Know your rights as a consumer: Part One

Product Service Provider Liability

Do you know your rights as a consumer of a product or service? If you as a consumer do not understand your rights, you might not know if a law is being broken or if you are allowed to claim compensation from a product/service provider.

You can typically claim compensation from a product service provider in the following circumstances, based on the outlined criteria:

If you receive poor service from a product provider and it results in harm or damage, you may be able to claim compensation based on certain criteria.

This includes service that is faulty, deficient or inadequate in quality and doesn’t meet the required standard of quality as mandated by law or the terms of the contract.

Non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract or any express warranty is also grounds for compensation if it results in harm or damage.

In addition, if the service provider’s actions or lack of action involve an act of omission, commission, negligence or conscious withholding of relevant information that causes harm or damage, you may be eligible for compensation.

Lastly, inadequate instructions or warnings can also lead to compensation claims if the provider fails to provide sufficient information that could have prevented harm or damage.

For example, inadequate warning on the packaging of a dangerous chemical product that a child then ingests.

This highlights a situation where the product service provider (in this case, the manufacturer) may be held liable due to the inherent danger of the product and a failure to provide sufficient warnings to mitigate the risk.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to anticipate foreseeable risks and provide appropriate warnings to consumers.

To pursue a compensation claim, it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional or a consumer protection agency to assess the specific circumstances and guide you through the legal process.

Without a consumer complaint, a consumer protection agency may not become aware of this possible breach of the law.

  • Uaatjo Kaurimuje is a consumer protection advocate and freelance writer.
  • She has a postgraduate diploma in consumer protection law and practices from the National Law School of India, an LLB from Studio, a B-Juris from the University of Namibia and more than 10 years’ experience in consumer protection.
  • The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent their employer, organisation, committee or other legislative groups.

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