Personal Development, Business, Finance, and Investing for Everyone
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
In an economy, it is not always the businesses or producers who have the final say and are on top of everything. Consumers, likewise, do their share.
As consumers, it is you who demand and use the goods and services offered by various businesses. Hence, it is important that you assert and fulfill your rights to overcome unfair trade practices and avoid being easily exploited. This way, consumer protection does not remain as just word of mouth, but a reality.
Everyone is a consumer and, as such, each of you would want to be treated safely, fairly, and honestly in every transaction you make. To guide you, here are eight (8) basic consumer rights you are entitled to. Knowing them empowers and protects you against market abuses and social injustices.
The right to basic needs
This is your right to have access to basic and essential goods and services, such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water, and sanitation. This right also reminds you to prioritize your needs over luxuries or unnecessary wants and focus on the quality of goods and services, rather than the brand, high price, and quantity.
The right to safety
This is your right to be protected against the marketing of goods or provision of services that are hazardous to your health and life. You can read first the label of a certain product to see its precautions, warning signs, expiration date, and PS (Philippine Standard) or ICC (Import Commodity Clearance) marks. If needed, you can also ask for a professional consultant to learn more about a product.
The right to information
This is your right to be given the facts you need to make informed choices and be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling. Before purchasing a product, you can read its label carefully to know its use, content, number of pieces, proper handling, and manufacturer. Also, before signing waivers, warranties, or service contracts, it helps that you understand all the provisions written in them.
The right to choose
This is your right to select from a range of goods and services at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality. You can always canvass for prices of similar or wide array of goods and services offered in the market before purchasing.
The right to representation
This is your right to express your interests as a consumer in the making and execution of government policies. You can attend public hearings or meetings regarding consumer issues to be aware of how consumer laws and regulations are being implemented in your area.
The right to redress
This is your right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy goods, or unsatisfactory services. In case you have bought a defective product, you can return to the store, look for Consumer Welfare Desk, and request a replacement, refund, or repair of the product.
The right to consumer education
This is your right to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be an informed consumer. You can read newspapers, magazines, and other materials that may educate you on how to get the best value for your money. You can also participate in seminars, and conferences regarding consumer products, new concepts, and developments, which are conducted by government agencies, consumer groups, and business or industry sector.
The right to a healthy environment
This is your right to live and work in an environment that is neither threatening nor dangerous but rather permits a life of dignity and well-being. The government then must play its role in enforcing environmental and sanitation laws on factories, stores, and shops; while you need to reduce, reuse, and recycle the waste from your consumption.
These are your rights, and they need to be respected and protected at all times. Thus, consumer movements and government agencies across the world work closely to ensure that consumer issues are noticed and heard.
Indeed, your knowledge of consumer rights is a power to achieve your protection and welfare. But this also calls for your action; you should exercise your rights. By doing so, you can make safe and sound choices in the marketplace. Meanwhile, abusive businesses cannot just take you for granted.
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ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Hi, I'm Ralph Gregore Masalihit!
An RFP Graduate (Registered Financial Planner Institute - Philippines).
A Personal Finance Advocate. An I.T. by Profession. An Investor. Business Minded. An Introvert. A Photography Enthusiast. A Travel and Personal Finance Blogger (Lakbay Diwa and Kuripot Pinoy).
Currently, I'm working my way toward time and financial freedom.