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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69850 Find in a Library
Title: Problems of Consumer Protection in Poland
Journal: Zeitschrift fuer Verbraucherpolitik  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:(1978)  Pages:50-66
Author(s): E Letowska; S Sltysinski; J Trojanek; C Zulawska
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Problem areas of consumer protection in Poland, i.e., monopolistic situations and price controls, and legal measures to prevent illegal business practices are discussed.
Abstract: In socialist countries consumer protection problems are viewed from a social rather than an individual perspective. Consequently, it is more difficult than in capitalist countries to determine whether individual interests are really threatened or whether obsessive consumerism has become destructive to society. Typical problems, in Poland relate to the misuse of market position by large economic units, disturbances in the retail trade-consumer relationship, and maintenance of quality. Monopolistic production in the socialist system can lead to reductions in the available assortment of goods, deterioration of product quality or substitution of inferior goods, and unjustified price increases. The tendency in Poland toward decentralization of the pricing process gives trade and industry directors excessive price-fixing powers. The ability of monopolistic procedures to force unfair contractual conditions on retailers has been limited somewhat by laws and by intervention powers of the Finance Minister. Further possible consumer protection measures can be initiated by application of the contractual freedom principle to new consumer protection provisions, by intensified enforcement of existing guarantees of consumer rights, and by clarification of the views of the Supreme Court on retailers' rights in determining contractual conditions. Existing quality protection measures include quality inspection label requirements and internal industrial quality control requirements. Consumers are also aided by the principle of seller responsibility for product inadequacies, by producer guarantees, and by consumers' rights to damages. Newly proposed measures include guidelines for creating industrial quality incentives and formation of an independent consumer organization. Notes and a bibliography are supplied. --in German.
Index Term(s): Consumer fraud; Consumer protection; Consumer protection laws; Economic influences; Poland; Socialism
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