Stiftung Warentest is a German consumer organisation and foundation involved in investigating and comparing goods and services in an unbiased way. It was founded on 4 December 1964 by the Federal Republic of Germany as an independent foundation under civil law, it is based in Berlin. Beyond its subscriber base and media coverage, content from Stiftung Warentest can be disseminated through word of mouth. Stiftung Warentest has an important role in two main areas. On the one hand it has the task of comparing objective aspects such as usefulness and environmental impact, on the other hand it has the mission of educating consumers so they can learn how to make best use of the income available to them and behave in a health promoting and environmentally aware way. Due to its well known and established reputation as an independent and reliable organization, the foundation has a considerable influence on the buying behavior of consumers. Good ratings and verdicts are given great prominence in product advertising and on product packaging.
In contrast, bad ratings and verdicts lead to a decline in sales and thus sometimes legal action against SW by the manufacturers. According to SW, they are sued ten times a year; the foundation has never been ordered by the courts to pay compensation and wins any legal action taken against it. Stiftung Warentest is self-financing, selling its own magazines test and Finanztest and special magazine issues, investigation results as paid-for content on its own website. Sales revenues in 2012 totalled €39.5 million. The foundation receives a subsidy of €3.5 million from the Federal Ministry of Nutrition and Consumer Protection. This is compensation for the fact that it does not carry any advertisements in its publications because this could compromise its independence. Stiftung Warentest carries out more than 200 comparative product tests and investigations of services from nearly all areas of everyday life every year. Since 2002, products and services on special limited offer by the discount retailer chains, have been investigated every week and the results published.
Aspects of corporate social responsibility have been a part of the investigations of some specified products since 2004. There is a section on investigated medication, which provides information about more than 9000 medicines and 175 areas of application. Market researchers and scientific staff are employed by Stiftung Warentest with the responsibility for selecting the products and services and the carrying out of the investigations; each investigation project must be approved of by the Advisory Council and discussed at a meeting with advisory experts representing consumers, manufacturers / retailers and providers, as well as independent experts. The investigations are not carried out by Stiftung Warentest's staff members themselves, but by independent external test institutes worldwide. Test samples are purchased anonymously in shops and not provided by the manufacturers. After the tests and the evaluations have been completed, but before publication, details of the objective results are sent to the respective manufacturers and providers for verification and so that they can make their comments.
Journalists summarise the investigation results in a form which makes them easier to read and understand. Staff members who are responsible for verification make sure the published reports and investigation results concur. Up until December 2011, Stiftung Warentest had published information about 5,300 investigations covering about 100,000 products and 2,137 services. Stiftung Warentest's website has all the investigation results starting in 2000, as well as current news, special online articles, an interactive calculator and free short versions of between eight and ten investigations per month. Downloading information costs between 75 cents and €2.50 for detailed investigation results, a maximum of €5 for comprehensive product databases. The classification of the evaluation results is based on the marking system used in German schools; this results in the following categories for the overall verdicts on the quality of goods and services: 0.5–1.5: "very good" 1.6–2.5: "good" 2.6–3.5: "satisfactory" 3.6–4.5: "adequate" 4.6–5.5: "unsatisfactory" In accordance with its statutes, Stiftung Warentest has its premises in Berlin, there are three bodies which are responsible for different areas.
The Executive Board represents it in and out of court. It comprises just one person at the present time, namely Hubertus Primus, the successor of Werner Brinkmann and Roland Hüttenrauch; the Supervisory Board, which has seven members, is responsible for appointing the Executive Board and supervising its activities. The Advisory Council, with 18 members, advises the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board on all issues of fundamental importance. Editor-in-chief of test is Anita Stocker, until summer 2014 editor-in-chief of Finanztest was Hermann-Josef Tenhagen and editor-in-chief of test.de is Andreas Gebauer. Lucia A. Reisch is and Gerhard Scherhorn has been member of the board of directors. In April 2004, a facial cream marketed by German actress Uschi Glas received a devastating rating, because the cream caused pimples and rash for people with sensitive skin, the producer sued the foundation. In April 2005 the suit was turned down by the Landgericht Berlin court. In January 2006, the foundation criticized the safety of several stadiums to be used in the 2006 World Cup.
