As the world marks ‘World Consumer Rights Day’ on March 15 each year, Ghanaian consumers have expressed concern that warranty (a written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time), is not enjoyed in the country in its true sense.
The day, first celebrated on this day in 1983 is celebrated to mobilise action on important issues and campaigns.
For some Ghanaian product users, the period a good number of the sellers give upon purchase of a product is days at best weeks but hardly months or years as pertains in Europe and America.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Consumer Protection Agency, Kofi Kapito believes the absence of specific laws targeted at securing the interest of consumers has not helped the consumer protection effort.
Mr. Kapito in a statement expressed disappointment with Ghana’s delay in passing the consumer rights/competitions bill.
“After 33 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of guidelines for consumer protection and the Secretary-General was authorised to persuade member countries to adopt these guidelines through policy changes and laws, Ghana is yet to pass the consumer rights/competitions bill that has been in parliament since 2007; lingering from cabinet and to the ministry of trade without any seal by the executive to present it to cabinet for onward processing that will make it into a law.”
He noted the popular discrimination tag “goods sold out are not returnable” displayed on receipts across the country was regrettable adding; “most of these online shops are also defrauding consumers, orders are never delivered though paid for by clients. The Ghanaian consumer is being exploited, without recourse to proper redress and compensation plan.”
The theme for ‘World Consumers Right Day 2019’ is ‘Trusted Smart Products’. Given products consumers have access to are becoming more connected each day, from smartphones, wearable fitness trackers, voice-activated assistants and Smart TVs, this year’s theme is to highlight the needs and wants of consumers from a connected world and to put them at the core of the development of such products and services.
Consumer Rights mean every buyer (consumer) across the world has the right to have information on the quality, potency, quantity, purity, price and standard of various products, goods and services.
Basic Consumer Rights to know spans Right to Safety, Right to Information, Right to Redress, Right to Consumer Education and Right to Basic Needs.
Globally, there are currently 23.1 billion smart products in the world, outnumbering people three to one and given that they are connected to the internet and receive, collect and send data, it is crucial a supervisory regime is in place.
By Michael Eli Dokosi/goldstreetbusiness.com