Did you know as a consumer living in Lagos, you now have a right to seek redress over any dissatisfaction you may have from purchasing a product or services rendered to you, as entrenched under the Consumer Rights Bill?
To strengthen its promise to protect the rights of consumers, Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) has put in place an avenue where Lagosians can report any form of cheating, unfavourable treatment, and unfair business transaction from any manufacturer or businesses.
According to the Consumer Bill of Rights Section 23 Sub-section 1 and the United Nations, consumers are protected under 8 rights which include;
1. The right to be informed: As a consumer, you have a right to receive accurate information about products or services. Consumers can make wise decisions only if they have the information they need. Businesses are required to provide certain details about their products. For example, drug companies must list the complete contents of every medicine. Clothing manufacturers must list the fibers used in materials. Packaged foods must show all ingredients, with the main one listed first. Companies provide this information through product labeling.
2. The right to choose: Consumers have the right to choose from a wide variety of goods and services. Businesses compete with each other to sell their products to consumers. They offer new products, lower prices, higher quality, or improved services to get you to choose their products. Competition provides choices. A lack of it hurts consumers.
3. The right to safety: You have a right to products that are safe to use. Product liability is the legal responsibility that manufacturers have to make a safe product. For example, tools and appliances must include safety devices for your protection.
4. The right to be heard: You have the right to complain about a product or service you are not satisfied with. Suppose you buy a bike helmet from a sporting goods store. After wearing the helmet a few times, you find that the chin strap keeps coming loose. You have the right to let the store know you are not satisfied with the helmet. Businesses rely on customer satisfaction.
5. The right to consumer education: Consumers have the right to learn how a market system works. You should know how to get the best value and satisfaction for your money. When you decide to buy an item, you should know that different stores might charge different prices. You may decide to compare prices to know which is best for you.
6. The right to satisfaction of basic needs: Customers have a right to be treated in a respectful and courteous manner. You have the right to expect prompt delivery of goods or services that meet the standard of quality a business claims. You also have the right to be served without discrimination based on your race, gender, income, or age.
7. The right to seek redress: As a consumer, you have the right to receive a fair settlement of just claims. You have the right to take a defective item back to where you purchased it with a receipt, the business is then expected to replace it or issue a refund.
8. The right to a healthy environment: You have the right to live and work in a workspace or home that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.
The Consumer Bill of Right First helps to shift the balance of power between businesses and consumers, recognizing that consumers have a right to be treated fairly and honestly in the marketplace.
Also. it sets the stage for the creation of consumer protection laws and agencies, such as the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency Law (LASCOPA) , which work to enforce these rights and protect consumers from unfair business practices.
Moreover, the Consumer Bill of Rights has become a symbol of the importance of consumer activism and advocacy, encouraging consumers to be informed and empowered in their interactions with businesses and government agencies.
Should any of your consumer rights above be encroached upon, LASCOPA urges you to report or seek redress at no cost at their office at 28, Soji Adepegba close, off Allen Avenue Ikeja, or visit their website at www.lascopa.lagosstate.gov.ng for more information.