Rights of a consumer

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In general, the term "consumer rights" refers to a complex of laws relating to obligations placed on businesses that supply goods and services to safeguard their clients from injury or wrongdoing (Shaw, 2005). Theprotection of customers from purchasing subpar goods is the primary goal of these rights. Because there were no regulations protecting consumers in the past, major firms would take advantage of their customers. Thankfully, following several complaints from consumers, consumer protection laws began to be adopted in the 1960s (Lampman, 1997). What advantages do these fundamental consumer rights offer, and why? This essay will investigate and analyze each of the six fundamental consumer rights in order to provide a response.

Ability to Decide

One of the most widely recognized basic consumer rights is the right to choose. This implies that consumers have an option of selecting any product or service that they wish. Organizations are required to offer a wide variety of quality products, at affordable prices. By this, consumers have a high bargaining power in the market. In addition, this right protects consumers from monopolistic practices by large corporations. Manufacturers cannot force consumers to buy their product.

Right to Safety

Another basic consumer right is the right to safety. This right ascertains that products bought by consumers are relatively safe for their intended use. Manufacturers are required to observe the safety of their products to the intended users. This right aims at reducing injuries caused by certain products. For example, highly flammable products such as gas cookers should not be faulty. A faulty gas cooker can result in a fatal accident. However, this right is not only limited to electronic products and other such products. Its interpretation has expanded to include food products, food packaging, and chemical ingredients, among others. Therefore, it is right to conclude that this right protects consumers from consuming harmful products.

Right to Be Informed

A third right is the right to be informed. This right stipulates that consumers should receive all relevant information regarding a product in order to make an informed decision (McGregor, 2005). For example, when purchasing a washing machine, the customer must be informed on how to use the machine, its useful life, whether there is a warranty or not, among others. Due to the ever increasing products and services in the market, consumer’s right to be informed becomes even more important. Companies are warned against making false advertisements to hoodwink the public.

Right to Be Heard

Right to be heard implies that consumers have a right to air their opinions regarding a product. Consumers are also encouraged to voice their grievances in case of unsatisfactory goods or services. Further, consumers have a right to express their opinion when legislations affecting them are passed by the government. This right is important as it gives assurance to consumers that their interests are taken into consideration by the government.

Right to Redress and Be Treated Fairly

The right to redress stipulates that consumers should receive fair treatment for just claims, including compensation for faulty goods and poor services. Day after day, organizations are inventing newer ways of duping their customers. For instance, some banks put some hidden charges without the knowledge of the consumer. This is a violation of consumer rights. Hence, this right is crucial in preventing exploitation of consumers by corporations.

Right to Consumer Education

Finally, consumers have a right to education. Consumer education is aimed at equipping the consumer with the necessary skills to make informed decisions about goods or services (McGregor, 2005). Consumers are able to make informed decisions based on the information gathered. However, consumer education is not limited to goods and services, but also the company profile and new market trends. A good example being the financial crisis of 2007-2008, which lead to the collapse of financial institutions. It was crucial for the consumers to be educated and given information by the policy makers and the media. This information would be important to investors in making decisions on where to invest their money. Lastly, consumer education creates awareness on the various laws enacted by the government to protect consumers.


In today’s globalized world, businesses engage in intense competition to attract customers. Consumers are served with a dizzying array of products and services, some of which are of poor quality. Companies also engage in false advertising to attract the public to buy their products. Hence, promotion of consumer rights is an essential function of the government. The basic consumer rights include; right to choose, right to safety, right to be informed, right to be heard, right to redress and be treated fairly, and right to consumer education.


Lampman, R. J., & Douthitt, R. A. (1997). The consumer Bill of Rights thirty-five years later. Advancing the Consumer Interest, 9(2), 4-6.

McGregor, S. (2005). Sustainable consumer empowerment through critical consumer education: A typology of consumer education approaches. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 29(5), 437-447.

Shaw, D., Grehan, E., Shiu, E., Hassan, L., & Thomson, J. (2005). An exploration of values in ethical consumer decision making. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 4(3), 185-200.

February 01, 2023

Economics Law Business



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