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Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

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Presentation on theme: "Consumer Rights and Responsibilities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

2 Consumer Bill of Rights/Responsibilities
Right to… Safety Be Informed Choose Be Heard Redress Consumer Education A Healthy Environment Responsibilities to… Use Products Safely Use Information Choose Carefully Express Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction Seek Redress Be an Educated Consumer Contribute to a Healthy Environment

3 Rights… Right to Choose…. Redress- seek and receive a remedy
Competition- a contest among sellers to win customers Helps keep prices reasonable Monopoly- one company has an unfair advantage over competitors (Ex. Gas, Electric) Redress- seek and receive a remedy

4 Government Protection
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Most important federal consumer protection Protecting from unfair or deceptive practices Ex. You saw a TV that looked about 35” and it was a flat screen…when you received it, it was only about 20” and not a flat screen…you could file a complaint with the FTC. FTC can issue a “cease-and-desist order”…The company would have to stop using the advertisement.

5 Government Protection
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Protect from dangerous products Was the 1st with power over all consumer products Sets safety standards Ban those it considers dangerous

6 Government Protection
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Enforce laws that protect our environment Makes sure businesses dispose of hazardous waste produced during manufacturing Sets standards for air and water quality Business may have to up their prices due to the cost of adding special equipment

7 State and Local Protection
Protect consumers in local situations Some state standards are stricter than federal. Enforce health and sanitation standards Example…may limit the amount of watering done in yards if there hasn’t been a lot of rain or no burning until certain times.

8 Warranties Warranty: company’s promise that the product will meet specific standards over a given time period Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: it specifies how a warranty must be written (if there is a warranty) Express Warranties: Full Warranty: very specific, written guarantee Limited Warranty: written warranty with specified limitations that doesn’t meet the standards of a full warranty

9 Warranties continued…
Implied Warranty: unwritten guarantee that the product is of sufficient quality to do what it is supposed to do Service Contracts (extended warranties): separately purchased agreement

10 Resolve Consumer Problems
Why do consumers complain? Tell me some reasons… Fraud: dishonest business practices Resolve the Problem Facts need to be straight Documentation (receipt & warranty) Write down the facts on a sheet of paper Names of people you talk to, dates of attempted repairs, copies of letters you write, any fees

11 Resolving Complaints Ask to speak with the manager
Return to the Place of Purchase (Store Clerk) Make sure to bring receipts, etc. Keep calm, avoid yelling Ask to speak with the manager Restate your case Give important information Contact Company Headquarters Send a complaint letter

12 Resolving Complaints Consumer Agency Assistance Legal Action
National & local organizations Better Business Bureau (BBB) Government agencies FDA, CPSC Legal Action Small Claims Court Deals with legal disputes that involve amounts below a certain limit (varies from state to state) Judge has final decision Class Action Suit Legal action on behalf of all the people who have suffered the same injustice

13 Other Options Lawyers can be VERY expensive…. You may seek help from…
Legal Aid Society- network of community law offices that provide free or low-cost legal assistance Legal Clinic is another option if the others don’t work out.

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