The customer, or in other words, the consumer is the only party in any shopping process. These people, who receive the products or services offered by the seller for a certain fee, are of great importance to companies. Because ” customer is always right. ”. Companies should also protect the rights of consumers as much as possible and regulate their service policies accordingly. Moreover, this situation concerns not only companies working with traditional methods, but also those dealing with e-commerce. So what are consumer rights? What rights do customers have in e-commerce? How does the consumer rights process work? We will explain the answers to many questions about this subject in the rest of our article.
What are the Basic and Universal Consumer Rights Clauses?
The process of establishing consumer rights on a legal basis began with the use of this expression in a report presented by the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, on March 15, 1962. The Universal Declaration of Consumer Rights, published at the end of the process that started in this way, covers 8 fundamental rights. These basic consumer rights articles can be listed as follows:
- Right to basic needs
- Right to protection of health and safety
- The right to the protection of economic interests
- The right to be informed, the right to be educated
- Right to compensation
- The right to be represented (to be heard)
- To have the right to live in a healthy environment
The rights mentioned above are also granted to consumers in the relevant countries in line with the decisions taken by local institutions. This process in Turkey, September 8, 1995, was completed with the Law on the Protection of the Consumer No. 4077, which entered into force on
What are Consumer Rights in E-Commerce?
The increase in the number of online shopping has made it a necessity to protect the rights of customers in these areas. After the legal regulations, consumer rights gained an updated identity, including online shopping.
Such transactions are different from traditional shopping as it is known. The user does not physically see pay for a productThe product reaches the customer after a transportation process. Therefore, it can be said that these new steps added to the shopping process have created new conditions that must be observed. Now let’s look at what e-commerce consumer rights are one by one.
Right of Withdrawal
This right gives the consumer the chance to return a product purchased online within 14 days without giving any reason. The specified time starts when the customer receives the product. For these cases, the consumer rights refund period has been determined as 14 days.
Consumer rights under this heading not only make product returns much easier but also make online shopping more reliable for users. In order to benefit from this opportunity provided to customers, there is no need to make a payment such as consumer rights withdrawal fee.
Right to Return Defective Goods
Defective goods can be defined as products that do not provide the benefits expected by the consumer in general or provide little or no benefits. Consumer rights divide defective goods into two different categories. The processes to be followed for their return are also different from each other.
Products with a defect, which is called open defect, have visible damage or difference. The consumer must return such a product to the seller within 30 days. If he does not do this and does not inform the seller about the condition of the product, he loses this right. In a business that has sold defective goods; The customer is obliged to send another of the same product, replace it with a new one, offer a discount, or present a gift certificate. The method by which the process will continue is extremely important in terms of product return management of companies.
Concealed defect refers to problems that cannot be noticed at first and that occur during use. In such cases, the return period is 2 years. The period specified for both cases is specified in the consumer rights regulation.
Consumer Rights in Cargo Delivery
Even if the e-commerce company delivers the product to the cargo without any problems, some problems may occur during the transportation process. Depending on these, the consumer may receive the product damaged. In fact, it is possible to say that this is one of the most important problems in e-commerce.
In order not to be victimized by such situations, the consumer can open the package of the product during delivery and check if there is any problem. If damage or damage has occurred, the cargo officer may not receive the product by having a “Damage Determination Report” prepared. Similarly, the invoice of the product should be presented to the consumer at the time of delivery.
Consumer Rights in Products with Warranty Certificate
The consumer who purchases a guaranteed product has the right to demand the relevant document from the seller company. It is important to include information about the warranty certificate in the contract drawn up when purchasing the product, in terms of clarifying which channels the consumer will apply for possible problems.
Consumer Rights in Installment Sales
It is a legal obligation to conclude a contract for installment sales made over the Internet. In addition, the consumer can withdraw from the contracts drawn up in this direction within 7 days.
How Does the Consumer Rights Application and Result Process Work?
A person who thinks he is a victim due to any shopping made can apply to the Consumer Rights Arbitration Committee to resolve the dispute with the seller. Of course, at this point, “How to apply for consumer rights?” The question inevitably arises.
The necessary application to take advantage of this right, which is recognized by the Consumer Rights Legislation; It can be done in person or through a lawyer, by hand, by e-mail, or via e-Government. Consumer Information System, abbreviated as TÜBİS, should be used for e-Government consumer rights application.
The applications are examined by the arbitral committees. In cases deemed necessary, the parties and the expert can be heard. Each application is evaluated and a decision is made within a maximum of 6 months. In special cases related to the content, this period may be extended for another 6 months. The current status of the application can also be followed via e-Government. Decisions taken by the delegations are binding. If the decision is not fulfilled by the relevant party, an application can be made to the enforcement offices.
What is the Importance of the Contract for Consumer Rights in Shopping?
Contracts in online shopping are extremely important. In such transactions, it is legally obligatory to present the distance sales contract and preliminary information form to its customers by the seller. Through these documents, consumer rights are placed on a legal basis; grievances that may arise from customers paying for products that they cannot physically see are prevented.
Why are Consumer Rights Protection and Defense Important?
Consumers, in general, are the igniters of all kinds of economic structures. In addition to ensuring that companies generate income through their shopping, consumers also enable the country’s economy to continue in a healthy way. Therefore, it is aimed to create an environment of trust by undertaking consumer rights. This is important at both the individual and the collective level.
Decisions enacted by official institutions protect consumer rights. However, businesses also have duties in this regard. If this issue is overlooked, the impact of consumer behavior on the business can be extremely negative. So what can companies do to protect the rights of consumers?
What Can Companies Do to Protect Consumer Rights?
In order to protect the rights offered to consumers, the first thing companies need to do is to fully implement the rules set by the laws on this subject. For example, the laws have determined the consumer rights return conditions. Creating a return policy by considering these conditions can be pointed out as one of the simple but effective decisions that companies can take.
Especially companies that sell on the Internet should pay extra attention to this issue. Because the importance of return conditions for e-commerce cannot be ignored. The more rights a company provides to its customers in terms of returns, the higher the sales volumes and the greater its prestige. The disclosure of return information also creates a supportive effect on the decisions taken in this direction. In addition, it can be said that including a consumer rights information text on the website will help create an environment of trust.