Consumer Rights to Have Choice – Berto is Safe

Consumer Rights to Have Choice – Berto is Safe

Consumers around the world have the fundamental right to choice. They are not merely passive recipients of goods and services but active participants in economic transactions. This is an important principle when it comes to the brand of fuel you choose to put into your motor vehicle. It is also true when it comes to the cartridge you put into your printer.

Printer OEMs have used the “razor-and-blade” business model where the printer (the razor) is sold very cheaply to consumers, but the toners and inks (the razor blades) are sold at high prices.  The printer OEMs have used many strategies to keep their printer customers coming back to them to purchase the consumables. More than 70% (and as high as 90%) of consumers do just that: they repeatedly purchase the consumables branded by the particular printer OEM that supplied them with the printer.

Our resident cartoonist, Berto, has captured this in this month’s cartoon. He sarcastically depicts a family at home, “safely” using their printer, almost oblivious to all the threats that lurk nearby—mostly strategies concocted by the OEMs to monopolise their customer base.

Consumer Rights to Have Choice - Berto is Safe

Consumers have different tastes, beliefs, and priorities, and choice allows them to select products and services that align with their unique preferences. Such freedom of choice fosters a sense of ownership and control over one’s consumption decisions, contributing to overall satisfaction and well-being.

The right to choose also fuels competition and innovation within markets. When consumers are free to select from a range of offerings, businesses are incentivized to improve the quality, affordability, and diversity of their products and services to attract customers. Such competition drives efficiency, encourages creativity, and ultimately benefits consumers by enhancing product quality, lowering prices, and expanding choices.

In addition, the right to choose promotes transparency and accountability in business practices. Informed consumers can make educated decisions about the products they purchase, including factors such as price, quality, safety, and environmental impact.

Confusing the Copier for the Shredder - Berto Falls to PiecesCartoon #120: Consumer Rights to Have Choice – Berto is Safe

Berto’s previous cartoon, #119: Confusing the Copier for the Shredder – Berto Falls to Pieces

Who is Berto? And where can you see more of his work?  Click here.

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