World Consumer Rights Day: Consumers urged to read terms, conditions before purchasing goods

Prof. Patrick Utomi, a Director at Feedbackhall.com, on Saturday urged consumers to always read terms and conditions of digital products before purchase, to avoid complaints.

Utomi made this known during a press briefing to mark 2019 World Consumer Rights Day in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that feedbackhall.com is a social media platform where consumers share real life experience of goods and services offered to them in the Nigerian market.

It was launched in August 2018, and the main objective is to bring consumers together so that they can help each other make better purchasing decision.

The platform is also a means for consumers to give feedback to service providers/producers.

The theme of the event was “Trusted Smart Products”.

Utomi, a professor of political economics, said it was necessary to read reviews to avoid unfair terms and conditions made by companies producing digital brands.

He noted that in order to educate consumers  on their rights, the  Feedbackhall.com has joined consumers organisations around the globe to observe and enforce the rights.

“Nigerians, being lovers of digital products, need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in a connected world.

“This would save Nigerian consumers who are often exposed to unsafe, unethical practices and complex policies from being at a disadvantage with the companies that provide digital products.

“In an ongoing poll on feedbackhall.com, most respondents  have expressed their lack of trust in digital products and many indicated preference to buying physically than buying online,” he said.

Utomi said that the platform had found a huge communication gap between consumers and service providers/producers which usually led to lack of clarity and unnecessary misunderstanding.

“We, therefore, believe that it is essential to strengthen the conversation between consumers and producers.

“A consumer has a right  to understand his/her bills, so billing appropriately is not enough, customers need to understand it,” Utomi said.

He stressed the need for consumer protection agencies to use the information from Feedbackhall.com to defend consumer rights.

“Consumer legislation in Nigeria needs to be clearly applicable to online transactions and consumer education units need to educate consumers appropriately, ” he said. 

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