ICC's Activities for World Consumer Rights Day 2013 focuses on 6 principal channels:
1. Initial launch of “Consumerism at a Click,” an application through which an individual consumer can determine, independently and online, whether he is able to cancel a purchase transaction that he has made, whether it is a long distance transaction, door-to-door sale, or other type of transaction, that is, one carried out in a store or at a sales presentation event. Should the response be that, given the circumstances, he is entitled to cancel the transaction, the user will be directed to a specific guide for putting the cancelation into effect, in which he will also find the text of a sample cancelation letter, relevant to the information and circumstances that he fed into the system.
2. In the lead-up to World Consumer Rights Day, we will publish the Council’s Report on Complaints, summarizing the Council’s activities in this area for 2012. This report will cover the following data: the number and type of complaints; comparisons with the previous year (2012 against 2011) and analysis of noteworthy trends; a breakdown of the complaints received, by industry (telecommunications, electrical goods, clothing and shoes, etc.), showing the share for each; details of the reasons for the consumer complaints; and a geographic breakdown of the areas (metropolitan versus peripheral areas) from which the complaints were submitted. The Report summarizes approximately 40,000 complaints received over the course of the year. This provides a large enough basis for comparative analysis, and gives a clear picture of the complaints and how we, as consumers, relate to the various business areas.
3. The launch of a new cooperative venture between the Consumer Council and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce. For the first time, the Council, as the National Consumer Organization, is joining hands with the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, the umbrella body for the free business sector, in the effort to guide the business about consumer rights. The assumption behind the initiative is that many violations of consumer rights occur due to the business ignorance and not necessarily to malicious intent. The Chamber has about 5,000 businesses and organizations as direct members, and a further 10,000 business corporations associated with it indirectly. These include importers, wholesalers, business and service corporations, as well as manufacturers and exporters. An initial joint effort, related to sales of watches and the provision of information to the relevant businesses, has already been carried out.
4. A joint, one-day seminar for the Council, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, and the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority is to be held. During the seminar, we will examine the following issues: the Authority’s perspective on mechanisms for independent enforcement; internal enforcement programs as a risk management tool for business; and a panel on government regulation versus business fairness, at which the question will be raised of whether Israel suffers from over-regulation.
5. Television awareness campaign for children – “Only Losers Pay and Pay”
The Israel Consumer Council, in conjunction with the Israeli Kids Channel is running a publicity campaign based on the slogan “Only Losers Pay and Pay”. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness among children about consumer rights and the appropriate considerations when making a purchase. The campaign is accompanied by a video clip featuring stars from the Kids Channel, as well as activities offering prizes.
The activities will reach their climax toward World Consumer Rights Day, with a competition offering prizes, in which children are asked to submit a photo, inspired by the video clip, accompanied by a message about intelligent consumerism, beginning “I am not a loser because…”. The most creative, convincing and original photos will be published on the Kids Channel website, as part of its activity gallery, and on the Consumer Council’s website. The five best submissions will be awarded prizes.
6. World Consumer Rights Day in the Education System
" Responsible Consumers are Smart Consumers"
To mark World Consumer Rights Day, a special educational program has been developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Education’s Social Education Department. The “Responsible Consumers are Smart Consumers” program includes experiential learning with the aid of video clips, and the preparation of publicity products by the children themselves. The activities address responsible consumer behavior, and the considerations that consumers should take into account, while addressing the value of responsibility.
The program will be taught throughout the country, as part of Social Education classes for grades 5 and 6, and the program will run from the week in which World Consumer Rights Day is marked, through to the end of the school year.
"Game on, Consumer"
The Consumer Council, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education’s Civics and Society Department, will be deploying the "Game on, Consumer " program, for grade 4 classes, in both Hebrew and Arabic. The program is based on an interactive game that combines both individual and group learning, and which deals with various consumer issues – such as: canceling transactions, comparing prices, consumer culture, reading the fine print, and so on – through the use of videos, assignments and experiential puzzles.
Deployment of the program began with an online seminar for teachers across the country, preparing them to run the program during the week of World Consumer Rights Day.