World Consumer Rights Day | Western Cape Government

World Consumer Rights Day

consumer-rights-service Whether you're getting your car fixed or cancelling dinner reservations, understanding your consumer rights can save you time and plenty of stress.

To mark World Consumer Rights Day this 15 March 2015 we've summarised your rights to help you enjoy quality goods and services.

Who are consumers?

Consumers are people who:

  • Pay for goods or services.
  • Use goods or services.
  • Receive marketing information.

How are consumers protected?

As a consumer, you are protected by the Consumer Protection Act and the ombudsman, who will assist you if you've been treated unfairly.

What are my rights?

As a consumer, you have many rights that are protected by law. These include:

1. The right to free and unlimited goods and services

As a consumer you have the right to be treated fairly. This means that you should receive quality goods and services, regardless of who you are. Should a supplier sell inferior goods to you, you have the right to complain.

2. Your right to control marketing

Have you received emails, calls or SMSes about services you did not ask for? If so, you have the right to accept restrict or refuse to receive marketing information.

In the same way, if you sign up for marketing notifications, you can opt out at a later date.

jars-consumer-rights 3. Your right to choose

From choosing a supplier to cancelling and renewing contracts, as a consumer you have the right to choose.

You can also choose to:

  • ask for quotations prior to services.
  • refuse additional repairs or maintenance services.
  • refuse payment for maintenance done without your approval.
  • examine the goods you buy.
  • return goods and request a full refund.
  • keep and refuse payment for goods and services you did not ask for.

4. Your right to plain and understandable language

Goods and services should provide information that indicates the ingredients and price. You can demand to pay less for goods displaying different prices.

5. Your right to protect yourself against misleading advertising

A supplier should not use advertising to misrepresent a product or service. At the same time, you have the right to know the availability of goods and services.

6. Your right to fair and honest dealings

If you’re unable to pay your monthly instalments, a supplier may choose to take back their goods. They cannot threaten or physically harm you. If they're selling a product, you have the right to say no to their services. 

7. Your right to protect yourself against unfair contracts or terms

Whenever you receive a contract for goods and services, the supplier should ensure that the terms are fair. A supplier should provide a free copy of the contract and tell you about the potential risks of buying this product.

8. Your right to ask for quality services

A supplier has the responsibility to provide quality goods. If you bought a television from a store and receive a cracked screen for instance, you can get a refund.

9. Your right to be protected in lay-bye agreements

If you have a lay-bye agreement, the supplier should provide quality goods. If you’ve paid your lay-bye but do not receive your goods, you must get a full refund and interest.

Where can I complain?

The Consumer Protection Act promotes good business practice and creates a safe environment for all consumers. You have the right to take action and defend your rights.

You can contact the Office of the Consumer Protector to lay a complaint:

Tel: 0800 007 081
Fax: 021 483 5872

The content on this page was last updated on 18 March 2015