Consumers are the ultimate users of the goods and services produced to satisfy their needs and wants. However, often the producers of these goods, guided by their profit motive, may charge exorbitant prices and may show little concern for consumers in terms of acceptable quality, utility, efficiency, or safety of the good or service.
Why is there need for consumer protection?
- Unfair trading practices of business men such as misleading advertisements, exorbitant prices, poor quality of goods
- Inability of consumers to assess the claims made by advertisers
- Ignorance of consumers that products may endanger their health
- Safeguarding the religious beliefs of consumers for example, muslims consumers do not eat pork however they might be consuming products containing gelatin without even knowing it
- Ignorance of consumers of their rights
How are the rights of consumer protected?
Realizing the tendency of exploitation of the rights of consumers, several steps have been taken to ensure that their rights are guaranteed for. Some of them are as follows:
- Formation of consumer associations which receive and investigate complaints of customers
- Laws, rules and regulations set up by government which have to be followed e.g:
- Warning on cigarette packs
- Price must be printed
- Expiry date must be written
- Milk expiry can’t exceed a month
- Consumer awareness campaigns such as “say no to tobacco”