Meaning of Rights
Rights are privileges enjoyed or things an individual is allowed to do or have. Every person is entitled to certain fundamental rights simply by the fact of being human. When human rights are not well known by people, abuses such as discrimination, intolerance, injustice, oppression and slavery can arise.
Meaning of Consumer Rights
A consumer is that individual or household that buys and consumes goods produced by firms. In production processes, goods and services by firm is not complete until it is made available to the final consumer.
Consumer rights are privileges enjoyed by an individual or household that buys and consumes goods and services. The following rights of the consumers are identified:
- The right to have value for money: – Consumers have the right to have value for whatever thing they buy
- The right to live in a good and healthy environment: – This is the right to live and work in an environment which is neither threatening nor dangerous and which permits a life of dignity and well-being.
- The right to safety: – Consumers have the right to be protected against the marketing of goods or the provision of services that are hazardous to health and life
- The right to be heard: – A consumer has the right to be heard for mistakes committed by the other party in order to be redressed.
- The right to be informed: – Consumers have right to full information about the products they buy i.e. information about the quality of the goods, prices, weight, expiration date etc.
- The right to choose among various alternatives: – A consumer has the right to select products freely between different alternatives without any intimidation.
- Consumers have the right to obtain good things of life: – They have right to good quality of products that are reasonably priced, consumption without fear etc.
- Consumers have the right to seek redress against any business injustices: – Consumers have the right to be compensated for any misrepresentation and have the right to sue against any illegal person for selling sub-standard products.
Consumerism is the view that respects the sovereignty of the consumer. It may be defined as the idea of placing much emphasis on the satisfaction of the consumers in the course of production of goods and services.
Consumer responsibility refers to the responsibility of having awareness of the quality and safety of goods and services while purchasing and the right to speak out and to inform manufacturers and government and also to complain about dissatisfaction about a product or service in an honest way.
Some of the responsibilities of consumers are:
- Critical awareness: – Consumers must be well alert and make research about the use of product, price, quality of goods and service used.
- Action: – Consumers must act to ensure that he/she get a fair deal or else he will continue to be exploited
- Social concern: – We must be aware of the impact of our consumption on other citizen, especially disadvantaged or less privileged groups.
- Environmental awareness: – This is the understanding of the environmental consequence of our consumption and also recognize our social responsibilities to conserve natural resources and protect such resources for future generation.
- Solidarity: – This spelt out the need to come together as consumers and to promote and protect our interest.
Other likely responsibilities are:
- Always get several estimates for any major purchase or service contract. That is, shop around before you decide to buy.
- Never sign a contract without reading it first.
- Always keep your receipts as they serve as vital documents when problems arise.
- Always examine the product thoroughly at the shop before buying it or when it is delivered at your shop.
- Who is a consumer?
- Mention two responsibilities of a consumer
- Highlight 5 rights of a consumer
- Explain Consumerism