Consumer movement refers to an effort of promoting the protection of consumers through organized social movements. The groups that are formed are mainly involved in advocating for the rights of consumers, especially in the events that those rights are abused by companies, the government and any other organizations that are involved in the provision of goods and services to consumers. Consumer movement is regarded as the root of consumer organizations that today exist in various states.
Consumer movement proposes the unity of consumers for the protection of their own interests from being exploited by unscrupulous business organizations in the market place. In fact, consumer movement can be simply defined as a movement for consumers and by the consumers towards safeguarding and promoting their interests. Also referred to as consumerism, consumer movement only refers to advocacy by non-profit groups. In case a group of people or organization is conducting advocacy for consumer protection in exchange for money, which can be considered illegal.
There are certain features of consumer movement that you should also take note of in order to understand the concept well. One of them is voluntary movement. This feature stipulates that consumer movement is a movement of free will such that members come together to fight for the rights of consumers without expecting any payment. The movement is non-political and also non-religious.
Another feature of consumer movement is that it is a democratic movement. The main objectives of forming consumer movements are to promote protection of consumers, their education and welfare through adoption of peaceful methods. The movement is quite comprehensive and not limited to purchase of goods and services only. It also covers other public utilities and services like transport and communication, health, banking among others. The quest for consumer movement is to enable consumers to achieve the best living standards and quality of life.
Consumer movement also has the objective of preventing unethical practices within the business community like artificial scarcity of products, sale of counterfeits, profiteering, and adulteration among others. In most occasions, such practices go on with the proper knowledge of the business community but with the intervention of consumer protection groups, they can be eliminated quite easily and the culprits punished as required by law.
Through consumer movement, awareness can be created on consumer rights and the message shared between several people so that group actions can be taken on matters like consumer laws, deceptive and restrictive trading activities as well as supply of information regarding marketing malpractices. Even if the advocacy can be done by just a few people, group actions are considered to be effective considering the impacts that they can have.
There are four basic consumer rights that are promoted by consumer movement. These rights include the Right to safety, Right to be informed, Right to make a choice and Right to Redress. Before the start of consumer movement, it was the responsibility of the buyer to check the products purchased for any concerns, however, it is now the sellers’ responsibility to check every product before it is put up for sale.
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