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In today’s Business Studies class, We will be discussing Consumer Rights & Redress. We hope you enjoy the class!
Consumer rights are the benefits, which consumers must enjoy from the purchase of goods and services.
ORIGIN OF CONSUMERISM
Consumerism can be defined as the organized efforts of consumers to protect themselves against unfair practices of businessmen.
Consumerism came into existence when a movement started in the 1960s to obtain a greater say in the quality of the products they bought and the information they received from the sellers. They also sought to increase their influence, power and rights. This is the whole essence of the theory of consumerism.
EIGHT UNIVERSAL CONSUMER RIGHTS
- They have the right to choose between alternatives.
- Consumers have the right to good things of life.
- They have the right to safety.
- The consumers also have the right to be heard.
- They have the right to be informed.
- Consumers have the right to seek redress to correct any injustice.
- Consumers have the right to get value for money.
- They have the right to live in a healthy environment
Mention the eight universal consumer rights.
WAYS BY WHICH CONSUMERS CAN BE PROTECTED
- Formation of consumer associations to test whether items are of good quality or not and to make recommendations.
- There should be a Foods and Drugs Act to see to it that all consumable items have expiry dates.
- Price control measures should be put in place to curb any arbitrary price increases.
- All advertisements should be censored before being shown on the screens.
- There should be Sales of Goods Act to ensure that quality goods are sold to consumers.
- There should be weight and measures Act to ensure that goods are sold in the right quantity as well as trade description.
- What is consumerism?
- Mention four ways by which consumers rights can be protected.
Consumer redress is the act of setting right a wrong that has been done to a consumer over a product bought or service rendered. A consumer can seek redress through the law court. The rights of redress can be any of the following.
- Criminal redress: This means initiating criminal proceedings against any persons involved in the adulteration or mislabeling of various regulated foods and drugs
- Civil redress: This is when the consumer of a product institutes a civil action against its producers or sellers particularly where the regulatory agencies cannot compensate the victims of unsafe or unwholesome products that are regulated by agencies like NAFDAC, SON and CPC.
- Regulatory/Administrative redress: Consumers can seek redress through any of regulatory bodies like CPC or SON which have the mandate to regulate the product or service which they have a complaint on. For instance, a consumer who bought a faulty iron with a warranty from a known company may return it. But where such return is not accepted, then the customer can meet the regulatory bodies such as SON which can take up the issue and enforce the warranty and make the company give the consumer a new iron.
STEPS IN SEEKING REDRESS
- Reporting any complaint as soon as possible.
- Give names, addresses and phone number of persons or companies including your name, address and phone number.
- State the problem with a full description of the products and its identification marks.
- Indicate the name address of store of the purchase and date of purchase (possibly attaching a photocopy of receipt).
- Forward the letter of complaint to the manufacturer or distributor whose address is on the label of the product bought.
BENEFITS OF PROVIDING REDRESS
- The consumer is happy that he/she has been listened to and that the problem has been solved.
- The intervening regulatory agency will be seen as efficient and this will add to their experience in resolving consumer complaints.
- It improves the public relation profile of the company.
- It eliminates litigation on issues when redress is provided immediately for complaints.
- It allows for more research and development leading to the growth of the company
- What is consumer redress?
- State three steps to follow in seeking consumer redress
BANNING AND RESTRICTING CHEMICALS NOT SUITABLE FOR USE
Nigeria is a signatory to the international drug, food and chemical control treaties. Hence, chemicals are banned internally and locally when such chemicals are discovered to be harmful or hazardous to human health: more so, if there are safe alternatives. To ban something means to prohibit or bar it. Banned chemicals should not be imported into the country. It is against the law for an individual or a company to be in possession of banned chemicals.
On the other hand, to restrict something means to make something not easily available. There are chemicals which are not banned but are restricted. This means the use of such chemicals are controlled for some reasons as there is a likelihood of turning them into hard drugs or chemical weapons. Restricted chemicals will require a special permit to import and clear them.
However, chemicals are banned and restricted where:
- they are fatal if inhaled or ingested.
- they cause irritation to eyes, nose, throat, rashes to skin, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- they produce fumes which may cause lung cancer.
- they destroy red blood cells.
- they cause birth defects in unborn babies.
- they affect neurological cells.
- they affect the hormones.
PROCEDURES FOR BANNING AND RESTRICTING CHEMICALS NOT SUITABLE FOR USE
Nigeria is a signatory to Prior Informed Consent (PIC), which gives information on banned and restricted chemicals. Whenever scientific finding states that a certain chemical is harmful, a country belonging to the PIC bans and restrict such chemicals, following these procedures.
- A notice is sent to the international PIC secretariat that a chemical has been discovered to be harmful.
- The secretariat makes further enquiries to verify the information.
- A summary of the information gathered is forwarded to all members of the PIC Convention.
- When the PIC secretariat receives a response from one or two countries, it sends it to its chemical review committee.
- The PIC later sends its recommendations to the conference of its members’ countries.
- Once the countries have accepted the banning or restricting of the chemical, this is circulated with reasons for the action taken.
- State two reasons for banning chemicals not suitable for use.
- List the procedures for banning and restricting chemicals not suitable for use.
WABP Business Studies JSS3 by Egbe Ehiametalor et al, pages 71 to 77
GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
- What is a commercial bank?
- State four functions of a commercial bank.
- Define a cheque.
- Give four reasons why a cheque can be dishonoured.
- Describe a stale cheque.
- The act of putting right the wrong that has been done is called__ A. redress B. complaint C. restricting D. accommodation.
- One of the following is not a consumer right. A. right to choose B. right to safety C. right to credit facility D. right to be informed
- All of the following are reasons for banning chemicals EXCEPT ___ A. when they affect red blood cell B. when they affect hormones C. when they improve human health D. when they affect neurological cells.
- The full meaning of PIC is ___ A. People s’ Interest Committee B. Personal Interest Council C. Prior Informed Consent D. Procedural information Council.
- Consumers can seek redress through the following agencies EXCEPT ___ A. CPC B. NAFDAC C. SON D. NDLEA.
- What is consumer redress?
- Explain the following.
- criminal redress
- Civil redress
- administrative redress.
- Give three ways by which consumer rights can be protected.
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.
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