Senior citizens trained on consumer rights
Transformation of demographic structure in Europe poses a challenge in many areas of economic and social development. Consumer policy is no exception. Senior citizens become more and more active as consumers, sometimes engaging in complicated transactions and signing contracts which could frighten even experienced lawyer.
With stable income and a bit naïve approach to the market they are easy and attractive targets for unfair entrepreneurs. And in Poland it shows - the percentage of older people making consumer complaints has increased significantly in recent years.
Consumer education is one of the ways to help senior consumers better prepare to marketing tricks and techniques used by the sellers. Association of Polish Consumers (SKP) has been addressing educational campaigns to consumers aged 60+ for several years now. In 2013 SKP decided to focus on Warsaw seniors.
78 workshops and lectures have been organized in senior clubs, U3A venues, libraries and cultural centers across Warsaw. During the meetings SKP lawyers presented the most relevant consumer topics: complaint procedure in consumer sale, direct sale and cooling-off period, loans and credits.
“Senior consumers tend to sign every paper without giving themselves at least some time to think it over. Such behavior is the source of most of their problems. So one of the things we’ve tried to achieve during the campaign was to convince older people to use their signature more responsibly” – said Tomasz Odziemczyk, SKP Vice President.
And the overall result was more that satisfying. Over 2000 senior citizens were trained during the campaign. Senior consumers actively participated in the workshops, sharing their personal experience and discussing the “hot” topics. After each meeting they expressed their gratitude and “We want more!” was the often heard phrase.
The campaign has been financed by City of Warsaw as one of several self-government initiatives in the consumer field.