ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Persuading and protecting the consumer

  • Businesses exist to make sales to the customer/consumer
  • To do this businesses need to communicate with the customer with the aim of persuading the potential to buy the business’s products
  • This persuasion is carried out the form of marketing promotions
  • While most businesses act ethically without laws and regulations protecting customers/consumers some business would engage in unethical behavior

The Need to protect customers

  • For the reason the government needs to protect the consumer from:
  • Misleading advertisements which make false claims for example, “This herb can cure all forms of ailments including AIDS and Cancer.”
  • Indecent or immoral advertisements which undermine the mores of society for example advertisements that include nudity.
  • Hazardous products which will harm people’s health for example cigarettes need to carry a mandatory warning so that consumers will be aware of the risks they are taking by smoking.
  • Improper and incorrect labelling of goods.
  • Incorrect or wrong measures for example a 800g packet wrongly labelled as 1 kg.
  • Overcharging and profiteering by some traders due to temporary or permanent shortages of certain products.
  • False price reductions for example displaying fake sales signs when the prices have not really changed e.g. Was $30 now $25 when the item has always sold for the latter price.
  • Unfair and unlawful repossession of goods bought on Hire Purchase.
  • Sub-standard goods and services.
  • Conditional purchase of goods e.g. during shortages people might be forced to buy one slow moving item for example tea leaves before they buy sugar which might be in short supply.
  • Unsanitary conditions e.g. restaurants and food outlets have to undergo health inspection.
  • Consumers are gullible.
  • Some goods are of a complex nature for example pharmaceutical drugs and computers which are beyond the grasp of most people.
  • Some manufacturers might refuse to honour guarantees and warranties.
  • Unfair disclaimers for example “Goods are transported at the owner’s risk.”

Ways in which the consumers are protected

Please click on the links below to learn about ways in which consumers are protected:

NB These notes are part of the Commerce syllabus but they apply equally to Business Studies

To access more topics go to the O Level Business Notes