Ethics is generally described as a set of principles or moral values. It reflects a society’s notion about the rightness and wrongness of an act. Ethics is viewed as a normative science because it is concerned with the norms of human conduct .There are two types of ethics .one is personal ethics and the other is professional ethics or business ethics . For doing business, business person maintain a code of conduct .They have some professional responsibilities .Those who want to hold their business along way, they maintain it highly.
Because ethics is closely related to trust and to develop trust, ethical behavior is a must. In every economy, consumers are the most important part. They are likely to be adversely affected by unethical practices. All the developed countries give their fullest better thing to their customers but the developing countries like Bangladesh, consumer exploitation is rampart. In our report we are focusing on ethics in consumer protection. We will be discussing on how our consumers are exploited and how we can protect them as well as what initiatives has already been taken by our governments and many other organization like consumer protection association
Consumer: An Important Stakeholder
According to the Theory of the Modern Business firm, I believe that the consumer are the most crucial stakeholder in a current firm.
The consumer is the “blood” of any Business firm. If any firm doesn’t place emphasis on the consumer then their firm will fail. The business firm has to fulfill the wants and needs of their consumer to be flourishing. If the consumer are not happy then they will not buy the product or service that the firm offers. Employees and management will be fired, suppliers won’t be able to get paid and the local community will not have a good perception of the company if the consumer aren’t happy.
A consumer can be anyone from Prime Minister of a country to the laborer on the street. In a simple words, the person who consumes product or services are consumers. A person is required to fulfill certain conditions to be regarded as a buyer will also be treated as a consumer. But if someone buys something for the purpose of resale or for any other commercial purposes, he or she shall not be considered as a consumer.
Consumer protection means protecting the rights of consumers. It also assist to protect fair trade competition and trustworthy information in a market economy. Different laws are designed to do this.
The laws are designed to end the company’s exploitation, biased practices to gain benefit over their competitors. Examples of such practices are fraud and “false advertising”, where a company advertises their product with dishonest information.
Parties to Consumer Protection:
Now consumer protection has extensive importance to civil society .For effective consumer protection, it is very essential that three parties – consumers, businesspersons, and government – have valid interests in ensuring that consumer rights are performed.
Role of consumers: consumers should take care of their own interest and protect themselves from market malpractices. For realizing this objective, they should know their rights and exercise them. They should not depend on good sense of businesspersons. Consumers have a right to education, right to heard. They should also attend training programs for consumers arranged by local consumer associations .They should invite consumer activists to speak to them on consumer rights.
Role of businesspersons: Produces, distributors, wholesalers, retailers should pay attention to consumer rights in their own interest. They must ensure supply of quality goods and services at reasonable prices. To eradicate these types of problem, chambers of commerce and industries should entertain consumer complaints against their members. They should take proper steps against those guilty of malpractices.
Role of government: protecting consumers from malpractices of sellers is a responsibility of governments. Government should enforce appropriate laws and protect existed laws to serve the people of the nation. Government should build a strong policy making body and create any line from where consumers can say their complaints .government should also encourage business persons to resolve all consumer disputes in a fair, fast and informal manner to establish voluntary mechanisms.
History and Growth of Consumer in Bangladesh
Consumer is the king of market. For this reason it is essential to protect the consumer rights for the advance of both the business man and consumers. In Bangladesh before 2009 there was no decent law to protect the consumer rights .There was no particular law in Bangladesh for a long time on the protection of consumer’s rights. In 2008 the non-party care-taker Government passed an ordinance in this point. The present Government has enacted a consumer rights protection Act 2009 on April 06, 2009 without giving favorable reception to the previous ordinance.
Therefore we can see that, the consumer protection Act 2009 provides that only impressive Government officers are entitled to institute a case against the culprit for violation of such laws. A common consumer can not initiate any legal action against him except structure a complaint to the department concerned. No court shall take cognizance if charge sheet is not submitted within 90 days from the date of complaint. Due to these legal weakness consumers are not duly protected. Therefore, these legal weakness are to be removed with a view to enabling the consumers to institute suit in a court of law identifying the violation of law.
In Bangladesh there is no mechanism through which the provender of the laws, made to safeguard the rights and interests of the consumers, can be placed and explained to them in a simple and stunning manner.
The Government machines from applying point of view are very weak. As the Government machine do not work smoothly, so non-Government organization should come forward with a system of rules of helping the consumers.
There is no political commitment and program as regards the protection of consumers. In some cases political parties can take help, subscription from the businessman, traders, industrialists, who in return hoard goods create artificial crises in the market and earn limitless profits at the costs of suffering of the general electors.
