Consumer Rights Responsibilities Chapter 34 1 Consumer Rights

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Consumer Rights & Responsibilities Chapter 34 1

Consumer Rights & Responsibilities Chapter 34 1

Consumer Rights 6 Basic consumer rights: 1. Right to Safety n Not face undo

Consumer Rights 6 Basic consumer rights: 1. Right to Safety n Not face undo risk 2. Right to be informed n n n Given facts about goods and services Protected from false and misleading advertising Truth-in-Lending Act Requires lenders state what is charged for credit 2

3. Right to Choose n Federal and state laws forbid businesses from taking actions

3. Right to Choose n Federal and state laws forbid businesses from taking actions that limit competition 4. Right to Redress n n n Right to have a wrong corrected Receive refunds/replacements for products that don’t work Can take legal action against the business 3

5. Right to Consumer Education n n Right to learn about consumer issues Many

5. Right to Consumer Education n n Right to learn about consumer issues Many states require schools to teach basic consumer skills 6. Right to be Heard n n Speak out when not satisfied Can campaign or lobby to shape laws and regulations 4

Handling Problems Making Complaints 1. Decide who to contact n n n Original salesperson

Handling Problems Making Complaints 1. Decide who to contact n n n Original salesperson Next manager Next customer service personnel 5

4 Rules 1. Act as soon as you realize the problem n n Quick

4 Rules 1. Act as soon as you realize the problem n n Quick action lends credibility By waiting you risk that it will be sold out, back ordered or discontinued 2. Have a specific goal in mind n n Replaced or repaired Want a refund or credit towards other purchase 6

3. When you buy, always keep the sales receipt and warranty n May need

3. When you buy, always keep the sales receipt and warranty n May need it if problem arises 4. keep the product’s original packaging at least as long as the warranty period n Might need it for shipping 7

Complaining In Person n May explain problem more than once Be calm and patient

Complaining In Person n May explain problem more than once Be calm and patient If not satisfied, be prepared to leave store By Phone n n n May be more effective to phone When, where, and how you purchased item Standard and Poor’s Register of corporations, Directors, and Executives (help find business) 8

By Letter n n n Find company’s address Include your name, address, etc What

By Letter n n n Find company’s address Include your name, address, etc What the problem is How you want it fixed Keep an original copy for you Polite and reasonable more likely to get results 9

Taking Further Action Local Business Groups n Local Chamber of commerce Member organization that

Taking Further Action Local Business Groups n Local Chamber of commerce Member organization that represents and serves businesses in a town or city n Better Business Bureau (BBB) Helps resolve consumer complaints An organization of businesses that promise to follow fair business practices 10

National Business Groups 1. Consumer action panels Groups formed by industries to handle consumer

National Business Groups 1. Consumer action panels Groups formed by industries to handle consumer complaints (CAP) 11

Government Agencies n National level Consumer Product Safety Commission n State level Attorney general’s

Government Agencies n National level Consumer Product Safety Commission n State level Attorney general’s office 12

Good Source of Information Consumer Information Center Pueblo, Co 81009 www. pueblo. gsa. gov/

Good Source of Information Consumer Information Center Pueblo, Co 81009 www. pueblo. gsa. gov/ 1 -888 -878 -3256 13

Join Other Consumers Band together to see redress Businesses recognize the power of word

Join Other Consumers Band together to see redress Businesses recognize the power of word of mouth Letter writing campaigns Boycott – technique in which consumers organize to refuse to buy a company’s product 14

Legal Action Hiring a lawyer n Expensive Small Claims Court n Proceedings in which

Legal Action Hiring a lawyer n Expensive Small Claims Court n Proceedings in which consumers present their own claims and a judge decides the outcome 15

Until this century, few laws protected consumers from irresponsible and greedy sellers Last 30

Until this century, few laws protected consumers from irresponsible and greedy sellers Last 30 years laws and government agencies help protect consumer rights 16

Consumer Responsibilities Teen buying power impressive 12 to 19 years of age spend $60

