Surveys have shown that as many as one in ten purchases turn out to be faulty - from unsafe food to badly made clothes. When buying a product it should be suitable for the purpose for which it is intended. Some companies adopt good consumer services policies while some give you the run-around. How often have we heard "No one else has complained", to which you should respond you are complaining about your item only. It is faulty and therefore, by law, you are entitled to a refund. Other people's attitudes are not relevant to your goods. But how often do we complain? Or, do we complain enough.
Across our everyday lives there are many instances when we require protection. We have a right to assume that when we get up in the morning, we not are electrocuted when we switch on our light. We should be able to assume when we eat our breakfast that the food will be safe. To ensure this requires the work of many Government Departments and State agencies. For example, you will not be allowed to connect electricity to your house unless you have a certificate from an approved contracting body. In relation to food, a State body the Food, marketed or produced in Ireland meets the highest standards of food Safety Authority of Ireland has responsibility for ensuring that food consumed, distributed safety and hygiene. These are basic rights that I believe we are all entitled to as consumers.
As a mother of six children, I am sure I'm not alone in the plight of buying clothes that do not fit or are "not appreciated". The policy of the chain stores is quite accommodating when dealing with returns where as smaller outlets may not offer such allowances. This is a case where I feel goodwill can come into play rather than actual consumer rights. Though the store may not be legally obliged to accept returned goods in this case, it can make the difference of whether the consumer will purchase there in the future.
We are living in the threshold of a new era, the age of information society, in which consumers are experiencing the first advantages and disadvantages of what such a society can bring. The new communication technologies and new services are already beginning to have considerable impact on businesses and the way many people live on a day-to-day basis. The transmission of information is increasingly digitalised. As a result, the phenomena of convergence lead to the deletion of the boundaries between the telephone, television and computer. How can the consumer benefit from the information society? Many consumers do not yet know how to use, or gain access to, services offered by new technologies. But new products and services such as home banking and home shopping on the Internet will generate new opportunities for consumers, and as such, put more power into the homes.
The benefits of the information society for consumers may lie with greater accessibility of information, as with new...