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Title: Consumer protection and service delivery by the retail industry in the greater Durban area : the legal implications of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008
Authors: Govender, Vasantha 
Issue Date: 2017
As a result of weaker bargaining power, consumers are often exploited or treated unfairly in the business arena. Whilst consumer abuse is a global problem, South African consumers are more vulnerable due to various socio-economic conditions that affect their ability to negotiate equally in the marketplace. Factors such as poverty and illiteracy contribute to consumer abuse and is perpetuated by the discrimination which was inherent in the apartheid era. Accordingly, the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (CPA) was promulgated to promote the respect for consumer rights, create awareness, enhance consumer protection and eliminate unfair and dishonest business practices which were prevalent at the time.

This study aims to investigate the implications of consumer rights for service delivery within the retail sector. The main objective of this research was to explore the levels of awareness of consumer rights and to identify consumers’ expectations and perceptions of service delivery in relation to the CPA. The research design was quantitative in nature. A questionnaire was designed to assess the levels of awareness of rights and consumers’ expectations and perceptions of the service delivered by retailers, in relation to the service quality dimensions. Using convenience sampling, data was obtained from 337 respondents in the greater Durban area. Data was analysed using SPSS version 24.0 and interpreted using descriptive and inferential statistics.

The findings of the gap analysis revealed that the respondents’ perceptions of service quality was consistently lower than their expectations, in respect of several dimensions of service quality. These negative gaps indicate that the level of the delivered service had fallen below the respondents’ expectations of service quality amongst retailers. This implies that respondents’ were dissatisfied with business compliance with provisions of the CPA. Businesses are hence encouraged to take steps to ensure legal compliance, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and attaining higher levels of service excellence.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the Master’s Degree in Marketing, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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