The hustle and bustle of everyday life sometimes make us forget how our decisions at the grocery store or clothing selection can impact our lives. Not just that, one small decision of buying a product can have a larger impact on the planet as a whole. You might already be making donations by buying products from a business that does loads of charity work and gives back to society.
This is why it is essential that we, as consumers, swim in the frontier of ‘conscious consumerism’, making responsible purchases and also knowing the rights that we hold, as consumers.
So this World Consumer Rights Day, we are taking this opportunity to highlight eight basic consumer rights.
Why Knowing Your Rights As A Consumer Is Important?
We are in the age of consumerism. And it’s no longer the chicken or the egg story. You don’t need to be told why this is true. But if you’re looking for a reason, understand that consumerism is a big part of modern society. There are products being used all around us. These products change hands several times before reaching you. In a world where consumption is engulfing us and is so deeply woven into our society, culture, and psyche, many people don’t even realize whether their rights as consumers are being respected.
This is why knowing your rights is as important as going out and purchasing products. We, at GoodGuilt, strongly advocate conscious consumerism – an approach that we need to be mindful of in every single decision we make, before making a purchase. Unfortunately, we often get so caught up with our hectic lives, whether at work, school, or home, that we forget every single “penny” counts. So, honoring World Consumer Rights Day, here are basic consumer rights that every conscious consumer should be aware of.
8 Basic Consumer Rights To Know:
According to Consumer International, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the United States Congress in 1962 extolling four essential consumer rights. These rights later became known as the Consumer Bill of Rights. The United Nations expanded these rights to eight in 1985. These are the eight consumer rights:
1. Right To Safety
This right is asserted to protect customers against damage caused by the products used (other than automobiles); it indicates that products should not hurt their users if they are used according to the instructions. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates hundreds of commercial products. CPSC also has the authority to set performance standards, mandate product testing and warning labels, demand rapid notification of defective products. And, if necessary, impose product recalls.
2. Right To Choose
Consumers should have a variety of options to pick from, according to the right to free choice. Through legislation, the federal government has taken a number of steps to ensure the availability of a healthy, competitive environment, including limiting concept ownership through Patent Law, preventing monopolistic business practices through Anti-Trust Legislation, and prohibiting price-cutting and gouging.
3. Right To Be Informed
This right emphasizes that businesses must always offer consumers sufficient information to enable them to make rational and informed product decisions. A company’s product information should always be accurate and complete. In the fields of finance, advertising, labeling, and packaging, this right strives to provide protection against misleading information.
4. Right To Be Heard
This right states the customers’ ability to voice complaints and concerns about a product to resolve the problem quickly and effectively.
5. Right To Redress
Receiving an equitable resolution of legitimate claims, such as recompensate for misrepresentation, defective goods, or poor services.
6. Right To Satisfaction Of Basic Needs
To have adequate clothing, food, shelter, education, health care, public utilities, water, and sanitation; and to have access to basic, fundamental products and services.
7. Right To Consumer Education
To gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make educated, confident purchases of products and services; and to be aware of basic consumer rights and obligations and how to exercise them.
8. Right To A Healthy Environment
To live and work in an environment that is not harmful to the well-being of current and future generations.
Despite the fact that customers have these rights, they are frequently disregarded. This is when consumer protection enters the picture. Consumer protection refers to laws and organizations (like the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureaus) that defend consumers’ rights and fair trade competition, and the free flow of accurate information in the marketplace. The laws are here to prevent enterprises from getting an unfair advantage over competitors by engaging in fraud or other specified unfair activities. And they may provide further protection for the vulnerable and those unable to care for themselves.
Being aware of your rights as a consumer is the key to avoiding becoming a victim. But it doesn’t end there— you also don’t want to be run over as a consumer. So, knowing what you are entitled to will keep you in the driver’s seat. As these changes continue to take shape, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to understand their responsibility as well — something that we can all help with, by following the Consumer Protection laws in our communities. So, become an educated consumer and take steps to protect yourself. Knowing your Consumer Protection rights is the first step in this process. Let’s keep this chain stronger by sharing this article to pass on the knowledge.
This, World Consumer Rights Day, let’s take an oath to know our consumer rights and responsibilities and practice conscious consumerism.
Source: Consumers International