigation Group, said the California law provides important protections.

The new law provides important protection for consumer speech by barring the use of non-disparagement clauses and giving both public and private actors a powerful tool to deter businesses that would bully consumers into silence.

However, the fight over consumer reviews continues as companies try to protect their reputations and consumers who want to voice their experience.

Yelp is fighting a legal action in Virginia seeking to compel it to reveal the identity of consumers who posted anonymous negative comments about a carpet cleaning company.


The company sued the consumers alleging defamation, which is not protected speech.


Yelp objected saying revealing the posters’ identities would violate their First Amendment rights to voice opinions anonymously. The Virginia Supreme Court is reviewing the case.

Courtesy: TruthInAdvertising.org


Moneylife Foundation gets the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award
Moneylife Foundation was chosen for the 10th MR Pai Award for its work in advocating and securing the interest of consumers, savers and investors
Moneylife Foundation was honoured with the prestigious MR Pai Memorial award, this was the 10th year of the award. Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu, Founder-Trustees received the award from Dr Deepali Pant Joshi, Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  The award was instituted in memory of MR Pai, a well-known crusader for consumers rights, especially in banking and telecom, by the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd (PMC Bank) and carries a citation and a monetary award of Rs1 lakh. 
The selection of the awardees is done by the All India Bank Depositors' Association (AIBDA), which was founded and led by Mr Pai for several decades. The event itself is conducted in association with AIBDA and the Forum of Free Enterprise (FFE), another organisation that Mr Pai headed for a long time. Since the award is in memory or MR Pai, it is apposite to remember that he was also an honorary secretary of the AIBDA, through which he published the book Depositors’ Rights and Customer Service in Banks that provided customers of banks, information required to deal with the various problems faced by them.
In her address, Dr Pant Joshi said, “While improving financial literacy is a necessary step in protecting consumer from exploitation or exclusionary practices, it is not a sufficient step. Regulation must be redesigned to ensure that while extending adequate precaution the poor are not kept outside the financial services because of regulatory barriers.”
Earlier, at the function held at the Indian Merchant's Chamber in Mumbai, SS Bhandare, President of AIBDA spoke about his organisation's association with PMC Bank and the MR Pai Award.
CS Chadha, Chairman of PMC Bank said, “The Award was set up in memory of MR Pai, who had done tremendous work for consumers' protection. The prize money was increased to Rs1 lakh from Rs50,000 in 2009 and the Bank is proud to felicitate activists, journalists and NGOs who are carrying forward the legacy and work of the late Mr MR Pai.”
The citation of the Award said that it was deserving for Moneylife to get the award "...in recognition of its (Moneylife Foundation's) immense contribution in impacting common people seeking fair treatment and justice". It specifically notes the work of the Foundation in empowering people through financial literacy campaigns, workshops, advocacy and the multiple helplines that it runs.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Basu, said, “We feel highly honoured and absolutely humbled to accept the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award on behalf of our entire team at Moneylife Foundation and over 30,000 Moneylifers! This is our first award. And, as the first ever award, it will always be most cherished, we hope we will always be able to live up to the high expectations that it builds. What makes this all the more precious is that this award salutes the memory of a stalwart in the field of consumer activism and a pioneer of the rights of bank depositors.”
“As you would agree, the work done by any NGO depends partly on the support it gets. We do hope the policy makers pay more attention to NGOs, that are the voice of financial consumers,” Mr Basu added.

The award ceremony was attended by several members and supporters of Moneylife Foundation as well as members of AIBDA, FFE and officials from the RBI and PMC Bank.
Previous recipients of the MR Pai Award include Pushpa Girimaji, Manubhai Shah (founder CERC, Ahmedabad), Dr AV Huligol, Pradeep S Mehta (of CUTS Jaipur), Dr Ashish Das, Dr YV Reddy (former governor of RBI), Sunita Narain (Centre for Science & Environment), Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) and Shirish Deshpande of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.



Dr Anantha K Ramdas

3 years ago

My sincere congratulations for this recognition that is long over due. I pray the team, lead by stalwarts like Ms Sucheta Dalal and Mr Debashis Basu have a long life and continue to champion the cause of the aam aadmi by educating him/her.

This is one step in the current year of success; there are endless more to come.

God speed and good luck

Mahesh S Bhatt

3 years ago

Heartiest Congratulations to Shri Basu & Ms Sucheta Dala.

May Many many More Laurels & successes follow.

Moneylife has committed Heads & dedicated team of Executives.

Great Show.Excel with greater/better & Financial Intelligence sharing works.


Mohana Ganesh

3 years ago

Congratulations Mr D Basu and Ms Sucheta Dalal. You both deserve this and much more. May you keep winning more in the years to come.


3 years ago

Well deserved it is .
heartiest congratulations

Prakash Patel

3 years ago

Congratulaionsto entire team of Moneylife foundation for the award and the outstanding work you are doing in the various fields for the investors,savers and consumers

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