Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
There are protections in place in order to guarantee that consumers are treated fairly in the
marketplace. The list below includes some of the most important ones.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission - The CPCS is a government organization which ensures that products are safe for consumer use. They help to develop safety standards, research potential problems, organize recalls or bans on dangerous products, and distribute safety information to the public. (http://www.cpsc.gov)
Better Business Bureau - The Better Business Bureau is a nation-wide organization which monitors businesses to ensure they act fairly. They offer reports on various businesses and charities, dispute resolution services, and provide an outlet for consumers to voice their
opinions regarding business and companies. (http://www.bbb.org)
Truth in Advertising - The Federal Trade Commission Act mandates that advertisements must present truthful and accurate information to consumers. Advertisers are prohibited from making false claims about their product, or claims that they cannot support with specific evidence. An ad can also be deemed misleading for information it leaves out, which may give consumers the wrong impression about a product.
Food and Drug Administration - The FDA is a government organization which monitors and tests the safety of food products, cosmetics, medicine, and medical equipment. (http://www.fda.gov)
Consumers also have responsibilities to fulfill when purchasing products. Listed below are some important responsibilities to keep in mind.
Proper Use- Consumers must use products as they are intended to be used. If you injure yourself or break a product by using it for purposes other than what it was made for, the company which sold you the product is not responsible. Product warranties do not cover such problems.
Be Informed - It is the responsibility of consumers to be informed about the products which they buy and use. Consumers need to know about a product's price, ingredients, intended use, and consequences of use.
Feedback - Consumers should let a company or manufacturer know when a product does not live up to their expectations. Only through constructive criticism on the part of the consumer can problems be corrected and safety hazards fixed.