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In today’s Commerce class, We will be learning about Consumer Protection. We hope you enjoy the class!
- Consumerism/ consumer protection
- Reason for consumer protection
- Methods of consumer protection
- Consumer protection by legislation
A consumer is an individual who makes the final use of goods and services provided by a firm.
Consumerism refers to organized efforts or actions of consumers or individuals to protect themselves against the unfair practices of businessmen.
Consumer protection is a process whereby the government or its agents and also private organizations try by various ways such as legislation, standards, price control etc to ensure that consumers derive maximum satisfaction from commodities they purchase and to reduce their exploitation by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
NEED/REASONS FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION
- To ensure that consumers derive maximum satisfaction from the commodities they purchase.
- To reduce exploitation of the consumer by the manufacturers and middlemen
- To protect consumers from misleading claims and false advertisements.
- To protect consumers against the adverse effects of consuming harmful and dangerous goods e.g. drugs, foods etc.
- To ensure that producers adhere to the standard quality of goods and to prevent consumers from consuming substandard and inferior goods
- To prevent consumers from being cheated by the use of false, incorrect and deceptive weights and measures.
- To stamp out profiteering and exploitation of consumers by businessmen fixing artificial and arbitrary high prices.
- To ensure a regular supply of essential goods and services
- To assist consumers in making the right choices
WAYS BY WHICH CONSUMERS CAN BE PROTECTED
A. By legislations
B. Through government agencies/organizations
C. By independent organizations
A. By Legislations: Many laws have been enacted by the government to protect consumers against unsatisfactory goods and unfair practices by producers and sellers.
The following are some of such laws:
- Sale of Goods Act 1893
- Food and Drugs Act of 1974
- Hire Purchase Act of 1975
- Trade Description Act 1968
- Misrepresentation Act 1968
- Consumer Credit Act of 1974
- Price control Act 1970/Price Control Edicts
- Supply of Goods (Implied Items) Act 1973
- Fair Trading Act of 1973
- Weights and Measures Act of 1963
- Usury Laws
- Rent Tribunal Act
- Sale of Goods Act 1893: This law protects the consumer from buying defective goods and goods that do not conform to the description and sample advertised. It makes it possible for the cash price to be reclaimed by the buyer if goods are found to be faulty
- Food and Drugs Act 1974: This law protects the consumer from buying goods (Foods, Drinks, and Drugs) not fit for human consumption
- Hire Purchase Act 1975: This law is designed to protect the consumer who buys goods on hire purchase basis from being cheated or exploited by the seller
- Trade Description Act 1968: This law safeguards consumers against
- False claims about the description of goods with regard to quantity, size, composition method place and date of manufacture, strength, behaviour and fitness
- False comparison between the price currently being charged and the price charged previously
- Misrepresentation Act 1968: This law protects the consumer from misleading advertisement, sales handbills, posters etc
- Consumer Credit Act 1974: This law protects consumers from being exploited in hire purchase deferred payment and other credit transactions.
- Price Control Act (Decree): This law pegs the selling prices of some goods. It is aimed at checking arbitrary increments by manufacturers and middlemen. It also protects the consumer from paying very high or exorbitant prices for certain products.
- Supply of Goods (Implied Items) Acts 1973: This Acts puts an end to misleading guarantees. By the law, this responsibility for the condition of goods rests on the retailer. The buyer can, therefore, look for immediate redress if the goods are unsatisfactory or develop early faults. The law also protects the consumer against failure to honour guarantee and warranties/satisfaction.
- Fair Trading Act 1973: This law protects the consumer against unfair business practices by helping consumers to know their rights through the publication of leaflets, sanctioning (punishing) traders who commit offences or ignore their obligations to customers
- Weights and Measures Act: This law requires that
- Suppliers of goods should state the weight or volume of their items
- There should be no shortages in both weight and measure of goods sold as claimed by the producer
- The seller (producer should inform the buyer of the unit of measures used i.e. whether it is the metric system (e.g. gm) or the imperial system (e. g. pounds)
- Usury Laws: This law tends to peg the rate of interest that may be charged on loans and advances. For example, there is a limit on the interest rate that banks can charge on overdrafts or loans given to their customers
- List five legislations aimed at consumer protection
- State three provisions of each of the following Acts
- Food and Drugs Act (1974)
- Hire Purchase Act (1975)
GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS
1 State five features of a partnership business
2 List five uses of land as a factor of production
3 Explain five means by which consumers can be protected
4 State three provisions of the Weight and Measures Act
5 Explain five benefits that would be derived and five losses that would be suffered when a sole trader admits other partners
Essential Commerce for SSS by O. A. Longe Page 127 – 131
- State three means by which consumers can be protected
- State five laws aimed at protecting consumers
We have come to the end of this class. We do hope you enjoyed the class?
Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.
In our next class, we will continue learning about Consumer Protection. We are very much eager to meet you there.
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