Consumer Rights & Responsibilities
On 15 March, 1962, US President John F. Kennedy delivered an historic address to the US Congress in which he outlined his vision of consumer rights. This was the first time any politician had formerly set out such principles.
‘Consumers by definition, include us all,’ Kennedy said in his Congressional Statement, ‘They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group… whose views are often not heard.’
Over time, the consumer movement has developed this vision into a set of eight basic consumer rights which now define and inspire much of the work CI and its members do (around areas such as financial service and communications):
A Consumer has the following rights:
- The Right to satisfaction of basic needs- To have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.
- The Right to safety – To be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life.
- The Right to be informed- To be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labeling.
- The Right to choose- To be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.
- The Right to be heard- To have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
- The Right to redress- To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
- The Right to consumer education- To acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
- The Right to a healthy environment-To live and work in an environment which is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.
A consumer also has a number of responsibilities
The RESPONSIBILITIES to protect oneself by:
- shopping carefully and wisely
- understand the terms of sale
- to read labels carefully and follow instructions
- to get guarantees in writing
- to save receipts
- to ask questions at point of sale
- to keep informed about new products
The RESPONSIBILITIES to carry out transactions in a business like manner; such as reporting unsatisfactory products to retailers and manufacturers in order that may be removed from shelves and future productions.
The RESPONSIBILITIES to tell other Consumer about any unfair treatment by retailers or manufacturer, so Consumers could protect themselves in future dealings.
The RESPONSIBILITIES to report unsafe merchandise to consumer protection bodies so that they could be tested (At the Bureau of Standards) and if necessary removed from the market or be more specifically labeled.
The RESPONSIBILITIES to maintain and preserve a healthy environment for future generation.
The RESPONSIBILITIES of demanding the best value for money
Follow Freshness Date:
- Always buy food especially dairy products, with the most distance date
- An expiration date indicates when the product should be thrown away
- A sell by date is the last date the product should be sold
- Best if used by date tells you when you can expect the quality to be at its peak
- Buy local produce in season, it’s easiest to avoid pesticides and waxes especially when you buy directly from them
- Buy produce that is organic, transitional or grown under integrated pest management (IPM)
- Transitional produce may also be grown without synthetic pesticides
- Be sure to ask the grower or grocer what he / she means by “transitional”
- Buy unwaxed produce whenever possible
- Wash thoroughly or peel produce, to minimize your risk of eating pesticides on fruits and vegetables
- Wash all produce well in a pot of warm water with a drop of mild dishwashing detergent and rinse thoroughly.
- Consumers do you know that your receipt or bill is very important; it is a legal document that prove proof of purchase.
- If you encounter a problem and do not have your receipt it would be difficult for you to build a case against the business place that you purchase the goods or service from.
- Do not accept illegal receipts
- A receipt should have the following information: Name of the business place, the date and time of purchase, the contact information for the business and description of the items purchased and their prices.
- Your receipt is very important and we advise customers to secure then after each transaction, until you are satisfy that your purchase or services are safe and secure.