In July 2014, Britax Römer criticized Stiftung Warentest over its 4.5 rating for the Britax Römer DUALFIX. Britax Römer argue that their over
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
The Ministry of Business and Employment is the public service department of New Zealand charged with "delivering policy, services and regulation" which contribute to New Zealand's economic productivity and business growth. Formed on 1 July 2012, MBIE is a merger of the Department of Building and Housing, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Science and Innovation. In October 2018, the newly-created Ministry of Housing and Urban Development assumed several of MBIE's housing and social policy and regulatory functions including the KiwiBuild programme, the Community Housing Regulatory Authority, administration of funding for the HomeStart, Welcome Home Loans, the legacy Social Housing Fund and Community Group Housing programmes. Senior Leadership Chief Executive Deputy Chief Executive - Immigration Deputy Chief Executive - Corporate Governance and Information Deputy Chief Executive - Building and Markets Deputy Chief Executive - Labour and Enterprise Deputy Chief Executive - Market Services Chief Financial Officer Head of the Office of the Chief Executive The Ministry manages a number of operational services, including: Business.govt.nz Companies Office, which manages registers for: motor-vehicle traders financial-service providers societies and trusts personal-property securities Consumer Affairs Electricity Authority Electrical Workers Registration Board Government procurement Immigration New Zealand Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand Major events Māori Economic Development, including partnership with the independent Māori Economic Development Panel and partnering in He kai kei aku ringa - the Māori Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan Insolvency and Trustee Service Natural Hazards Research Platform New Zealand Cycle Trail New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals New Zealand Space Agency Pike River Recovery Agency Radio Spectrum Management Strategic Science Investment Fund Vision Mātauranga The Ministry serves 15 portfolios, 1 other responsibility, 12 ministers and 1 Parliamentary under-secretary.
Test Aankoop or Test Achats is a Belgian non-profit organization which promotes consumer protection. It publishes research in a subscription magazine. Test Achats was founded by Louis Darms in November 1957 as the Association des Consommateurs / Verbruikersunie. In 1960 it was one of the founders of the organization now called Consumers International. Test Achats is a founding member of International Consumer Testing. In 1987 Test Achats formed partnerships with three other consumer organizations with the intention of coordination comparative product testing in each country; those organizations are the Comitato Difesa Consumatori in Italy, the Organization de Consumidores y Usuarios in Spain, the Associacao Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor in Portugal. The organization was a party to a 2011 lawsuit, Test-Achats vs Council of Ministers, in which it advocated for an end to using gender as a basis for determining insurance rates. Official website Official website
The New Zealand Herald
The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment. It has the largest newspaper circulation of all newspapers in New Zealand, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although circulation of the daily Herald had declined to 115,213 copies on average by December 2017, its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland and King Country; the New Zealand Herald was founded by William Chisholm Wilson, first published on 13 November 1863. Wilson had been a partner with John Williamson in the New Zealander, but left to start a rival daily newspaper as he saw a business opportunity with Auckland's growing population, he had split with Williamson because Wilson supported the war against the Māori while Williamson opposed it. The Herald promoted a more constructive relationship between the North and South Islands. After the New Zealander closed in 1866 The Daily Southern Cross provided competition after Julius Vogel took a majority shareholding in 1868.
