There is an old saying that states: ‘What you don’t know can’t hurt you.’ Is this really true? Are we better off being ignorant? I understand those who feel that way because if you don’t know something then you can claim ignorance and be free from blame.
What about the fact though that knowledge can place you in a better position financially?
I believe that knowledge is power and there is no reason for consumers to be unaware of their rights and responsibilities. I went to a popular restaurant with my friends and we noticed that we were not given a receipt. I had to ask the server to get me the receipt when it was obvious she had simply forgotten to do so.
Consumers have the right to ask for a bill of sale for any service or goods they receive. I knew this but my friend was quite content to leave without receiving a bill since she had already paid.
However, think about how you would feel if the food was in any way different from what you ordered, there would be nothing to prove that you had received the goods or service. It would also be harder to check if you were being overcharged.
Know your rights
The eight basic rights that all consumers have are: the right to safety, to be informed, to choose, to be heard, to the satisfaction of basic needs, to redress, to consumer education and to a healthy environment.
These rights are universal and apply to the store in a plaza and the wholesale corner shop. What if you purchased something and you realize that it is damaged?
Return to the store immediately! Do not wait for too much time to elapse before you make your complaint, and if you go back to where you purchased the item and have difficulty getting any form of redress then call the CAC, The Consumer Affairs Commission.
The Customer vs Management
‘The customer is always right’, is a popular saying in the business world. It acknowledges the important role consumers have in ensuring the success of any business. if the customer no longer wants the goods or service, then it will go bankrupt.
It is important to remember that customers are important because too often that fact is lost in the poor customer service and inferior goods.
Whenever you are trying to get redress, it is important to document everything that was said and done so as to have an accurate record. I know of cases where if this is done the CAC is able to quickly deal with the matter often heading to court or a mediation session.
So what about you? Do you know your rights? Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer
Tags: consumer rights