VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Legal Obligations
LEGAL OBLIGATIONS - CUSTOMERS AND THE LAW
You will recall the legal requirements we looked at in Unit 2. There are many pieces of legislation to protect your customers and provide you with guidance about the way that you should take care of their needs.
These laws cover a wide range of issues from health and safety to confidentiality; from consumer protection to restrictions on the age.
What is the purpose of these legislations?
These laws have are meant to control the way that the best interests of customers are served by those whom they rely upon for services.
- Laws about Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare help to reduce the chance of customers coming to any physical harm, when they visit your premises
- Laws about confidentiality protect customers’ personal information from abuse
- Consumer protection laws help to ensure that customers are not treated fairly
- Laws to avoid any form of discrimination of customers
- Laws to avoid favouritism, abuse of power and authority
These laws give customers the assurance that they will be treated fairly. If that does not happen, customers are able to use the law to get things put right.
There is both civil and criminal law affecting your dealings with customers:
- When civil law is broken, damages may have to be paid as compensation.
- When criminal law is broken the result can be a fine, a criminal record or even a prison sentence.
THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING CUSTOMER LEGISLATION
Don’t worry too much! It is not essential for you to be able to quote the law and understand all the details. It is important, however, that you
- know which laws are fundamental to the provision of services to your customers and protect them;
- understand, recognise and put them into practice.
Without this understanding you may do things that are illegal and will cause problems for yourself and your organisation/agency as well as your customers. Remember that breach of the law could result in damages being paid to the customer or a disciplinary action for you or your organisation/agency.
If you do not know the basics of the law you may be misled into taking inappropriate action. You may believe you have a legal duty to do things that are not required.
Complete activity 24.