Consumer protection


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Consumer protection

  1. 1. © PDST Home Economics
  2. 2. Why consumer protection?  Stops manufacturers or retailers taking advantage of consumers  Protects the rights of consumers  Ensures consumers gets redress if needed
  3. 3. Consumer Information Act 1978 Protects the consumer against false or misleading claims about goods or services Forbids false or misleading information about the  Price  Previous price  Recommended retail price of goods or services
  4. 4. Examples of claims Goods  100% cotton  Made in Ireland  Waterproof  Free from artificial colours  Low fat  Real leather Services  24 hour service  1 hour photos  Delivery to all areas  Irelands most punctual airline
  5. 5. Claims about prices  Cannot be charged more than displayed price  Read carefully e.g. “From €10 “ is legal  Crossed out price replaced by lower price must be true
  6. 6. Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 This act states that goods must be:  merchantable quality  fit for purpose  as described  same as the sample Illegal to display such signs as: “no money refunds” “no liability accepted for faulty goods” “credits notes only given on returned goods” “sale goods non-returnable”
  7. 7. Redress for faulty goods  Redress means: to set right, make amends  Under the Sale of Goods Act 1980 compensation may be given if goods are faulty The type and amount depends on:  How serious the fault is  When the fault occurs  How soon the consumer complains
  8. 8. Types of Redress  Cash Refund  Repair  Replacement  Credit note  Partial compensation
  9. 9. Services The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services act 1980 states that :  The supplier of services must have the necessary skills  The materials used must be of merchantable quality  The service must be carried out with due care and attention Redress: If these terms are broken the consumer can:  Get a full refund  Partial compensation  Some other remedy e.g. Job redone free of charge
  10. 10. Caveat emptor  Let the buyer beware  No law can protect careless consumers
  11. 11. Guarantees  A contract between the manufacturer and the consumer that the product you buy will be satisfactory for a stated length of time  Covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1980.  Guarantee is an added bonus it does not affect your consumer rights
  12. 12. Consumer Complaints
  13. 13. Consumer Complaints If goods are faulty or not what they should be a consumer has the right to complain and may get a full refund if :  Goods were not able, from the beginning, to do what they were supposed to do  The goods were not as described  The consumer was totally mislead The consumer can refuse a replacement, repair or credit note and DEMAND their money back
  14. 14. Consumer Complaints Consumers can loose their rights if :  They alter the good in any way  They wait too long after finding the fault before returning the goods A consumer not entitled to a full refund may get a partial refund, repair or credit note
  15. 15. Unjustified Complaints Consumer complaints are not justified if:  the goods were misused or abused  the fault was shown before purchase  consumer changes their minds
  16. 16. Making a Complaint  Return to shop with goods and receipt a.s.a.p.  Ask for manager, explain the problem and what you want the shop to do, be realistic about compensation  Contact head office (chain store), trade association, or consumer organisation if complaint ignored  The Small Claims court deals cheaply and quickly with disputes less than €2000. Use if complaint still not sorted.
  17. 17. Consumer Organisations Statutory/government Agencies National Consumer Agency (NCA )  Enforces consumer law, informs public of their rights Office of Ombudsman  Investigates complaints against public bodies e.g. Government departments, local authority, HSE, An Post  Voluntary Organisations Consumers Association of Ireland(CAI)  Informs people about consumer issues through the media and Consumer Choice magazine.  Lobbies government to improve consumer law Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI)  Ensures adverts are legal decent honest truthful
  18. 18. Complaining by Letter  Description of goods : make, model, number, brand etc.  Where and when it was bought?  Send a copy of receipt  Briefly describe what the problem is  What you have done about it so far  What you expect the company to do  Keep a copy of the letter and send it by registered post