In this century, consumers still need to be protected from doggy sellers who are all after making money. In most cases consumers have at some point been given faulty commodities or low quality services. A few of the affected consumers followed on the issue with most of the consumers knowing not what to do next (Mayer 120). Thus, it is important for all consumers to know the existing protections when dealing with transactions that entails exchange of money for other commodities. However, most of the consumers knows little about the laws established to protect them from such business malpractices. Protection simply means prioritizing consumers’ interest to see that they get quality products at realistic prices (Howells 10). In this regard, the paper intends to fill the existing gap in knowledge about consumer protection law. The study will be divided into three different subtopics. (1) Definition of consumer protection, (2) the significance of protecting consumers (3), strategies that consumers can use to protect their rights.
I chose to study about consumer protection law because am looking forward to open a hotel after completing my school. About three years ago, I saw how a customer mistreat a hotel manager whom she blamed to have given her bad food. However, I did not understand what quality meant to that customer. Presently, I know what quality means to a customer. In this regard, I consider the study as an opportunity for me to learn how to treat my customers in future. Since this research will equip me with knowledge about most of the things that I have never known in my life.
Definition of Consumer Protection Law.
According to Howells and Weatherill (p.10), consumer protection laws are the policies put in place safeguard the ordinary people who are purchasing goods and services in the market. The reason is to protect them from doggy traders who are ready to sell faulty goods without caring the impact of their behavior on the consumer. In most situations, consumer protection deals with pricing, product safety, credit repair, debt repair and other personal loans that may have accumulated to huge figures over time. Ethically, businesses should set good prices that does not exploit them nor the consumers. However, in a case where prices or debts are not controlled then there is likelihood of most activities in the market becoming stagnant. Therefore, consumer protection law bars the sellers from creating shortage in the market so that they shoot the prices.
According to Giliker (95), all consumers have legal rights to be secure with the commodities that they buy. More especially with the food stuffs (Baron 200). For instance, the agricultural products sold to them must have undergone through clean stages all the way from the farm to the market. Also, every consumer has legal rights to stay safe from environments pollutions. Pollutions ranges from contaminations on the water bodies to soil and air. In most cases the consumers have been unconcerned of the fact that there environment should always be clean and never allow anybody subject them to a contaminated environment (Giliker 93). The other legal right is access to information in which every consumer has the legal rights to seek for more information about the product that they wish to buy so that they get to understand something better before buying it. All these rights are important for every consumer and they should always stand for what they know is right.
Significance of Protecting Consumers.
In a case where the customers are not protected; there is likelihood of them being exploited by the sellers and suppliers in that market (Mayer 120). The reason is that people are generally unsatisfied and once given a chance they intend to maximize their return. In which the traders will subject the buyers to unsafe commodities and inaccurate measurement apparatus with a focus on maximizing their returns. Also, the suppliers will practice hoarding in which they will create a shortage into the market to overprice the items. In economics, a shortage of a particular good makes it hard to find the good in which the lesser ones are overpriced to make them available only to a few members (Pigou 9). In this line, hoarding will also create a temporary shortage so that customers are overexploited.
Every society should encourage the culture of protecting consumers’ interest in that such protections have got several benefits both at personal and society levels. It brings the aspect of social responsibility in which every trader is forced to adhere to the standards set. The standards provides an outline of how businesses and organizations operate in a manner that is socially accepted. In this way, every member of the society gets satisfaction from any trader simply because they are adhering to similar standards (Giliker 93). Also, it provides for a system in which complaints from the buyers are directed to the sellers and acted upon. In most cases, the buyers have complained of poor quality or other issues relating to certain products. However, most of those cases have been ignored simply because there is no effective channel in which the complaints can be carried to the sellers. Thus the protection laws ensures that consumer’s complaints are directed to the sellers; and sellers followed to ensure that the complaints are acted upon.
Strategies That Consumers Can Use To Protect Their Rights.
Protection must start from within the customers themselves. They must not sit down and see their rights violated such that they are overcharged prices or buy faulty goods. Thus, the customers should do the followings. Firstly, learn about their basic consumer rights to which every consumer is entailed (Baron 200). In this way, they will understand that they have the freedom to be informed about products before buying. Also, learn that they have the freedom to be kept free from environmental pollutions. In this way, the consumers will have learnt how to approach traders who does not have any interest in making their lives better. Secondly, the consumers should always weigh large and risky purchases before making them (Baron 201). That is, check with other traders to ensure that the items they are about to buy are not overcharged. In this way, they will be in a position to purchase from the customer who offers the best quality at the least price possible.
Thirdly, the consumers should always ask about the product warrants. A warrant is a pledge given by the seller or manufacture in which they promise to repair the product or replace it if it develops complications in a particular time frame (McKay 10). The federal law requires that Americans review and compare warrants among various traders so that they only go for traders whose have put in place realistic warrants (McKay 10). Fourthly, the buyers should always check that the professionals are licensed. Legally, license grants an individual powers to practice in a particular field of profession. In the case of business, licensing a business person means that he/she has met the required standards for one to do that business. In that way, the consumers will always be sure that the traders whom they are doing interactions with are individuals who have been tested by the licensing body and found trustable to deliver high quality product.
On balance, consumers’ protection is essential in that it prevents them from being exploited by traders in the market. Thus every government is putting in place laws that will ensure that sellers adhere to set business standards in all their activities. Every consumer is entitled to rights to access information and be safe in what he/she consumes. Also, rights to leave in a clean environment. The traders on the other side, are expected to offer best products to the consumers’ at most favourable prices. However, it is key noting that protection starts with the consumers themselves. In which they have to learn about basic consumer rights such as safety and access to information. Also, do a critical evaluation of the market prices of a particular product before purchasing the product. Then make inquiries of warrants and licenses that the traders uses. In doing these, they will have vastly reduced the chances of being exploited by putting these traders on spot.