Monday, June 24, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

The voice of the consumer

Increasing public awareness to protect consumers’ interests

Update : 10 Jun 2019, 09:50 PM

Rapid and appropriate execution of consumers’ rights protection law and practice has become an urgent need for keeping the consumers’ rights together to keep it free from any irregularity -- unfair pricing, safety, food poisoning, contamination, and other related issues.

Consumers need to be aware of their rights with regards to goods and services. They should be aware of the various information related to the products, goods, services, redressal, and other consumers’ rights.

The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) is a valuable set of principles for setting out the main characteristics of effective consumer protection legislation, enforcement institutions, and redress systems. 

It is more than just making sure to get a good deal on a new purchase. It is about our right to access the basic things people need to live. This is about making sure your new television won’t break down after three months, that the car you bought has the features mentioned and the technology to keep you safe, and that the data collected by companies online about consumers isn’t lost or stolen.

What you need to know about consumer rights:

Right to safety

Protection against any products which could be hazardous to buyers’ health, mental, physical, or any the other factor. 

Right to choose 

Consumers should have access to a variety of goods and services at a competitive price. 

In the case of monopolies, it means the right to be assured of satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. It also includes the right to basic goods and services. This is because unrestricted right of the minority to choose can mean a denial for the majority of its fair share. 

Right to be informed

To protect consumers against unfair trade practices they need to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and price of goods. 

The consumers should insist on getting all the information about the product or service before making a choice or a decision. This will enable them to act wisely and responsibly, and also enable them to desist from falling prey to high-pressure selling techniques. 

Right to consumer education

The consumer has the right to know all the information and should be made well aware of the rights and responsibilities of the government. 

Right to be heard

Buyers’ interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. It also includes the right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumer's welfare. 

The consumers should form non-political and non-commercial consumer organizations which can be given representation in various committees formed by the government and other bodies in matters relating to consumers. 

Right to seek redressal

In case a product is unable to satisfy the consumer then they have the right to get the product replaced, and be compensated the amount invested in the product. 

It is the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. Consumers must make a complaint about their genuine grievances. 

Many a time their complaint may be of small value but its impact on society as a whole may be very large. The consumer support may demand the company to take the following actions once it decides that the company is at fault: 

  • Correct deficiencies in the product to what they claim
  • Repair defect free of charges 
  • Replace product with similar or superior product 
  • Issue a full refund of the price 
  • Pay compensation for damages/costs/inconveniences 
  • Withdraw the sale of the product altogether 
  • Discontinue or not repeat any unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice
  • Corrective advertisement for any earlier misrepresentation

The consumer has a certain responsibility because an aware customer can help bring changes in the society. In the process, this would help others to fight unfair practices or be aware of it. Thus, if the buyer is able to initiate a class action suit, the buyer may be able to make real change.

TaslimAhammad is an Assistant Professor at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, Bangladesh.

Top Brokers


Popular Links