It may be mentioned that, in Bangladesh some of non-Government organizations with regard to protection of consumers have been planted and they have been campaigning movement for the legal protection of consumers, for some cases giving help in the way of legal aids.
Consumer protection why and how?
At first we have to know the definition of consumer, basically consumer is an individual who buys products or services for personal use and not for manufacture or resale. A consumer is someone who can make the decision whether or not to purchase an item at the store and someone who can be influenced by marketing and advertisement .source: Investor words
Consumer protection act:
Consumer protection is necessary for all types of consumer because it helps to achieve main goals and for this reason as stated in the act. Consumer protection main goals are shown below:
- · For promoting a fair acquirable and sustainable market place for the product of consumer and service.
- · For establishing national norms and standards which is relating to the protection of consumer.
- · Providing for the improvement of standards of consumer information.
- · Interdicting significant unfair marketing and practice of business.
- · Promoting responsible consumer behavior.
- · Promoting a legislative and enforcement framework relating to transactions and agreements of consumers.
- Why should the consumer protection act matter to the consumer?
Since we are human being so definitely we have need something for existing in the world. For this reason we all need to purchase many items. Each and every person in the world can be classified as a consumer in significant content or context. So the act is mandatory here for confirming that our all the rights as a consumer are protected and we aren’t exploited by the unethical service provides or marketers.
As a consumer there are some act. According to third act as a consumer we have the right to:
Privacy: Including this right a consumer have the right to reject an unwanted direct marketing like a phone calls SMS’s letters or spam emails.
Chose own product: Including this right a consumer have such type of right to renew or remove fixed term agreement to request quotations for maintenance and repair .A consumer have the right to return the defective goods for seeking redress for unsatisfactory services to cancel direct marketing contracts, right to reserving, booking or order and to choose or examined goods even when the goods are purchased and delivered.
Fair and honest dealing: Including this right consumer should assume that supplier have a legal right to sell products or service to protection against pyramid schemes, related schemes and protection against false.
Disclosure of information: Including this right consumer receive information in plain, informative language and right to get sales records from buyers.
Fair and responsible marketing: Accountability by suppliers: According to this right consumer have the right to have the full refund in significant circumstances.
Fair value, good quality and safety of products purchased: Including this type of right to warranties, receiving warnings on the facts and nature of possible risk of the products have to monitor the product for own safety.
By knowing third types of right as a consumer he/she has the power to apply the act whenever he/she feels like any supplier is treating unfairly.
Consumer rights and responsibility:
As a consumer a person have some rights and responsibility both for protecting interest of consumer the government has constituted various rights.
Section 6 of consumer protection act 1986 recognizes the following rights of consumers.
Right to safety: According to this rights ensure the protection of consumers against marketing and supply which is unhealthy for consumer’s health existence and property.
Right to choose: Including this right a consumer has the right to choose which ensure that the consumers have access to various products in the market at competitive rates and make choice for product at their discretion.
Right to be informed: Including this right a consumer must have the right to know about the products quality, quantity, standard and purity.
Right to be heard: Basically this right provide that as a consumer he have to hear about the different forums if he has any grievances against the products.
Right to seek redressal : since a consumer have many right so it definitely happen that he/she don’t use the facility properly so after facing this type of problem also need to be redressed by the authority the issues should be settled within the due course of time.
Right to consumer education: According to this the consumer has the right to remain well informed.
Right to healthy environment: Including this right a consumer have the right to get healthy environment that will enhance the quality of life and help to the future generation by providing protection from environment problem.
As a consumer he get various type of right and have to observe some responsibility. The basic responsibility are shown below:-
The responsibility to be aware: As a consumer it is his / her responsibility to ensure about the quality, quantity, safety of good and standard of the product before purchasing.
The responsibility to gather: As a consumer it’s a responsibility to gather all the information and act about the product or service and innovations in the marketplaces.
The responsibility to think independently: A consumer have the responsibility to think independently and make choice about basic needs and wants.
The responsibility to speak out: A consumer have the responsibility to speak out and inform about needs and wants to the manufactures and governments.
The responsibility to complaint: consumers have the responsibility to complain if there occurs dissatisfaction with a product or service in an honest and fair manner.
The responsibility to respect the environment: As a consumer he/she have the responsibility to respect the environment and ignore waste and contribution to pollution.
How Are A Bangladeshi Customer Exploited
Bangladesh has more than 164.7 million people and 20 % of the people are middle income group. Now Bangladeshi buyers are trying to offer an attractive market for the consumers .But the demand is increasing day by day and the body of the consumers suffers a lot from a variety of disabilities .For this rural people suffers a lot because of communication facility, having less information, less idea and knowledge about technology and products, actually they are less organized then the suppliers or distributors. Producers are more resourceful in every meaning and terms and conditions, they adopt unethical means and exploit in a number of ways .The following are the common unethical means used by the producers to cheat the poor consumers
Exorbitant Prices of Products and Services: Producers fix prices of product higher than their actual cost, they collect extra profit on that type of essential live saving daily products. Pharmaceutical products has inelastic demand in the market, people are bound to buy the product.
