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Consumer Rights


Consumers have rights in the marketplace and those rights link directly to consumer responsibilities. When exercising their responsibilities, consumers help sellers and other consumers by communicating their needs and wants and by expressing their concerns to the appropriate person or agency.

This lesson complements the ConsumerMan LifeSmarts video titled How to Complain.

Lesson Objectives

  • Summarize consumer rights.
  • Contrast consumer responsibilities and consumer rights.
  • Explain the consumer complaint process.

Consumer Rights Pre-Quiz

How to Complain Video for LifeSmarts by ConsumerMan Herb Weisbaum

Consumer Rights Game


1. Where do consumers find information about the recall of unsafe, hazardous or defective products?

Six federal agencies with different jurisdictions have joined to create a “one stop shop” for U.S. Government recalls and they are posted at the following website:

These six agencies include: CPSC, FDA, USDA, NHTSA, USCG and the EPA.

2. What is the BBB and why should I know about its services?

The Better Business Bureau, a not for profit organization, accredits businesses and establishes “best practices” for a fair and honest marketplace. They can help a consumer resolve a dispute with one of their accredited business members.

3. What is the Federal Cooling-Off Rule?

The Cooling-Off Rule allows consumers to cancel some purchases that are not made in an established business. A consumer who purchases merchandise worth more than $25 from a door-to-door seller may cancel the sale within three business days of the transaction.  The dollar amount increases to $130 when the consumer purchases from a seller in a temporary location.

4. What third parties are available to help the consumer with disputes when the seller will not resolve the problem?

  • State or local consumer protection offices
  • State regulatory agencies
  • State and local licensing agencies
  • Trade associations
  • Better Business Bureaus
  • Media programs such a local newspapers, radio and television stations

5. What should a consumer know about dynamic pricing?

Dynamic pricing is used by online vendors. A consumer may see that the price fluctuates for an item they are looking at. The online retailer may change the item’s price multiple times over a few hours or days. Retailers adjust their prices based on their inventory and the consumer’s shopping and browsing history on their site.

Consumer Rights Post-Quiz