The Consumers’ Right to Disclosure and Information is covered by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). It deals with rights such as the right to information in plain and understandable language. Documents should be written in a straight-forward manner so that the desired intention is understood by the reader without much effort. This means use of complex sentences filled with unnecessary words and phrases should be avoided.
Section 22(1) b of the CPA deals with this right of plain and understandable language. It seeks to ensure that consumers make informed choices about the products and services they consume by understanding the various terms and conditions of the contracts they enter into. Having documents written in this simple language is not an accessory; section 22 makes it an obligation. A producer of a document, notice or visual representation must write in plain and understandable language.
Plain language involves targeting your information and vocabulary to your desired customer. A business can therefore express its intentions effectively and provide certainty.
Reduced effectiveness in explaining product features and safety issues.
It provides customers with a clear meaningful information. Customers can make better-informed decisions, more quickly, with greater trust. By doing this, the business will stand out from the rest and an improved image will follow.
4. Attract new clients:
Consistently aiming for better service to clients will attract new clients. This will improve the company profile in the market place, create a positive image and attract new clients.
5. Save time and money:
Disputes can be easily avoided between parties which saves both time and money. Whenever disputes arise, they can be solved more easily by referring back to the contract.
The most relevant benefit of plain language is that the rights, duties and obligations of parties to contracts are clearly understood with no room for doubt or uncertainty on performance requirements. This allows for more effective business relationships and more efficient business practices.
The value of written contracts cannot be overemphasised; the CPA recognises this by including special provisions on written consumer agreements. The same must apply to all documents, notices displayed on boards and other visual representation.
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