The Daily Southern Cross was first published in 1843 by William Brown as The Southern Cross and had been a daily since 1862. Vogel sold out of the paper in 1873 and Alfred Horton bought it in 1876. In 1876 the Wilson family and Horton joined in partnership and The New Zealand Herald absorbed The Daily Southern Cross. In 1879 the United Press Association was formed so that the main daily papers could share news stories; the organisation became the New Zealand Press Association in 1942. In 1892, the New Zealand Herald, Otago Daily Times, Press agreed to share the costs of a London correspondent and advertising salesman; the New Zealand Press Association closed in 2011. The Wilson and Horton families were both represented in the company, known as Wilson & Horton, until 1996 when Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media Group of Dublin purchased the Horton family's interest in the company; the Herald is now owned by Entertainment. That company is owned by Sydney-based APN News & Media and the Radio Network, owned by the Australian Radio Network.
Dita de Boni was a columnist for the newspaper, writing her first columns for the NZ Herald in 1995. From 2012 - 2015 she wrote a business and politics column until – after a series of articles critical of the Key government – the Herald discontinued her column for financial reasons. Gordon Minhinnick was a staff cartoonist from the 1930s until his retirement in the 1980s. Malcolm Evans was fired from his position as staff cartoonist in 2003 after the newspaper received complaints about his cartoons on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Laurence Clark was the daily political cartoonist from 1987 to 1996, continued to publish cartoons weekly in the Herald until 2000. On 10 September 2012, the Herald moved to a compact format for weekday editions, after 150 years publishing in broadsheet format; the broadsheet format was retained for the Saturday edition. In April 2007, APN NZ announced it was outsourcing the bulk of the Herald's copy editing to an Australian-owned company, Pagemasters.
In November 2012, two months after the launch of its new compact format, APN News and Media announced it would be restructuring its workforce, cutting eight senior roles from across the Herald's range of titles. The Herald is traditionally a centre-right newspaper, was given the nickname "Granny Herald" into the 1990s; this changed with the acquisition of the paper by Independent News & Media in 1996, today, despite remaining free enterprise oriented on economic matters such as trade and foreign investment, the Herald is editorially progressive on international geopolitics and military matters, printing material from British newspapers such as The Independent and The Observer but more conservative newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph. It regularly reprints syndicated material from the and politically conservative, right-wing British tabloid the Daily Mail; the Herald's stance on the Middle East is supportive of Israel, as seen most in its 2003 censorship and dismissal of cartoonist Malcolm Evans following his submission of cartoons critical of Israel.
On domestic matters, editorial opinion is centrist supporting conservative values. In 2007, an editorial disapproved of some legislation introduced by the Labour-led government, the Electoral Finance Act, to the point of overtly campaigning against the legislation. In July 2015, the New Zealand Press Council ruled that Herald columnist Rachel Glucina had failed to properly represent herself as a journalist when seeking comment from Amanda Bailey on a complaint she had made about Prime Minister John Key pulling her hair when he was a customer at the cafe in which she worked; the Herald published Bailey's name and comments after she had retracted permission for Glucina to do so. The council said there was an “element of subterfuge” in Glucina's actions and that there was not enough public interest to justify her behaviour. In its ruling the council said that, “The NZ Herald has fallen sadly short of those standards in this case.” The Herald's editor denied the accusations of subterfuge. Glucina subsequently resigned from the newspaper.
In 1998 the Weekend Herald was set up as a separate title and the newspaper's website was launched. A compact-sized Sunday edition, the Herald on Sunday, was first published on 3 October 2004 under the editorship of Suzanne Chetwin and for five years, by Shayne Currie, it won Newspaper of the Year for the calendar years 2007 and 2009 and is New Zealand's second-highest-circulating weekly newspaper after the more established and conservative broadshee
Consumers International is the membership organisation for consumer groups around the world. Founded on 1 April 1960, it has over 250 member organisations in 120 countries, its head office is based in London, with regional offices in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Consumers International is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, company number 04337865 and registered charity number 1122155; the organisation was first established in 1960 as the International Organisation of Consumers Unions by national consumer organisations who wanted to create cross-border campaigns and share knowledge. IOCU was founded by Elizabeth Schadee, who would chair the board of the Netherlands' Consumentenbond, Caspar Brook, the first director of the United Kingdom's Consumers' Association; the two proposed an international conference to plan for consumer product testing organisations worldwide to work more together. The United States organization Consumers Union provided US$10,000 at the request of Colston Warne to help fund the event.
