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I will dedicate this space to talk about “quality” in the Consumer Statute, since in the last few weeks we have seen how some people have uploaded to social networks photos or videos of products that -according to them- are made with materials that are not fit for human consumption.
In this order of ideas, the first thing to note is that Law 1480 of 2011 allows the consumer to file a complaint to the person legally responsible for the warranty when the quality of the product does not conform to that advertised or usually used in the market.
According to the Statute, quality is defined as the “Condition in which a product complies with the inherent characteristics and those attributed by the information provided about it”; according to the above, quality cannot be understood only as a word that implies perfection or conformity of the product, but also as a set of characteristics that the product must comply with according to what is announced by the producer or supplier and those inherent to its nature.
An example of this is what happened with the company FEOH UR INTERNACIONAL SAS, which before being liquidated, marketed a product called “THE CROSS OF GOLGOTA”, announcing through different media that the cross was laminated in 18 carat gold and that it also had a rock from Mount Golgotha.
Through Resolution 43142 of 2012, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce imposed penalties of more than one billion dollars to the aforementioned company, since its product was not up to the quality advertised, as it was not gold, nor did it contain a stone from Mount Golgotha.
As in this case, there are many others where, through radio spots or commercials, we are sold products that never fulfill their promise of quality.
I have always considered that the greatest difficulty in the relationship between consumers and producers is the asymmetry of information, since the producer knows his product perfectly well, but in order to achieve an effective sale, he decides to highlight only those aspects of the product that motivate the purchase and ignore those other data that may cause the consumer not to purchase the product.
The Consumer Statute, foreseeing these asymmetries, raises to a principle and a right, the consumer’s need to have access “to adequate information, (…), which allows them to make informed choices” but also established as a duty for the consumer that he must “be informed about the quality of the products, as well as the instructions provided by the producer or supplier in relation to their proper use or consumption, conservation and installation”.
An example of this is the Chilean legislation (Food Labeling Law) which requires manufacturers to inform and “alert” by means of a notice on the product label if the product is high in sugars, calories, fat or sodium.
As a society, we must demand ethical behavior from businessmen and understand that the law has endowed consumers with an exceptional power such as the consumer protection action. In any case, our society has a tool that is not of a legal nature, since those who do not comply with the quality obligation will have to face the popular discontent that is very typical of these issues that tend to go viral on the Internet, damage brands and which motivated this opinion.
Credit: http://www.larepublica.co/calidad-de-los-productos-en-las-relaciones-de-consumo_508611
By: Juan Esteban Vallejo Giraldo

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