Deceptive Selling Practices : Many locally manufactured goods are palmed off as imported ones to the gullible buyers and charged higher prices like they labeled ‘Tata’ as same as ‘Bata’ .
False and Misleading Advertisements: In Bangladesh, many companies resort to false and misleading advertising practices. Assurances in the form of warranty and guaranty given by the seller , are not based on proper test .Like the advertisements of any energy drinks in Bangladesh they says it will increase our brain power and give more energy ,but actually it does nothing good for us .
Defective Quality, Higher Prices: Some producers lower the quality of goods that they offer to the consumers without disclosing its actual quality or materials used.
Sale of Hazardous Products to Ignorant Consumers: The Bangladeshi market is full of hazardous products that consumer even don’t know about it .Producers do not caution prospective customers of wrong using products or taking extra dosage of it.
Suppression of Material Information: Producers suppress material information about the quality, quantity, purity or standard. It is happened mostly in the jewelry shops in the country.
False Product Differentiation: Producers do not deliver what they promised before .they give the inferior goods for making more profit, they don’t tell the actual quality of the products.
Producers or Sellers Collusion: producers tend to lose an imperfect competitive market, they try to restrain competition through trader collusion.
Supply of Adulterated and Substandard Products: when selling petrol producers use kerosene, coil ash in cement, stone in rice packet for their extra benefit they give the consumers less standard products.
Cheating Consumers By Giving Lessor Quantity: Most of sellers in Bangladesh tries to cheat customers by using false weights and measures.
Creating A Scare Out Of Scarcity: It’s a very common techniques in Bangladeshi market making an artificial crisis by hoarding suppliers with a view to forcing buyers to pay extra prices on their products .like railway tickets selling in black.
Making Consumers Buy Unwanted products: By showing excellent visual ads in television or electronic media producers attract many unwanted goods to the consumers and make their profit.
Misleading Representation On utility: Modern sales persons are more equipped with many advertising gimmicks that they can easily make any customer foolish and sale their products.
Fall In Prices – Never Passed To Consumers : If any scarcity happened any time producers take extra price for that but if any products exceeds its demand producers don’t lower its prices ,customer even don’t know about it .
Black -Marketing: producers make artificial crisis for charging extra prices. Producers warehouse products and make a crisis of it.
Tie In Sales : producers give many combo offers and conditions that’s why customer buys many unnecessary products
Legal protection to consumer in Bangladesh:
Article 15 and 18 of the constitution of Bangladesh can be referred to as the basis of consumer protection act 2009 provides for both civil and criminal remedies. A consumer is entitled to lodge complaint with the consumer rights protection department for any violation of the act source: Google
Laws regarding Consumer Protection
Some laws regarding consumer protection are shown here:
- The Bangladesh Penal Code 1860
- Poison Act 1919,
- Dangerous Drug Act 1930,
- Trade Mark Act 1940,
- Special power act 1974
- The Bangladesh standards and testing institute ordinance 1985
- The .Standards of weights and measures ordinance 1985
Consumer protection council
Consumer council make sure protection of consumer rights and interests and to promote practices & commercial environment. Where every consumer’s businessman, traders & professionals are alike.
Aspects of Consumer Protection
Contains of organizations & laws designed consumer protection to make sure the rights of citizen also fair trade and the free flow of information. The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors and may provide additional protection for the weak and those unable to take care of themselves.
There are three types of consumer rights protection:
- Voluntary protection: voluntary protection means that consumers can set up an association or organization themselves to safe guard their rights & choice
- Institutional protection : consumers protection can be ensured consumers rights of citizen by establishing national institutional to safeguard and promote
- Statutory protection : the rights and interests of the consumers guaranteed by enacting relevant laws for protecting
- Consumer oriented legislation of food adulteration act
Consumer right act 2009, which approved by the parliament for the consumer food functioning under the department of ministry of commerce. This act enforce agencies maintain strong correctness like adulteration. Even the enforce to defaulters with the laboratory tests & the existing laws to combat the menace but concerted efforts and manpower are inadequate. There are also stared operations against food adulteration by many government units, like Bangladesh police, RAB, mobile court, commerce ministry etc.
Cite this essay
IntroductionEthics is generally described as a set of principles. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/introductionethics-is-generally-described-as-a-set-of-principles-example-essay