Rights of a Consumer
The following are some of the rights of a consumer:
- The right to safety in the use of goods and services
- The right to the correct quantities of goods
- The right to adequate and correct information
- Right to be involved/represented when decisions involving the consumer are being made
- Right to obtain a valid receipt for goods and services for the goods and services purchased
- Right to get satisfaction from the goods and services.
- Right to seek legal redress when their rights are violated.
- Right to be served.
- The right to be heard
- The right to compensation in case of unsatisfactory goods and services
- Legal redress if their rights are infringed upon
Right to safety in the use of goods and services
This is a right protecting a consumer from any physical or mental harm as a result of the use of goods and services. If information on its side effects are not highlighted, then the consumer can seek legal redress.
Right to receive the correct quantities of goods
A consumer has a right to receive the correct quantities of goods that they pay for cheating can be done through use of faulty weighing machine or weighing out of sight.
Right to adequate and correct information
It is important for consumer to be given correct and enough information so as to make informed choices when purchasing and utilizing goods and services.
Manufactures should provide both positive and negative information about the product.
The Right to be involved/ represented when decisions involving the consumers are made by involving the consumer in decision making
Manufactures are assured of continued good will and patronage.
The Right to obtain a receipt for goods and services purchased
A valid receipt obtained at the point of sale is proof of purchases.
It can also be used to seek legal redress in case the goods are sub-standard.
Right to get satisfaction from goods and services
Consumers should get their money’s worth for goods purchased or services rendered should this fail consumers should seek redress from the manufacturer /service provider, government or consumer protection agencies.
Right to be heard
The consumer’s ideas and opinions should be respected.
Agencies Dealing with Consumer Protection
Consumers are protected by a number of agencies, some of which they may not be aware of.
Functions of consumer protection
- To set standards for new goods.
- To certify that goods sold in the country or those exported meet the required standards by use of standardization marks.
- To act on consumer complaints by taking relevant actions on the complains
- To ensure that labels on consumer products indicate the correct ingredients and their amount in the product.
- To monitor in order to ensure that manufactured goods meet the required specifications.
- To educate consumers on matters of interest to them.
- To work with other organizations to ensure goods and services in the market are of high standards and quality.
- To cooperate with other organizations that deal with consumer education and awareness, for example, universities research institutions and public law Institute.
- To guard against dumping of harmful and worthless goods in the market.
- It also controls counterfeit goods.
Ensures that for goods sold invoices or receipts are issued and they should include the following features:
- Name and address of seller
- Date of sale
- Exact description of goods
- Quantity of the goods sold
- Price charged. Trade Descriptions Act – Chapter 505
It is an Act of Parliament charged with the following functions:
- Prohibits misleading description of goods services accommodation and facilities provided in the course of trade.
- Gives the inspectors the right to obtain information about a product from a manufacturer or a trader without prior notice.
- Empowers the inspectors to prosecute defaulters.
Foods and Drugs Act
This protects the consumers against use of harmful ingredients used in foods and drugs.
It requires that products have labels showing clearly the ingredients used and the expiry dates.
Public Health Act This Act safeguards the health of consumers.
Public health inspectors visit such places as hotels, shops, food outlets and markets to ensure they meet health requirements before and after licensing.
Premises that fall short of the required health standards are closed and operators prosecuted.