While all consumers have rights, they also have duties or responsibilities. Unfortunately, corruption exists in the consumer marketplace and it's up to you to arm yourself with knowledge as a measure of protection. It's your duty to take advantage of the consumer rights that the federal government provides to you so you can protect yourself when you purchase or use a product.
Adhere to Product Safety Labels
Safety labels and precautions are provided to consumers when they purchase an item. Read the information and adhere to it. Be aware that manufacturers may issue additional information or warnings about the product via mail, television or phone.
Read accurate and truthful product reports and statements to understand what you can and can't expect from the item. Ask questions of the salesperson or manufacturer if you need clarification or further information.
Make the Best Decision
Take your time to compare product features and prices before making a decision to purchase it. Generally, there is more than one choice per product in the marketplace, and it's your duty to determine which one will work best for your purposes.
Express your complaints or praises to the appropriate sources, such as the Better Business Bureau or the manufacturer. Manufacturers need to know that their product has negative or positive potential so they can make adjustments or improvements.
If the product fails or does not meet your expectations, promptly seek compensation. Some manufacturers issue warranties with their products, while others will give you a refund of your money if you are not satisfied.
Educate yourself through research to find the best product for your situation. Organizations such as Consumer Reports offer helpful non-biased, research-based advice about products. Always inspect the item before buying to make sure it meets your expectations.
Use the products you purchase in a way that doesn't negatively impact the environment or other consumers. If you follow the product instruction and safety labels, you should avoid harming others with the use of the item.
Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.