In January 1960, these three organisations sponsored the First International Conference on Consumer Testing in The Hague. Thirty-four people representing seventeen consumer organisations in fourteen countries attended to discuss product testing and founding the International Organisation of Consumers Unions as an international organisation. Belgium's Association des Consommateurs and the Australian Consumers' Association joined the three conference sponsors as the five founding organisations who became the international organisation's initial council. Consumers International has over 250 member organisations in 120 countries; these members are independent consumer organisations. About two-thirds of member organisations are in economically developing countries, the other third in industrialised countries. Consumers International works with and hosts the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue a forum of US and EU consumer organisations that develops and agrees on consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union to promote the consumer interest in EU and US policy making – at its office in London.
On 15 March 1962 former US President John F. Kennedy said: Consumers by definition include us all, they are the largest economic group and affected by every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group… whose views are not heard. Consumer rights activist Anwar Fazal working for Consumers International at the time proposed the observance of a'World Consumer Rights Day' marking that date, on 15 March 1983 consumer organisations started observing that date as an occasion to promote basic rights of consumers. World Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. Participants observe the day by promoting the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, protesting about the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on 15 March every year; the theme for 2018 is Fairer Digital Marketplaces. Consumers International is calling for: 1.
Access to fair and secure internet as half of the world is still offline. 2. Action against scams and fraud. 3. Better general consumer protection online. Consumers International seek to achieve changes in government policy and corporate behaviour, whilst raising awareness of consumer rights and responsibilities, its campaigns fall under the themes of consumer justice and protection, food policy, digital consumer rights and sustainability. Consumers International has campaigned on issues like junk food marketing and unethical drug promotion, corporate social responsibility and unethical or unsustainable behaviour by corporations and governments. In 1979, IOCU and other citizens’ groups formed the International Baby Food Action Network to eradicate the death and disease affecting millions of babies in economically developing countries as a result of consuming bottle-fed formula milk. After intense campaigning by IBFAN, including organising consumer boycotts against the likes of Nestlé, whose subtle yet effective campaigns were undermining breast feeding, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization, adopted the International Code of Marketing on Breast Milk Substitutes the first such code designed to control widespread marketing abuses by baby food companies.
In 1981, Consumers International co-founded the Health Action International, an informal network of some 120 consumer and public interest groups, HAI engaged in worldwide campaigns for the safe and economic use of pharmaceuticals. At the 41st World Health Assembly in 1987, HAI organised a large lobby of delegates to urge stronger controls on advertising by the drugs industry. Consumers International works with the International Organization for Standardization to create Standards that provide solutions to global challenges, it holds General Consultative Status to the United Nations Social Council. This is the highest status granted by the United Nations to non-governmental organizations, allowing them to participate in the work of the United Nations. Consumers International has staff working in five areas of the world: London, CI Global Office Chile, Latin America and the Caribbean South Africa, Africa Malaysia, Asia Pacific Oman, Middle East Sim, Foo Gaik. IOCU on record: a documentary history of the International Organization of Consumers Unions, 1960-1990.
Yonkers, N. Y.: Consumers Union. ISBN 0890435316. Official website Official website
Which? is a brand name used by the Consumers' Association, a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, based in the United Kingdom. It exists to promote informed consumer choice in the purchase of goods and services by testing products, highlighting inferior products or services, raising awareness of consumer rights and offering independent advice; the association owns several businesses, including Which? Financial Services Limited, Which? Legal Limited and Which? Limited, which publishes the Which? magazine. The vast majority of the association's income comes from the profit it makes on its trading businesses, for instance subscriptions to Which? magazine, which are donated to the campaigning part of the organisation to fund advocacy activity and inform the public about consumer issues. Which? magazine maintains its independence by not accepting advertising, the organisation receives no government funding. The Consumers' Association is the largest consumer organisation in the UK, with over 573,000 subscribers to its magazine.
