World Consumer Rights and Consumer Protection
Director at Newlann Mystery Shopping
Why are consumer rights important?
Consumer rights and associated laws are there to protect the public. They ensure that any dishonest or suspect businesses can be held accountable. Without them, many things we currently take for granted, such as believing what businesses tell us about their products, would be lost.
How can consumer rights be protected?
There are some big organisations who research and lobby on behalf of consumers: Citizens Advice run National Consumer Week which raises awareness of specific consumer issues. For example, their 2020 campaign raised awareness of consumer rights when shopping online, and what people can do if something goes wrong. Which has a comprehensive website with independent product reviews and advice on what to do if you have a consumer problem and how to get recompense. They also do lots of campaigning to stop scams and to ensure consumer safety. There is something called ‘sludge’ which is when consumers are misled or face obstructions, especially online, for example overly lengthy registration processes or poor internet service. Sometimes such processes are not intentional but can still cause the consumer to lose time or money. Market researchers regularly carry out audits to see where sludge is occurring and help businesses do something about it. Mystery shopping is also carried out to help protect consumers by checking whether businesses are complying with laws. One example is the Financial Conduct Authority which regularly uses mystery shopping to check standards and make sure customers are being treated fairly by banks and other financial
What consumer rights do I have as a customer?
There are lots of laws which provide protection for consumers. A key one is the Consumer Rights Act which makes sure that businesses have to describe their goods accurately and make sure they are good quality and fit for purpose. You must be able to return the goods too, within a certain time period, get a full refund or replacement and get any faults (found within 6 months) fixed. Businesses providing services have to use care and timeliness when delivering and fulfil anything they have said or written about the service. Consumer Contracts regulations cover purchase made at a distance (the old distance selling rules), such as online, and include aspects such as your right to cancel and who will pay for the cost of returns. A new ‘right to repair’ bill was actually announced on 10th March 2021 obligating manufacturers to make spare parts available and aiming to extend the life of products by up to 10 years.
What is the Consumer Protection Act?
The Consumer Protection Act is another law protecting consumer rights. It is all about making sure products are safe and making manufacturers liable for any damage caused by poor quality or defective products. It gives you the right to claim compensation against the producer of a defective product if it has caused damage, death or personal injury. So, laws to protect consumers are in place but are not always used. If you can learn a little bit about consumer law, you’ll probably be in a better position to get your money back if you have a complaint or problem!
Here are some great Newlann Mystery Shopping case studies
Would you like to find out more about how mystery shopping works?
Mystery shopping is also carried out to help protect consumers by checking whether businesses are complying with laws.
Would you like to find out more about how mystery shopping can help your customers experience.
We use mystery shopping to tell you what’s really happening when your staff interact with your customers. We can help you achieve service excellence and build long term trust and loyalty.