What are Consumer Rights?
Consumer rights are undeniable rights offered to a buyer of a particular commercial or retail item to eliminate risks or manipulative practices from their consumption efforts. Consumer rights are established in consumer law, which is the body of law that provides a consumer with various liberties aligned with consumption, such as providing product warranties or other consumer guarantees.
Consumer rights will vary by jurisdiction. Such variance is present through different market behaviors latent within the individual consumer and the particular manufacturers of products within the specific region.
In addition to basic warranties, consumer rights offer protection efforts to the individual buyer to include the establishment of a governmental body. The inclusion of a government agency will help monitor the general marketplace and effectively provide the consumer with various remedies to correct predatory sales practices.
In a general sense, consumer rights are delivered to the individual to help provide protection against any unfair, manipulative or predatory actions that are delivered by the manufacturer or seller of a particular good.
Examples of Consumer Rights
The most basic consumer right under consumer law revolves around warranties. The statutory product warranty, for example, is a law that requires all manufacturers to state that their products are fit specifically for consumer use. Other examples of consumer rights will permit individual buyers to cancel a specific contract, or obtain refunds for defective or un-wanted products.
The ability to sue for damages, which is another bundle of fundamental consumer rights awarded to individual buyers, will vary based on jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions or localities, based on individual State interpretation, will award consumer rights that initiate a buyer’s right to sue for damages.
Government Inclusion in Consumer Rights
Without government inclusion or interference, consumer laws which surround the marketplace typically place the risk on the individual buyer. This principle, however, permitted spurious or unscrupulous manufacturers and businesses to take advantage of the individual consumer. This notion as eliminated when President John F. Kennedy signed the Consumer Bill of Rights.
Since the passing of the Consumer Bill of Rights, novel and unique consumer rights have been added by proclamation and statute, both domestically and abroad. The basic consumer rights added to the bill encouraged and guaranteed safety, notice, and choice, among other consumer rights.
While several Federal agencies will enforce consumer rights, the Federal Trade Commission is the primary Federal agency responsible for upholding and protecting such consumer rights. The Federal Trade Commission establishes a wide array of consumer rights through the enforcement of laws to curb monopolies, predatory pricing models and bad business practices in various industries, such as consumer credit cards and telemarketing.
The Federal Trade Commission can levy fines or engage in legal suits against any unscrupulous business models for any business practice that violate any consumer protection laws or consumer rights.
Another Government agency responsible for upholding consumer rights is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This particular Government department is dedicated to the preservation of consumer rights through their ability to investigate and subsequently recall a number of consumer products or services.
Each individual State possesses its own consumer laws and protection efforts. The various laws instituted by State governments will establish warranties for particular products, setting maximum interest rates and penalties that a company can charge, establishing a fine system or penalties for deceptive sales practices, and establishing solutions for defunct products or services.