Consumer rights: Unguarded and unprotected

Dhaka,  Mon,  24 April 2017
Published : 14 Mar 2017, 20:57:42
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LETTER

Consumer rights: Unguarded and unprotected

LAWS in most countries of the world protect the rights of the consumers when they buy or sell goods or services. In most countries, there are institutions that help the consumers if they are treated unfairly or when things go wrong. There is a system of an ombudsman in some countries who investigates complaints about organisations for free. 

Consumer rights refer to a consumer's right to safety, to be informed, to choose and to provide manufacturers with information concerning their products when they make a purchase. Manufacturers who violate consumer rights are subject to lawsuits by their customers. 

Given the laws on both consumer rights and consumer protection, the rights of the consumers are being trampled randomly because of ignorance of both the consumers and traders. The issue of consumer protection is also being ignored. We see consumers being cheated every day in respect of quality, quantity and standard. In such a backdrop, it is gratifying to note that the government has doubled the penalty amount for cheating the consumers in weight. Now the fine will be one hundred thousand taka and two years of imprisonment for the traders involved in weight cheating. 

Along side regulatory measures, we need to create awareness among the consumers so that they know about the legal protection they are entitled to have from the state. Consumer rights group protect us from being deceived by unscrupulous traders and manufacturers. Often in our country, the disgruntled consumers do not lodge complaint. This encourages the wrongdoers to carry on with their illegal business. It is good to see that gradually, common people are also becoming more and more conscious of their rights as consumers and are ready to protect their rights. 

Mohammed Sohel Hara

Bonosree, Dhaka

 
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