In the United States, there are laws in place by both the federal and state governments to protect you and your rights as a customer. However, most people fall victim because they are unaware of their basic customer rights.
As a customer, these laws are intended to protect you from fraudulent and unethical business practices. They hold business owners accountable when caught attempting to dupe or take advantage of a customer by profiting from that customer’s lack of bargaining power or information. These laws are enforced by government agencies, attorneys, and victims through individual lawsuits.
The best way to fully protect customers’ rights is for each person to know what their rights are as a consumer, to be active and careful when making purchases, and to take legal action against businesses that do things that are dishonest.
Are you a customer who wants to understand and protect your rights? Here are four tips for protecting your rights in America:
1. Know All Your Basic Rights as a Customer
It is important that you learn your basic consumer rights. As an American citizen, you are entitled to these rights, so knowing them is beneficial to both you and those around you. These laws have been enacted by the appropriate authorities, the Congress, and the Legislature, to protect you and your rights in the United States. These rights include the right to safety from using a purchased product and the right to information about the product to make more informed decisions.
2. Defend Yourself against Violations of Consumer Rights in Purchase
When looking to make a purchase as a customer, you should always defend yourself against any type of violation directed at you. You can do this by challenging unnecessary card fees, such as the fees placed on gift cards on occasion for failing to use the card within a year. Residents of New York are often victims of such charges. These types of charges are prohibited by law, and if you are a customer caught in such a situation in New York State, you can always hire a New York Consumer Protection Lawyer at any time, allowing you to exercise your rights. Use credit cards rather than debit cards; return products purchased within three days if you regret it or were pressured into it. When making a purchase, always ask retailers to explain their return policy to you.
3. Practice Smart Shopping to Minimize Violation of Consumer Rights
You should be a knowledgeable customer as it is important to you and those around you that you are savvy. Always ensure that the professionals are licensed, read business reviews, exercise caution when making online purchases, and make sure to obtain or request a receipt after each purchase. As a consumer, you should also carefully consider all big and risky purchases before making them. You can do this by asking questions, double-checking all of your findings, talking to someone you trust about the possible investment, reading reviews online, and so on.
Another thing you should always ask about is the product warranty. Take the time to read and fill out the warranty after purchase to help protect your consumer rights.
4. Always Respond to Violation of Consumer Rights
Another way to protect customer rights is to always respond to violations of consumer rights, whether for yourself or someone else. Make use of your legal options. Use your right to complain, report a defective product, contact the manufacturer or seller when there is a defective product, contact the company’s supervisor if the seller is unwilling to cooperate, and leave reviews for the product or service.
As stated in the early part of this article, your rights won’t be trampled on if you fully understand them as consumers. During purchases, protect yourself against these violations, whether against you or someone you don’t know. Finally, file a lawsuit when necessary to protect your rights.