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Knowing Your Consumer Rights Helps Resolve Issues

by Tim

When you’re shopping online or in-store, your consumer rights are probably not constantly on your mind. It’s only when you discover a problem with a product or service that knowing your consumer rights could help speed up resolution. 

Since many consumers make retail purchases online, gaining online consumer insights that help you maintain control over purchasing decisions is key.

Why Are Consumer Rights Important?

Consumer advocacy is more essential to your shopping habits than ever before. Knowing your rights means that when you buy something, you can report an issue to the company and ask for a solution.

Being a consumer advocate doesn’t mean you have to know the customer policy of every company you buy from, but getting to know your basic rights as a customer will help you navigate the market.

Research suggests that US consumers spent $145.5 billion more in February 2024 than they did the month before, showing that customer confidence is high. With this in mind, getting to grips with your consumer rights will help if you discover your latest purchase doesn’t live up to the hype.

4 Essential Consumer Rights Tips

Here are four tips to help you become a confident consumer advocate.

1. Take time before a purchase

Before you make a purchase, taking a beat is beneficial. It helps you think about if you really need that new product and also gives you time to fully research the product.

2. Check for hidden charges

Checking the finer print will help you make a well-researched decision you are comfortable with. Some companies advertise goods or services at low prices, and it’s only when you read the small print you discover hidden fees that bump up the price.

3. Keep personal information private

It can be easy to slip up and share personal data without thinking. Always double-check before you share anything so you don’t give fraudsters access to your information:

  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t respond to phishing emails and calls.
  • Check your credit reports.
  • Use two-factor authentication (two ways to log in, such as a fingerprint or code and a password).

4. Join a Consumer Community

There are many consumer groups and communities, like the PissedConsumer Club where people share their experiences, both positive and negative, and get practical advice. You can also ask consumer experts about your particular issue and find other helpful information.

What to Do If You Have a Consumer Issue

Knowing your rights helps you take an assured role in issue resolution. The following steps support you to take control if something is not right.

1. Gather evidence

Document everything that has happened so you can explain the situation clearly, including receipts, emails, invoices, contracts, and images of the product.

2. Contact the company

Visit the brand’s website and choose which way you want to start contact, such as live chat, phone call, or email. Keep a record of your interactions so you have an accurate view of your case.

3. Ask for more support

If the customer service agent can’t help you, ask politely to speak to their supervisor or a more senior agent. This could help you resolve your issue much quicker.

4. Leave an online review

If you’re not satisfied, leave an online review sharing your experiences. More companies than ever are monitoring online review websites as part of their customer service and are likely to respond if you publicly share your story.

Become a Smart Consumer Advocate

Not all products you buy will cause you an issue. But when one does, knowing your consumer rights will help you become a confident advocate for yourself, contact the company with confidence, and help others by sharing your experience.

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