A consumeris a person who buys and uses goods or services to satisfy his or her needs(things that are necessary for survival, such as food, clothing, and shelter) and wants(things which are not necessary for survival, but which add pleasure and comfort to our lives). We all are consumers. We buy products and services every day. We buy snacks, clothing, books, pay bills, etc. As a consumers we are very important to businesses and the economy. The buying decisions we make can lead to either success or failure of many businesses. Consumers' wants and needs guide business practices. As CONSUMER RIGHTS a result, businesses expend great efforts to attract and please consumers.
However, the rather pleasant relationship that is enjoyed by businesses and consumers now was not always so. Consumers were often cheated in many ways and there was nowhere to complain about the offending businesses. It was not until the middle of the 20th century that consumer movements to fight against unfair business practices started in America. In 1962 Consumer Bill of Rights was presented to Congress. Later on two more rights were added to the original four. They declared that every consumer had the following rights:
— the right to be CONSUMER RIGHTS informed — to be given the correct information needed to make a choice;
— the right to safety — to be protected from harmful goods and services;
— the right to choose — to be assured of the availability of a variety of goods and services at competitive prices;
— the right to be heard — to be assured that consumer interests will be fully considered by government when laws are being developed and enforced.
— the right to a remedy — the assurance of the right to legal correction of wrongs committed against consumers;
— the right to consumer education — to learn about consumer rights and responsibilities as CONSUMER RIGHTS economic citizens.
These rights underlie many other countries' consumer rights protection policies, Ukraine included, where there are eight following rights, basically covering the same points. In Ukraine every consumer has the rights:
— to state protection in case their consumer rights being violated;
— to guaranteed level of consumption;
— to the proper quality of goods and services;
— to safety of goods and services;
— to be given the true information about the goods and services, their quality, quantity, variety and the manufacturer (the employee of the business, the salesperson);
— to a remedy or legal correction of wrongs committed to consumers through CONSUMER RIGHTS goods or services:
— to be heard in the court or other appropriate state agencies in case your consumer rights being violated;
— to unite into consumer unions.
Every consumer has the right to be protected by the state through the system of laws.
Being a consumer you have the right to expect honesty and fair treatment from businesses. Few businesses are ever dishonest on purpose. However, being a skillful consumer means that you know what your rights are and how to exercise them.
The Right to Be Informed.Most products and services that you buy are described in CONSUMER RIGHTS advertisements, on labels, or by a salesperson. You are entitled to know what the product or service is and what it will do for you. Sometimes we buy carelessly. We may not weigh the facts provided in advertising or by a salesperson, and we blame the seller for our poor purchases.
There are other times, though, when inaccurate or false information is given to a customer in an effort to make a sale. This type of dishonesty is known as fraud.If a salesperson knowingly sells you a pair of hiking boots that are made of vinyl while telling CONSUMER RIGHTS you they are made of leather, a fraud has occurred.
When a salesperson exaggerates the good qualities of a product - says "It's the best", or "It's a great buy" - there is no fraud. If, however, the salesperson tells you the desk is made of oak when, in fact, it is made of pine, this is fraud.
The Right to Safety.Consumers have a right to be safe from harm associated with using products or services. It is certain that food, medications, children's clothes and toys, cosmetic products have to be harmless for consumers. All of them CONSUMER RIGHTS must be certified according to international standards of quality and safety.
The Right to Choose.The right of consumers to choose from a variety of goods and services has become well established. When a business has no competitors and controls the market for a product or service, it is said to have monopoly. Competing firms try to offer a variety of products and services at various prices. By driving away this competition, monopolies limit your right to choose.
The Right to be Heard.Most large businesses have a department to hear the concerns or complaints of customers. In smaller businesses CONSUMER RIGHTS one person is usually assigned that responsibility. Most businesses are glad to take care of problems you have with their products or services. As a consumer, you can complain directly to the Consumer Rights Department or Court if you believe that any of your rights which come under its protection have been violated.
The Right to a Remedy.Laws concerning consumer protection assure consumers to have a legal remedy if they were wronged. One of the forms of remedy that consumers have is the protection provided through a guarantee. A guaranteeis a promise by the manufacturer or dealer CONSUMER RIGHTS that a product is of certain quality. A guarantee may apply to the entire or only to some parts of it. No guarantee, however, covers damages caused by misuse.
A guarantee, frequently in the form of statements, like these: "The working parts of this watch are guaranteed for one year." "This sweater will not shrink more than 3 per cent" are called express warranties.They are made orally or in writing and promise a specific quality of performance. Some guarantees are not written. They are called implied warranties.They are imposed by law and are understood to apply even though they have CONSUMER RIGHTS not been stated either orally or in writing. The law requires certain standards to be met (e.g.: it is implied that health care products purchased at a chemist's will not harm you when used properly)
The Right to Consumer Education.All people have to be educated consumers, it means they have to know their rights and responsibilities. Consumers have the right to unite into public consumer organizations to protect their rights. Also educated consumers have to understand that their support to home manufacturers positively affects our economy.