Law is every system of rules imposed through institutions recognized by a state meant to shape politics and economics of that a society in a number of ways. Aristotle once said that, ‘the rule of the law is better than the rule of any individual.’
The institutions for creating and interpreting law are the three main branches of any government i.e. an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature and an accountable executive. To make sure that the laws in place serve the publics, a government’s bureaucracy, the military and police are vital
Consumer laws are set up to ensure fair competition and gate pass information in the marketing arena. The laws are made in such away that they shall prevent fraud in business or unfair and unconstitutional business activities from taking advantage over their weak counterparts. They are also enforced to see to it that producers don’t take due advantage of exploiting their customers.
Governments have designed consumer laws basically to protect the consumers’ safety and public health. Consumer laws involve all public laws which regulate private laws for consumers, privacy rights, product liability, advertising law, misrepresentation and fraud. Considering the technological advancements that has been seen around the world, the law on advertising has been modified in that whatever we see as adverts is just fudging of the truth, there fore to protect consumers against this their must exist lawyers on the same to follow up any cases of misrepresentation.
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Prior to the year 1648, in the United States of America there was no law overseeing the rights of consumers. The manufacturing market was full of unscrupulous traders who minded money first and humanity second. There was law to guide on the standard of commodities to be manufactured and if the standards were not adhered to, then what was to be the penalty.
Most markets were monopolies. Due to this, prices of most products were not affordable to many Americans and the government had no say on that. Business men and women enjoyed huge profits while the quality of services and goods that they delivered was very low and there wasn’t any body to check on that.
Later on it became necessary that an amendment had to be made to ensure that consumers are protected at the same time competition is set in to trigger innovation. Also the government was supposed to control some prices of some commodities to safeguard the interests of the consumers while upholding utmost respect to the producer.
When purchasing goods and services in the United Kingdom, that entity must be fit for the purpose. The buyer should be able to use the product for the purposes that he expects satisfactorily and in return should get the best quality of whatever that he wants. The money that is devoted in buying the product or service should be reciprocated in the long run. Products released to the market must be having some instructions either printed on paper or the cover on how to use a particular product. Let’s take an example of a condom, it contains instructions on how to tear it, and then wear it in the most appropriate way and after use how to dispose it in the best way possible to avoid environmental degradation.
The products should match their description. When there is a verbal/ written expression of goods, it must be accurate. This is applicable mostly to goods of medicinal value and any consumables which need guide lines in their consumption. Failure to have the appropriate description then it poses a serious health hazard to the consumer and the environment. The description should involve the storage conditions and for how long that product can be stored minus going bad if it was opened.
According to Adams, the government has a sole role of preventing its members from harmful effects from some sub standardized goods and services. Goods and services offered must be certified by some agency and it should be proven beyond reasonable doubt that those products deserve. Relevant competence and skills should be put in place to ensure that whatever products brought to the market are of standard. Any product which is contrary to set rules, it should be thrown out of the market and legal action taken against the person behind it to protect its citizens. Very stern actions should be taken to ensure that others with the same plans are demotivated.
The government should ensure that the environment under which products are produced is conducive for the producers and the final product. The personnel in any industry should be clothed well and protected against any physical harm that may prevail. All the safety implements should be in place and in a working condition to cater for any calamity that may happen.
All goods and services produced must be having a standardization mark to ensure that whatever the consumers get they are able to verify on their own if it is standard or not. There are other unscrupulous manufactures who may not be bothering with the quality of their work and in this case the law of the land should prevail so that they spend most of their lives after that behind bars.
There are laws which are supposed to protect the passive users of some products while those using them solely enjoy their comfort without tempering with the non-users. The best example here is the law regulating cigarette smoking. Some people cannot do minus smoking as tobacco smoke is a driving force behind whatever they are doing. There before, smokers used to smoke in an awkward manner without considering the serious health hazards of whatever they were doing to nonsmokers. Later on a law was passed to regulate this smoking to various places convenient to both the smokers and non-smokers. This law not only has it protected consumers but also has managed the depletion of the ozone layer due to having a controlled smoking pattern.