Until 2006, the association used prize draws similar to those of Reader's Digest to attract subscribers, but following criticism they were discontinued. The Association now attracts subscribers to its publications with free mini-guides and trial offers; the organisation was set up in 1957 as a response to the changing values and concerns of the post-war era, at a time of rapid changes in product markets and consumer behaviour – and a corresponding growth in sharp trading practices. To combat this, Michael Young, research director for the Labour Party, proposed setting up a'Consumer Advisory Service' to be considered for the party's 1950 manifesto, only to be rejected by Harold Wilson. Encouraged by the efforts of Dorothy Bruchholz Goodman, of the United States, Ray Goodman, Young continued to push the idea and in October 1957 the first Which? magazine was published from a converted garage in Bethnal Green. Its central aim was to improve the standard of goods and services available to the public in the UK.
Under the editorship of Eirlys Roberts, the publication started as a small 32-page magazine that included reports on electric kettles, aspirin, cake-mixes, scouring powders, no-iron cottons and British cars. By 1959, membership reached a membership services office in Hertford. In 1960, Which? helped to found the International Organisation of Consumer Unions Consumers International. In 1962, coverage expanded with the launch of the first quarterly Which? car supplement, which becomes Motoring Which? in 1965, followed by Money Which? in 1968. In 1970, Which? bought a set of buildings in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, to set up labs to test products including domestic appliances, DIY equipment, consumer electronics. The work had been contracted out; the 1970s saw Which? taking a greater campaigning role, it began to adopt a more aggressive stance on issues such as lead poisoning and aircraft noise. In 1971, for example, Which? Published the first league table on the tar and nicotine content of cigarettes.
The organisation dabbled in high street consumer advice centres during the 1970s. More than 120 such centres were operating in 1977-8, many of them funded by local councils; the centres closed as funding was withdrawn by the government in 1980. Which? continued campaigning on consumer safety issues, with its car safety test results strengthening calls to legislate car manufacturers to fit seat belts in all new cars, helping to make it compulsory to Clunk Click Every Trip in 1983. In 1992, Which? launched another satellite publication, this one aimed at youngsters aged 11–15, called Check It Out!, but it failed to take off and closed in June 1994. In 1995 testing facilities were moved to Milton Keynes where they remained until 2002, when the majority of the Which? Testing activities were contracted out. Which? Online, the first incarnation of the Which? website, was launched in 1996 which incorporated its own ISP, email and content in addition to the Which Online Forum - an area accessible to members which offered unfettered access to members of the senior management within Which?
Including the Directors. The trading organisation was rebranded as Which? in 2004 and this is the brand promoted to the general public. However the charity the Consumers' Association continues to own Which? Ltd and retains its own name. Following the deregulation of the gas and electricity industry, Which? launched a free online energy comparison service called Switch with Which? in 2005, to compare energy tariffs. The service was awarded Energywatch Confidence Code accreditation in 2006. In the 2010 Superbrands index, Which? Ranked fifth in the "Media — Newspapers and Magazines" category and 256th overall. Which? carries out systematic testing of consumer products and financial services, the results of which are published in reports in Which? magazine and on the Which? website. Tests are carried out on goods and suppliers. Testing covers reliability, safety, energy efficiency and value-for-money, as relevant in different cases. Top-rated products are awarded the Which?'Best Buy' status logo, an accreditation recognised by industry and consumers.
