When a consumer is not satisfied with a product because of a defect, the first step that the person should take is to file a complaint with the seller. The process for filing such consumer complaints was discussed in an earlier blog post. As that blog post mentioned, it is the duty of a seller to respond to the complaint and to take it seriously. However, in certain cases, a consumer may not be satisfied with the seller’s response. Nonetheless, that does not mean that the situation has been resolved. On the contrary, the consumer has the option of involving other appropriate people in order to resolve the situation.
According to the law, consumers who have been harmed by a dangerous or defective product have the right to seek compensation for damages.
All states, and even cities and towns, have consumer protection agencies that help consumers to resolve their complaints. At the state level, a consumer can also contact the regulatory agency that caters to the seller’s specific industry. Additionally, consumers can take their concerns to state and local licensing agencies. Those state and local agencies mediate consumer complaints, conduct necessary investigations and prosecute sellers who violate consumer safety laws.
In addition to government agencies, a consumer may also take the complaint against a seller to various non-governmental organizations, such as trade associations, the Better Business Bureau, national consumer associations and the media.
However, when a defective product injures or kills a person, it is very important to hold the negligent parties accountable. The injured or their families may be left with huge medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. A product liability lawsuit can help compensate them for these damages, while also encouraging safer products in the future.