Today, we will be considering the rights of the Nigerian Consumers as protected under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018, (the FCCP Act). I bet some of us are unaware of some of the provisions of this law which is almost always applicable in the various purchases we carry out.
Who is a Consumer?
To put this discussion into proper perspective, we will start by defining who a “consumer” is. A consumer is an individual or organization who purchases and uses goods and services. Put differently, the activity of purchasing and using goods makes you or any other person or organization a consumer.
Some very important rights granted to all Nigerian consumers by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018, are as follows;
- Right to be Notified of Second hand goods/products
As a consumer, you have the right to know whether or not the goods you are about to buy are second hand or re-made goods. The law requires that businesses that sell or supply second hand products commonly known as “okirika” or “fairly used” must expressly state that fact to its consumers. Put differently, these businesses are to apply ‘conspicuous notice’ (that is a label or marking) on the goods or product stating that they have been re-used or are fairly used products. See Section 117 of the FCCP Act
- Right to Return Unsafe and Defective Goods
The law gives you as a consumer the right to return unsafe or defective goods and get a full refund of the money you paid for the goods or product. This right is given for specific circumstances and they are stated in the FCCP Act. In both circumstances stated in the Act, the customer can return the goods within a reasonable time after they have been delivered to him. These circumstances are;
- When the customer did not have the opportunity examine or look at the goods before the goods were delivered to him/her. The reasons for the return of the goods may include; the goods are not according to a prior description or sample or that they are not of the type or quality expected. This is especially important for goods ordered from e-commerce websites.
- Where the goods were to be used for a particular purpose and the seller or supplier was informed of this but upon delivery it is discovered that the goods are not suitable for the intended purpose.
The specific circumstances stated in the Act do not affect validity of other laws where you have a similar right of disclosure.
- Right to be given information about a product in plain and understandable language:
As a consumer, you are entitled to be given information about products or services in a manner prescribed by the law, and where the law does not provide a prescribed manner, you are to be given information about a product or service in a plain language. Plain language simply means language that an ordinary consumer of the class of persons for which such notice is for, is reasonably expected to understand. Section 114 of the FCCP Act
- Right to cancel advance reservation, booking or order:
As a consumer, the law grants you the right to cancel advance bookings, reservations and orders made for goods/services. However, the law equally provides that as a consumer, you will have to pay a reasonable amount as charge for such cancellations. Section 120 FCCP Act.
5. Right to be given receipt or sale records:
it is your right as a consumer to demand for and get a receipt; which is simply a written record of the transaction involving the sale of the product or service. This explains why you should always request for any purchase made by you or any service rendered to you for which you have paid some money. See Section 118 of the FCCP Act
- Right to disclosure of price of goods and services:
By the FCCP Act, businesses (involved in producing or trading goods and services) are not to display goods and services for sale without attaching the price for such goods and services. Furthermore, consumers are not to pay a price more than what has been displayed for a particular good or service. Those of us who buy from online stores may want to hold on to this particular right. See Section 115 of the FCCP Act
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