Consumer Responsibilities Teen buying power impressive 12 to 19 years of age spend $60 billion Big responsibility 17

Show Consideration Not opening up products – you might find yours missing something Vandalism-

Show Consideration Not opening up products – you might find yours missing something Vandalism- deliberately destroying or damaging property of others n Raises costs to cover losses 18

Act Honestly Return policy n n Rules for returning or exchanging merchandise Purchase “as

Act Honestly Return policy n n Rules for returning or exchanging merchandise Purchase “as is” and try to return it Shoplifting n n n Stealing items that are displayed for sale in a store Shoplifters cost $30 billion a year Raise costs to recover losses 19

Using Products Safely Responsible consumers follow manufacturers instruction Stay informed about safety issues Recalled

Using Products Safely Responsible consumers follow manufacturers instruction Stay informed about safety issues Recalled –returned to the maker to be fixed or destroyed 20

Real Life Application Edie ordered a cake from a woman who ran a small

Real Life Application Edie ordered a cake from a woman who ran a small bakery from her home. When she picked up the cake, she thought it wasn’t nearly as attractive as the picture in the brochure she had ordered from. When she served it, she and several guest found it dry and stale. 21

1. What recourse does Edie have? 2. Is her case weakened because she cannot

1. What recourse does Edie have? 2. Is her case weakened because she cannot return the product? 3. Because her complaints were based on opinion? 4. Because she had no warranty? 22

Consumer Agencies National Bureau of Standards, a division of the Department of commerce, maintains

Consumer Agencies National Bureau of Standards, a division of the Department of commerce, maintains the standards of weights, measures, and time. Fixed standards allow people to buy replacement parts for countless items and to purchase food in specific amounts. 23

International standards are being developed so goods and services can be interchanged between countries.

International standards are being developed so goods and services can be interchanged between countries. Many goods manufactured overseas are made according to U. S. standards in deference to the large American market. 24

Other Agencies Consumer Sentinel www. consumer. gov/sentinel/index. html Internet Fraud Complaint Center www. ic

Other Agencies Consumer Sentinel www. consumer. gov/sentinel/index. html Internet Fraud Complaint Center www. ic 3. gov/ National Fraud Information Center www. fraud. org/ 25

Decide in advance exactly what you want and what you can afford. Don’t buy

Decide in advance exactly what you want and what you can afford. Don’t buy on impulse or under pressure. This includes donating to charity. Do your research. Ask family, friends and others you trust for advice based on their experience. Gather information about both the seller and the item or service you are purchasing. 26

Review product test results and other information from consumer experts. See Consumer Information Sources.

Review product test results and other information from consumer experts. See Consumer Information Sources. Get advice and price quotes from several sellers. Make sure that the seller has all appropriate licenses. Doctors, lawyers, home improvement contractors and many other service providers must register with a state or local licensing agency. 27

Check out a company’s complaint record with your local consumer affairs office and the

Check out a company’s complaint record with your local consumer affairs office and the Better Business Bureau. Get a written copy of guarantees and warranties. Compare their features. Get the seller’s refund, return and cancellation policies. 28

Ask whom to contact if you have a question or problem. Read and understand

Ask whom to contact if you have a question or problem. Read and understand any contract or legal document you are asked to sign. Make sure there are no blank spaces. Insist that any extras you are promised orally be put in writing. Consider paying by credit card. If you have a problem, you may not have to pay the charge made on your credit card. 29

Activity A description of the purchase, and the name and serial number of the

Activity A description of the purchase, and the name and serial number of the product, A concise summary of the problem, The specific action you would like the company to take, A timeline in which you would like to see the problem resolved before taking further action, Your contact information, and Copies of pertinent documents such as receipts, copies of warranties and any communication received to date. 30

Activity Watch Judge Judy 31

Activity Watch Judge Judy 31

Activity Interview a merchant What do they dislike and like about some consumers? 32

Activity Interview a merchant What do they dislike and like about some consumers? 32

Activity Write a letter to praise a local merchant. 33

Activity Write a letter to praise a local merchant. 33