Which? First used the phrase in its second magazine edition in 1958. Conversely, the worst-performing products are labelled'Don't Buys'. Which? Awards The Which? Awards is an annual event to'celebrate the UK's best products and services, from cars and restaurants to supermarkets and financial services'. Award winners are selected by Which? staff, based on test findings and feedback from Which? members throughout the year. Unusual test subjects As well as the usual household products, Which? has tested things such as: Bird seed for budgerigars in 1959 Contracept
In regulatory jurisdictions that provide for it, consumer protection is a group of laws and organizations designed to ensure the rights of consumers as well as fair trade and accurate information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent the businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors, they may provide additional protection for those most vulnerable in society. Consumer protection laws are a form of government regulation that aim to protect the rights of consumers. For example, a government may require businesses to disclose detailed information about products—particularly in areas where safety or public health is an issue, such as food. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights and to the formation of consumer organizations, which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace and get help with consumer complaints. Other organizations that promote consumer protection include government organizations and self-regulating business organizations such as consumer protection agencies and organizations, the Federal Trade Commission in America and Better Business Bureaus in America and Canada, etc.
A consumer is defined as someone who acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing. Consumer interests can be protected by promoting competition in the markets which directly and indirectly serve consumers, consistent with economic efficiency, but this topic is treated in competition law. Consumer protection can be asserted via non-government organizations and individuals as consumer activism. Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered as an area of law that regulates private law relationships between individual consumers and the businesses that sell those goods and services. Consumer protection covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to product liability, privacy rights, unfair business practices, misrepresentation, other consumer/business interactions. It's a way of preventing frauds and scams from service and sales contracts, eligible fraud, bill collector regulation, utility turnoffs, personal loans that may lead to bankruptcy.
The following lists consumer legislation at the nation-state level. In the EU member states Germany and the United Kingdom there is the applicability of law at the EU level to be considered. In Australia, the corresponding agency is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or the individual State Consumer Affairs agencies; the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has responsibility for consumer protection regulation of financial services and products. However, in practice, it does so through run EDR schemes such as the Financial Ombudsman Service. In Brazil, consumer protection is regulated by the Consumer's Defense Code, as mandated by the 1988 Constitution of Brazil. Germany, as a member state of the European Union, is bound by the consumer protection directives of the European Union. A minister of the federal cabinet is responsible for protection. In the current cabinet of Angela Merkel, this is Katarina Barley; when issuing public warnings about products and services, the issuing authority has to take into account that this affects the supplier's constitutionally protected economic liberty, see Bundesverwaltungsgericht Case 3 C 34.84, 71 BVerwGE 183).
In India, consumer protection is specified in The Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Under this law, Separate Consumer Dispute Redress Forums have been set up throughout India in each and every district in which a consumer can file his complaint on a simple paper with nominal court fees and his complaint will be decided by the Presiding Officer of the District Level; the complaint can be filed by both the consumer of a goods as well as of the services. An appeal could be filed to the State Consumer Disputes Redress Commissions and after that to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission; the procedures in these tribunals are less formal and more people friendly and they take less time to decide upon a consumer dispute when compared to the years long time taken by the traditional Indian judiciary. In recent years, many effective judgment have been passed by some state and National Consumer Forums. Indian Contract Act, 1872 lays down the conditions in which promises made by parties to a contract will be binding on each other.
It lays down the remedies available to aggregate party if the other party fails to honor his promise. The Sale of Goods Act of 1930 act provides some safeguards to buyers of goods if goods purchased do not fulfill the express or implied conditions and warranties; the Agriculture Produce Act of 1937 act provides grade standards for agricultural commodities and live stock products. It specifies the conditions which govern the use of standards and lays down the procedure for grading and packaging of agricultural produce; the quality mark provided under the act is known as AGMARK-Agricultural Marketing. The Nigerian government has a duty to protect its people from any form of harm to human health through the use and purchase of items to meet daily needs. In light of this, the Nigerian Consumer Protection Council, whose aim is to protect and enhance consumers' interest through information and enforcement of the rights of consumers was established by an Act of Parliament to promote and protect the interest of consumers over all pro