Chapter 15

15.2 Consumer rights and responsibilities

Key Terms

Consumer Movement

  • To fight against unfair business practices, consumers united to demand fair treatment from businesses.

Fraud

  • Occurs when consumers are given false information in an effort to make sale.

Guarantee

  • A promise by the manufacturer or dealer, usually in writing, that a product is of a certain quality.

Express Warranty

  • Is made orally or in writing and promises a specific quality
of performance.

Implied Warranty

  • Is imposed by law and is understood to apply even though
it has not been stated.

The Right To Be Informed

  • Most Products and services are described in advertisements, on labels, or by a sales person.
  • Not all product information you receive can be expected to be perfectly accurate.
  • When a sales person exaggerates the good qualities of a product and says, "it's for the best" or "It's a great buy", there is no fraud.
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The Right To Safety

  • Consumers have a right to be safe from harm associated with using products or services.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes certain food, drug, and cosmetic products are not harmful to consumers. This federal agency enforces laws and regulations that prevent the distribution of unsafe or misbranded foods, drugs, and cosmetics.


  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps ensure consumers safety by setting quality standards for farm products.
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The Right To Choose

  • The right of consumers to choose from variety of goods and services has become well established. In fact, one of the main activities of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is to prevent one firm from using using unfair practices to force competing firms out of business.
  • When a business has no competitors and controls the market for a product or service, it is said to have a monopoly.
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The Right To Be Heard

  • Most businesses have a customer service department to hear the concerns or complaints of customers.
  • Some smaller businesses have a specific person assigned to that duty.
  • Businesses are usually happy to take care of problems you have with their products or service.

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The Right To A Remedy

  • The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act Etc. Protect consumers. These and other laws are designed to provide assurance that consumers can seek a legal remedy when a problem occurs.
  • Consumers also have protection provided though a guarantee. With some purchases, a consumer can expect a guarantee or a warranty .
  • A guarantee may apply to the entire item or only to some part of it. No guarantee covers damages caused by misuse.
  • You should review the guarantee before buying an item. You can also require the business to put in writing any other guarantees that have been offered orally. Written guarantees are useful if you need to return a faulty product.
  • Some guarantees are not written which are classified as Implied Warranty.

The Right To Consumer Education

  • Although individual buying decisions are important, educated consumers need to understand how their choices affect the economy.
  • Educated consumers are aware that their decisions not only affect their personal situation, but also have economic and social implications.

The Right To Service.

  • This latest right suggests consumers can expect convenience, courtesy, and responsiveness to consumer problems and needs.
  • The right to service encourages businesses to take steps necessary to ensure that products and services meed the quality and performance levels claimed for those products and services.

Your Consumer Responsibilities

Be Honest
  • Most people are honest, but those who are not cause others to pay higher prices.
  • Shop lifting losses are estimates to be in the billions of dollars each year. businesses make up losses from shoplifting by charging higher prices.
Be Responsible
  • A a buyer, you are usually responsible for what you buy if the business has been honest. If you are dissatisfied and wish to complain, you should complain in a reasonable way.
Be Active
  • As a responsible consumer, you should report unethical business practices to prevent other consumers from becoming victims. By reporting the matter to a consumer agency, you might be able to get the ship ti keep its word both to you and to future customers.
Be Informed
  • The most important responsibility you have as a consumer is to be informed. You must find and use the information available. Learn about the laws and agencies that protect your rights and how to report a violation of your rights.
Be Involved
  • In the United States, involvement is an important consumer activity. As a citizen you have the responsibility to participate in government, which starts by being an informed voter.
  • As a consumer, you a;so have responsibilities. You have an Obligation to society to be a wise and efficient consumer.