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Consumer extremism: how buyers are “stripped” of the company

The law on consumer protection is one of the most advanced in our legislation. Despite the fact that a huge number of deceived people do not rush to the courts, the statistics speak for itself: 70% of all claims filed by consumers in court against companies that violate the law, as a result, end up winning (the results of a study by Pravoved experts). Of these, 46% are partially satisfied — this means that the court, even if not completely, but satisfied the person’s requirements. In this article, we will talk in more detail about the practice of consumer extremism in Russia and the world, and consider options for possible counteraction
Most often, the issue of complaints and refunds lies in an adequate plane — the person really did not bring the kitchen, really poorly made repairs or really sold faulty equipment. But “more often” does not mean “always”: sometimes the client is so right that it goes beyond the bounds of reason.I’m talking about a special category of people whose motives do not lend themselves to my explanation — people who practice consumer terrorism.

Consumer extremism is the behavior of people who twist the law “on consumer protection” in order to get a profit. And even income! There are times when people literally are parasitic on the companies, regularly presenting an absurd claim and receiving your payment for something. The fact is that it is much easier for large companies to settle the case before the court — without exchanging details, they compensate pseudo-damage at the first request of the consumer. Something similar, by the way, is very popular in the States — we have all heard about claims against companies where the requirements are quite adequate, but the amounts that these same companies are forced to pay, break all the templates. I immediately remember a case that received crazy publicity, where a consumer charged McDonald’s fabulous compensation for the fact that she was burned with coffee-the woman received third-degree burns, for which the company compensated her $ 640 thousand.

In Russia, the average hospital temperature is, of course, much lower. Consumers of this type prefer to demand exactly as much as the company is ready to pay them, as they say, “on the fly”, without insisting on legal proceedings. What methods have gained popularity among terrorist consumers?

“Give it to me»

Ask any sales consultant how many times a shift they have to issue a refund. It’s not about marriage — of course, the thing may be defective upon closer inspection of the house or simply become disliked. But consumer terrorism is different — why, for example, buy an expensive suit or evening dress, when you can just “walk” the thing and return it after a couple of days?

Extorting discounts

It is extortion-usually such a consumer will always name the reason why you should give this discount to him. For example, they may say that the product does not match the description on the site — this is generally easy. What should I do to avoid making a refund and receiving negative feedback? Of course, it is easier for companies to give a discount, which is what the ambassadors of consumer terrorism are waiting for.

“Once we settled a guest, a very famous actress. She did not like the location of the room, she made a scandal for half an hour, directly demanding that the hotel give her a bottle of champagne as an apology. For guests of this level, this is a kind of entertainment, even if it is not very healthy, because they can afford any champagne. I emphasize-any”, – Anastasia, ex-employee of the reception and accommodation service at the five star hotel.

Orders via the online store

Previously, consumers themselves had a distrust of online stores. Are they deceived? Will the product be shipped? Is it worth paying a 100% prepayment? The roles have changed — what could be easier for the buyer than to say that the product simply did not come to him in the mail?

There were cases when large companies were “stripped” by a real gang — for example, one company regularly and completely unfairly lost in court. Why? The company sold equipment that was bought by a person from such a gang, and then passed the goods to a technician-he very skillfully spoiled the technique, as a result of which the company suffered losses almost daily.

The law “on consumer protection” is invaluable when people are really deceived, and is very dangerous when they start using it for personal gain. Whatever the case, there is a remedy for companies: the irony is that this is the same law.

How can I protect myself?

Do not agree on anything in words — if something changes in your interaction with the buyer, record it in writing. This will protect both sides and will be a good proof in court if the buyer decided to stand on the dark side.

If you are selling shoes or clothing, check whether the buyer is actually giving the item away because of a marriage or if it is already used. Expertise can help you — it costs money, but if you are right, the consumer will compensate for these costs. A great option if it is obvious that the item was worn, and the” buyer ” employees already know in person.

You, as a seller, must provide the consumer with the most complete and reliable information about the product, and this is a fact (article 10 Of the law “on consumer protection”). Write more and more about it to protect yourself and not to suffer undeserved losses.

The recipe for companies is universal — do not let the consumer be disappointed in you, keep the brand and do not let those who are not able to make money otherwise than by parasitizing your success cash in on themselves.


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