The Importance of Knowing Your Legal Rights

In Canada – and perhaps in many other countries as well – there are laws that dictate how a consumer should be protected in case of illegal activities against them, such as fraud or overcharging for certain products or services, or if the service paid for was never rendered. In order to avoid lawsuits and other unwanted punishments, here are a few tips to keep yourself from getting any unpleasant surprises.

First, be aware of all the laws that exist in order to protect the consumer. Make sure you are following them to the last clause. If you do not, there are consumer protection offices that can come to their rescue in order to give them what they paid for on top of receiving compensation for any time or money lost because of the company’s inaptitude. Or, the judge could very well charge you a fee.

The second thing to keep in mind is that you should not believe that a consumer will drop the case just because he or she may not have the time, the money or because they feel inferior to the company’s owner. Many are aware of their rights and you should not take for granted that you will never be taken to court. Some of the solutions that a client has are many. They could request a cancellation of a contract as though it never existed, or just put a stop to one that should continue; have a product replaced; have the product fixed, if it is broken or damaged; reduce the cost of the good or service; have you forced to respect your obligation; be paid for damage and interests; receive punitive damages for the company’s misbehavior. If you appear in court, the judge could apply more than one of these solutions.

Afterwards, do not take for granted that everything you write on the contract will pass. As a matter of fact, if your contract does not follow your country’s law, then it is the latter that will be taken into consideration, not the contract. For example, if you choose to write down that you want a lessee to pay $20 in fees every time they are more than five days late to pay the rent, but the law states that you are not allowed to do that, then you cannot win in court if the lessee requests you repay any fees you charged him or her.

Now, of course, many consumers will start by contacting your company – such as the customer service department – in order to have any issues fixed. Most of them will definitely prefer this over having to take you to court. Therefore, take this opportunity to keep your customer satisfied. There is no reason to anger anyone, especially if this customer could potentially come back again. Don’t let your customers become tempted to consult a lawyer.

And, of course, if you offer a warranty, keep your promise and do what you said you would for the customer. No one wants to buy an extension, then be told that they cannot be refunded or have their product exchanged. And do not overcharge to have anything fixed, should the warranty be expired.

Photo credit: flickr.com

Green Vegan

About Green Vegan

I am a vegan who believes that this is a form of environmentalism. I enjoy exploring new flavours and discovering new information!

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