Consumer Rights

The Consumer Protection Act No. 68 of 2008 (“CPA”) has brought about many changes to our law that aim to balance the power between consumers and suppliers. 

Historically, consumers have not had adequate recourse for the infringement of their rights in the marketplace. As the market grows, so does the need to protect consumers against unfair practices. 

The CPA affords several consumer rights:

  1. Right to privacy
  2. Right to choose your product
  3. Right to fair and honest dealings
  4. Right to disclosure of information
  5. Right to fair and responsible marketing
  6. Right to accountability by suppliers
  7. Right to fair value, good quality, and safety
  8. Right to fair, just, and reasonable terms and conditions
  9. Right to equality in the consumer market and protection against discriminatory marketing

To enjoy these rights and an accessible, fair, and sustainable marketplace, consumers, too, require recourse should these rights be infringed.

Bregman Moodley Incorporated specialises in Consumer Law and is on standby to assist you. Contact them today for more information.

Enforcement

The CPA provides that a consumer may refer any dispute with a supplier:

  1. Directly to the Tribunal;
  2. To the applicable ombudsman with jurisdiction;
  3. To an accredited industry ombudsman;
  4. To the provincial consumer court with jurisdiction;
  5. To an alternative dispute resolution agent;
  6. To the National Consumer Commission; or
  7. To a court with jurisdiction over the matter.

The CPA makes it possible that a consumer may approach any of these bodies for assistance, one not being preferred above the other, to resolve their dispute. The advantage is that consumers need not have to proceed immediately through the court processes to enforce their rights, which can be time-consuming and costly. Although the option is there, it is always advisable to resolve the dispute with the supplier before proceeding.

Before lodging a complaint, always ensure that you have all the necessary information and documentation to prove your case. Consider using a trusted firm of attorneys, such as Bregman Moodley Incorporated, to assist you with the process and possibly represent you, which may make all the difference to a successful case. For expert Consumer Law advice and assistance, contact Bregman Moodley Incorporated today.

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