Those people that manufacture cigarettes and alcoholic drinks are also under the law to protect their clients by sounding an alarm to them. For cigarette manufacturers they are supposed to advice consumers that ,’smoking is harmful to their health’ and this should be communicated to the consumer each time the manufacturer gets that opportunity i.e. on the packets and in adverts. For alcoholic drinks, minors should not be encouraged to take and responsibility should be the guiding factor.
Sound and music is good and very appealing to the ears. However, sometimes when the pitch of the volume is high, it disturbs others and is no longer considered to be sound but noise. In the American constitution it is unlawful and an act of impeaching the law if found making noise more so in public places and this is to protect people from disturbances and any harm to the hearing system.
Financial institutions are very sensitive firms in any state and its information must be stored in a very complex way to ensure no fraudulent activities take place. All financial institutions must have a written security plan on the specific ways that their employees should protect consumer information. The plan should reflect the size of the business, complexity and the sensitivity of the information that its employees encounter.
Manufacturers are under obligation to indicate the manufacturing dates on what that they manufacture and also the expected dates of expiry. This is to prevent consumers from manipulating the time frame within which a particular good or service is good for use and to avoid spending in purchase of worthless goods and services. Almost all goods and services have a period through which their use can lead to optimization of benefits and also when the benefits can turn to be harmful.
Consumer interests can also be protected by encouraging competition to avoid monopolistic markets. In monopolies prices of goods and services are determined by one body and in this case there is a likelihood of taking advantage and fixing high prizes. When there is competition it encourages efficiency and everything done is customer based to encourage him to come back and also attract more. Also allowing for competition allows innovativeness to take control and this leads to having the customers’ needs at hand and only the best for the customer or else you loose him for another service or goods provider. In the case of monopoly markets, the needs of the customer are not important as there is no other place that the goods or services can be accessed.
The government sometimes regulates prizes of some essential goods or services to bar exploitation of the consumer. This is done when the government realizes that either its citizens are suffering or the supply of that commodity is limited and for the sellers who have access to it are imposing abnormal prizes. This is very common in the energy sector and the food industry because there are some fluctuations which may be of an economic hitch to the poor.
When making major purchases, there is a very important promises that the seller or manufacturer has to make i.e. warrant. This is a promise that they will stand behind the product under certain conditions which must be adhered to a certain period of time from the time of making the purchase. A warrant should be available for a customer to read before making the purchase. All this is aimed at protecting the consumer from incurring all the losses on his own and especially when the product has not finished its ‘importance stage’.
Generic drugs are normally referred to by their basic chemical names instead of the brand name as chosen by the manufacturers. This is to protect consumers from exploitation by doctors as they can buy whatever they choose from the variety available in the market considering their pocket size .But in cases where a pharmacist gives a generic drug instead of a brand-name product; then the state laws require that it be genetically and therapeutically equivalent.
From the discussion above it is evident that the state is very careful on the needs of its citizens. It is also aware that not all people would want to do straight forward business without any hitches. Some people have that syndrome of wanting to become rich very fast and don’t want to care the path that they will take. To prevent all this, the state looks unto it by certifying all goods and services to the market and where possible regulating the prices to ensure that consumers are not suffering.
It is also evident that the state has found some conditions not favourable to some people because of what they are prone to by their counterparts who are at peace. It has therefore put some measures in place to ensure that all the parties are at peace with themselves while the activities may go on uninterrupted.
The state should ensure that all manufacturers have certificates to engage in whatever that they want to engage in. this is by making sure that they have the appropriate personnel’s with relevant experience to engage in whatever they would want to engage in. also the various equipment for working and even safety implements should be in position and in good working order to take care of any emergencies.
The United States government which is the case study is protecting its consumers in the best ways possible. The welfare of workers of different companies is also at heart and it has designated various bodies to do the same or oversee over something’s which affect consumers either directly or indirectly.
Users and non users of some substances are also borne in mind. More so the juveniles, there is great care being taken on their welfare and also on those products that pollute the environment. The government is also taxing those industries which manufacture these goods to make sure that the cost is transferred to the consumer to reduce their consumption. This also protects juveniles from the same because they are not expected to have large sums of money to purchase the same.