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Archive for March, 2010

What are your rights as a consumer

What are your rights as a consumer?

March 1, 2010

As Americans, we are aware of what are rights are as citizens. But, are we aware of our rights as consumers or customers?

Are you aware that you are a consumer whenever you buy a good or a service and are protected by certain laws?
Technically, a consumer is someone who acquires goods or services for their personal use or ownership rather than for resale, or production.

Consumer interests can also be protected by promoting competition in the markets which directly and indirectly serve consumers, consistent with economic efficiency, but this topic is treated in Competition law.

According to a wiki definition on the web, consumer laws were designed to ensure fair competition and the free flow of truthful information in the marketplace.

The main goal of consumer advocacy or consumer law is to educate the clients with the best skills.
Education should be conveyed in detail with all the rights that a client can have when they are being followed by a debt collector.

These rights are being provided by the state laws and FDCPA means, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Consumer advocacy is not only created to impart education in detail but all together to provide you a protection shield. If you are dealing with the web site which are truly not listening to you after the work is done by you. Then, you can absolutely fight against the web sites for getting the payment from them through and with the help of consumer advocacy.

In the United States a variety of laws at both the federal or state levels regulate consumer affairs. Among them are the following:

Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act
Fair Credit Billing Act
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

Federal consumer protection laws are mainly enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

At the state level, many states have a Department of Consumer Affairs devoted to regulating certain industries and protecting consumers who use goods and services from those industries.

For example, in the U.S. state of California, the California Department of Consumer Affairs regulates about 2.3 million professionals in over 230 different professions, through its forty regulatory entities.

In addition, California encourages its consumers to act as private attorneys general through the liberal provisions of its Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civil Code § 1750 et seq.

California has the strongest consumer protection laws of any US state, partly because of rigorous advocacy and lobbying by groups such as Utility Consumers’ Action Network, Consumer Federation of California and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Other states have been the leaders in specific aspects of consumer protection. For example Florida, Delaware and Minnesota have legislated requirements that contracts be written at reasonable readability levels as a large proportion of contracts cannot be understood by most consumers who sign them.

To overcome with the huge credit card bills which you receive at the end of each month is to select consumer advocacy.

The work of the consumer advocacy Group is to provide clients with the maximum protection from false and misleading advertising and sales practices.

There are consumer advocacy that have specialized their selves in debt collection work which can be definitely an effective option to get you help through credit collection process. There are consumer advocacy or few unions like American Consumers Union, United Consumer Advocacy Network, and many more are set up to act as a lawyer for the protection between both of the parties. Most of the advocates help clients in all possible manners by giving them with their education and protection.

LetterChamp is a full-service firm, handling aspects of the customer service dispute resolution process, including research, documentation, written correspondence, phone calls and product returns. We help our clients obtain cash refunds or product replacements from manufacturers, retailers and service providers around the country. Contact us at www.letterchamp.com.

Root Cause Analysis

Recent events with the large Toyota recall for problems with the software controlling inputs from the brake and accelerator (which are no longer mechanically linked to the systems they control) highlight one of my pet peeves in the approach a company takes toward software development. Whether Toyota is guilty of this or not, I have no idea, but it’s a serious issue.

There is a related topic, which is whether software development is treated as software or as electronics. I’d like to deal with that separately, because it’s equally important (and usually, equally tied to a corporate approach to product development).

Regardless of how the software in a system is designed or architected, it is ultimately coded, reviewed and debugged by coders. When coders are driven by management to meet management goals such as adding features, closing open issues, etc. it is easy for them to lose sight of one of the most essential parts of software development: root cause analysis.

Root cause analysis has a motto: “fixes are cheap, bugs are precious.” When actual reproducible problems are found, they need to be cherished and treated as precious opportunities to find defects in design or in implementation. But for middle managers, this might mean that the programmer will be spending a few extra hours investigating a problem that could be fixed with a simple workaround. Although there is often the justification of “we can come back to that later,” we all know that especially in these crunch economic times, later never comes.

Sometimes a major defect manifests early warning symptoms in a seemingly innocuous bug which is only an annoyance. If a programmer feels empowered to follow the natural instinct to fully understand the problem, he/she can put some additional effort into chasing it down. Of course, this can be done in excess because while it’s nice to pursue zero defects in software, we have to get products out or do whatever pays the bills. But having the right balance in any software development organization is definitely the responsibility of leaders and management.

Managers need to understand the importance of root cause analysis, and need to encourage the front-line coders to pursue leads, because who knows? The next annoying little glitch you find in your test program’s results could be the next recall of 6 million vehicles, and a lone vigilant coder could be the one who went out on a limb to find it.