RIGHT TO KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
By: Aleena Naseem, Amna Imran, Amna Shamim, Farzeen Aslam & Iqra Memon
JINNAH UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN
Consumer is life of the business! Always hears this by the business men and in our current studies right? Still they are fooled for the purpose to earn and get HIGH PROFITS! Isn’t this wrong? Indeed Profit is the favorite part of business for each owner!! or purpose. For this reason many rules and laws are violated at times, and minor things are also a part but never acknowledged. This is from where the discipline of our business gets down as time passes. Main impact or to say main violation is done in the aspect of CONSUMERS. Nowadays, contravene of rules is a common practice, be it any industry related to goods, accessories, textiles even medicines— the most dangerous and critical act. Customers or in other words life line of business is scammed— yes they are — by being supplied wrong and expired things, especially online businesses with a tag of NO EXCHANGE OR RETURN, then we have our super marts and general stores, selling items with inaccurate weight one and WHAT NOT! In order to respect and safeguard consumer rights, UN has provides guidelines on consumer protection (1985) that has eight basic RIGHTS. It has stated all the basic ‘crimes’ that are done today.
Few days back, I was going through the news and this caught my eye a reputed confectionery and had some ingredients added that resulted in a child’s face swelling; it was too severe and had no medication to cure. In shadow of the same crime, fake medicines are produced that cause deaths. Why aren’t the acts of these businesses in compliance with the laws? Why aren’t the rights being act upon— to state a few,
• Right to safety: To be provided safe products
• Right to information: To know appropriate information about the product
• Right to stay healthy: No such product sold that is injurious to consumer health
• Right to be heard: Any sort of complain or feedback to be heard
• Right to choose product: Let consumers choose product of their wish, no forced to buy a certain thing.
Also, reputed regulatory bodies are setup like CONSUMER COURTS, CRCP (Consumer Right Commission of Pakistan) and FCP (Federal Trade Commission Pakistan). Along with certain stated laws— to state a few, Liability arising from defected products like defective in construction, composition, design and non-conformity to express warranty, damage etc. Liability arising out of defective and faculty services like. Defective services, standard of provision of services. Obligations of manufacturers like price to be exhibited at the business place, receipt to be issued to the purchaser and return and refund policy. Unfair practices like. False, deceptive or misleading representation and prohibition on bait advertisement. Despite, nothing is getting better, instead our country’s condition is getting aggravated. Ever thought WHY? Surely no!
Everyone only blames, law and order. I agree they have a great role to keep check and balance that is not done properly but if the other side of the story is seen, the customers should also be aware, they should also be well aware and educated during their purchasing; goods and services. Few things if focused during purchasing can help a lot, like by checking expiry dates, ensuring all the products used in manufacturing, checking the manufacturing chain etc. This will decrease these issues to some extent when we take law and order’s help in these cases. Our check and balance from authorities would get better eventually as our lack of concern is also a major reason. Government and other empowered organizations are recommended to play their part of the story well by planning education and awareness program should be done under the Consumer Association supervision, NGO’s can prove very helpful in awareness creation.
The government, especially the district government holds the local consumer conventions where the basic consumer rights and responsibility debated through the local Councilor. It should take measure for accountability of that organization who gullible a citizen misled by the misleading and glossy advertisement. This should be understood by our citizens that not ONLY Law and order is criminal but our lack of concern and awareness is too. It is the responsibility of all the bodies — authorities, businesses, and the public ( general public, social public, media etc) involved in this dynamic for the implication of laws, Not one is to be blamed and Not the country at all!