World Consumer Rights Day 2017: building a digital world consumers can trust

15th Mar 2017
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World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) was started in 1983 and is an awareness day which is observed on March 15. It is celebrated annually to instigate action among citizens for the international consumer movement. Everyone is a consumer, and World Consumer Rights Day gives a platform for all to voice any difficulties they face. It ensures that their rights are respected and protected over injustice done in the market.

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Consumers International (CI), which was founded in 1960 organises WCRD. It is the only independent and authoritative global voice for consumers and has over 220 member organisations in 115 countries around the world.

Every year a theme is chosen for this day, and this year it is ‘Building a digital world consumers can trust’. Previous themes have been very interesting and have included Antibiotics off the menu’ in 2016, ‘Our money, our rights’ in 2010, ‘Consumers and water’ in 2004 and ‘Unethical Drug Promotion’ in 2007.

In an age where Facebook, Instagram and other digital communication platforms dominate everyday life, consumers need to be aware of the impact of online services on them. No doubt, such technologies are brilliantly helping people in every field. However, blind trust can prove detrimental to anyone.

Another area to look into is the rapid pace at which any growth happens. Gone are the days when machines like the telephone and PC took time to reach the masses. Nowadays consumers are ready to grab the next big thing in the digital space. This is probably because invention has become the mother of necessity and not vice-versa.

This outright change in the mind-set of consumers makes it mandatory for them to be educated about the digital space.

CI will also be co-hosting a consumer summit that will be part of the official G20 agenda

US President John F Kennedy was the first leader who took the initiative to analyse and recognise the importance of consumers as a whole. Kennedy gave the American consumer four basic rights: the right to safety, to choose, to information and to be heard.

Right to safety: Protection against goods and services that can be dangerous to one’s health.

Right to choose: Choose from an array of goods and services with assurance of good quality at competitive prices.

Right to information: Make choices based on honest advertising and promotions

Right to be heard: To voice their opinion regarding government policies dealing with consumers.

People consume for different reasons, be it for their satisfaction, for luxury, or for simple needs. A knowledgeable consumer makes a wise decision regarding services and commodities. However, often the right information isn’t provided to the consumers and this can be misleading. Promotions and ads are used to market various products but if done wrong, they can have adverse effect on consumer’s life in the long run. To maintain authenticity of products and to protect consumers from being misled, this initiative is appropriate in all aspects.

For more information regarding WCRD 2017 visit the official site:

http://www.consumersinternational.org/our-work/wcrd/wcrd-2017/

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