Consumer Protection Rights Non-Existent
Ghanaians generally behave as people who know their rights yet they sadly coil into docility when they are deprived of many of their rights, especially consumer protection rights.
It is worrying that the Ghanaian consumer is often taken for granted by service providers who behave as though they are providing the consumer or customer a favour rather than a paid-for service.
You get to a government hospital, or any of the public services providers and workers there treat you with scorn and disdain. How many times have we not herd of nurses insulting patients and pregnant mothers who have gone to seek medical attention?
One example is the recent electricity crisis that engulfed a section of Accra for over two weeks where consumers were unable to purchase electricity units onto their cards.
The Electricity Company Blamed the crisis of a supposed connectivity challenge which obviously is not the fault of the poor consumer.
This resulted in thousands of small scale businesses closing down temporarily or being forced to resort to other means of generating electricity.
Such businesses include electrical shops, barbering and hair dressing saloons, tailoring and fashion designing shops, laundries, cold stores, and several businesses that cannot operate without electricity.
No one has bothered to quantity the financial loss caused the country by the avoidable crisis. No one has bothered to quantify the individual loss causes to each of the affected businesses in the affected areas.
There are frozen fish and poultry shops in the affected area but one has bothered to find out how they prevented their items from going bad during the two weeks period. Certainly, some went bad and caused some financial loss, but sadly, no one gives a hoot about such voiceless shop owners.
Thousands of households in the affected areas had to cope without electricity for days. Many has foodstuffs in their refrigerators, and for two weeks, no one bothered about such households. Many slept in darkness through no fault of theirs.
No one has bothered to defend the right of electricity consumers in the affected areas and ensure they get some compensation in one way or another.
Yet, as a country, we pretend we have laws that protects the rights of consumers.
If it were the other way around, that consumers in the affected areas had blatantly refused to pay for electricity, their supply would have been cut off without mercy or any form of explanation of grace period whatsoever.
THE PUBLISHER wishes to champion consumer protection rights just as we, as a people have championed the issues of basic fundamental human rights.
The Ghanaian consumer needs to know about such rights and demand them as and when necessary.