On March 15 people around the globe get together to celebrate the World Consumer Rights Day. This holiday dates back to 1962, when a huge progress in protecting the rights of a consumer was made by the US president John F. Kennedy, who addressed the Congress with a set of rules for consumer rights.
Since then a lot has been done to ensure better protection for rights of consumer. If you’re asking yourself: “What is consumer rights?“, then here is a quick guide for you.
Although the World Consumer Rights Day has been celebrated for over 50 years, this concept is still a mystery for many Nigerians.
There are plenty of laws dealing with consumer rights in Nigeria, but the situation with customer rights protection is still far from ideal.
Many people don’t know where to go if their consumer rights have been abused, and the businesses often aren’t aware of the penalties for mistreating the consumers.
The number one institution that addresses your rights as a customer is the Consumer Protection Council. This institution, also known as CPC Nigeria, was founded in 1999 and has put great effort into ensuring that businesses respect consumer rights.
Their lines of activity include watching over the market, making sure the consumers are familiar with their basic rights as well as responsibilities, and verifying that businesses are fully committed to fulfill their obligations to customers.
The CPC can be contacted via telephone, email, or their physical office in Abuja. There is also a form on CPC’s website that allows you to directly make a complaint.
You will be asked to describe the details of your purchase, the reasons for your dissatisfaction, and what exactly you would want the CPC to do.
Consumer protection in Nigeria is based on a set of rules that every consumer needs to know very well in order to ensure maximum satisfaction of their rights. Here are the most important ones:
1. Right to information.
As a customer, you have a right to access all kinds of information about the goods you consider paying for. This includes the Best Before date, content of the products, and recommended usage.
2. Right to choose.
Consumers shouldn’t be forced to choose a particular product or service; every customer has the right to exercise his or hers freedom of choice.
3. Right to safety.
In case the product or service is associated with a certain risk, this risk should be clearly explained to the consumer, while the consumer should pay attention to warnings while using the product.
4. Right to redress.
Whenever the customer is dissatisfied with the purchased product, he has the right of having it repaired, replaced, or fully refunded, based on the type of product and the consumer’s wishes.
5. Right to education.
Consumer education is a lifelong responsibility of every Nigerian; in order to know everything about your rights, you need to stay alert for changes in consumer protection policies.