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NCJ Number: 51372 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: VICTIMS OF UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES GET LIMITED HELP FROM THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: US Comptroller General
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: US Comptroller General
Washington, DC 20548
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20013
Sale Source: US Government Accountability Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EFFORTS OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION TO HELP CONSUMERS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES ARE EXPLORED IN THIS REPORT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO).
Abstract: CONSUMERS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES CAN SEEK HELP BY DOING THE FOLLOWING: (1) CONTACTING THE BUSINESS DIRECTLY, LOCAL CONSUMER GROUPS, BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU ORGANIZATIONS, STATE AGENCIES THAT INVESTIGATE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS AND FILE SUITS AGAINST BUSINESSES VIOLATING STATE CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS, AND (2) FILING SUITS WITH SMALL CLAIMS COURTS, OTHER COURTS, OR FEDERAL AGENCIES, SUCH AS THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. BECAUSE OF ITS BROAD POWER AND RESPONSIBILITIES, THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION IS IN A UNIQUE POSITION TO REDUCE UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE ACTS AND PRACTICES IN THE MARKETPLACE. THROUGH THE COURTS IT IS ALSO ABLE TO SEEK COMPENSATION FOR CONSUMER LOSSES RESULTING FROM DISHONEST OR FRAUDULENT ACTS AND PRACTICES. THE COMMISSION HAS HAD, HOWEVER, ONLY LIMITED SUCCESS WITH REGARD TO CONSUMER PROTECTION. IN SOME CASES, CONSUMERS HAVE RECEIVED NO REDRESS. IN OTHER CASES, THE AMOUNT OF REDRESS HAS BEEN RELATIVELY SMALL OR REDRESS HAS BEEN AVAILABLE TO ONLY A FEW CONSUMERS. THE COMMISSION'S ABILITY TO OBTAIN CONSUMER REDRESS HAS BEEN LIMITED BY ITS IMPRACTICAL AUTHORITY (LENGTHY AND TIME-CONSUMING PROCEDURES) AND INTERNAL MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS AND THE WEAK FINANCIAL POSITION OF MANY BUSINESSES IT INVESTIGATES. A SECTION ADDED TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ACT AUTHORIZES THE COMMISSION TO SEEK REDRESS FOR CONSUMERS, BUT ITS PROVISIONS COMPLICATE THE PROCESS BY REQUIRING THE COMMISSION TO COMPLETE ITS CASE AGAINST A BUSINESS BEFORE GOING TO A FEDERAL OR STATE COURT TO OBTAIN REDRESS. IN THE MAJORITY OF CASES REVIEWED BY THE GAO, THE COMMISSION TOOK 4 OR MORE YEARS TO COMPLETE A CASE. THE GAO RECOMMENDS THAT CONGRESS CLARIFY AND STRENGTHEN THE COMMISSION'S AUTHORITY AND THAT THE COMMISSION ACCELERATE ITS INTERNAL PROCESSES TO HELP CONSUMERS MORE EFFECTIVELY. THE SECTION ADDED TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ACT IS APPENDED.
Index Term(s): Consumer fraud; Consumer protection; Federal Trade Commission (FTC); White collar crime
Note: ADDITIONAL COPIES AVAILABLE FOR FEE REPORT TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51372

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