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NCJ Number: 66463 Find in a Library
Title: CONSUMER PROTECTION - THE ISSUES
Journal: JOURNAL OF CONSUMER POLICY  Volume:3  Issue:2  Dated:(1979)  Pages:97-109
Author(s): E S MAYNES
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: FACTORS WHICH STIMULATE THE DEMAND FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION ARE ANALYZED, INCLUDING MONOPOLISTIC PATTERNS IN BUSINESS AND MARKETS IN WHICH CONSUMERS LACK THE INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR EFFECTIVE DECISIONS.
Abstract: ECONOMIC LOSSES SUFFERED BY CONSUMERS PROVIDE THE BASIC REASONS FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION, BUT A WIDESPREAD FEELING THAT THESE INJURIES ARE UNJUSTLY INFLICTED HAS GIVEN THE CONSUMER MOVEMENT ITS EMOTIONAL IMPETUS. CONSUMER RIGHTS THAT HAVE ACHIEVED ALMOST UNIVERSAL ACCEPTANCE ENCOMPASS SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS, INFORMATION ABOUT PRODUCTS, ACCESS TO A VARIETY OF ITEMS OR SERVICES, PARTICIPATION IN POLICYMAKING BODIES, AND REDRESS PROCEDURES. MONOPOLIES VICTIMIZE THE CONSUMER BY PROVIDING FEWER PRODUCTS AT HIGHER PRICES. IN THE MODERN WORLD, TECHNICALLY COMPLEX PRODUCTS, FAILURE TO BARGAIN, AND AFFLUENCE MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR CONSUMERS TO OBTAIN AND ACT UPON RELEVANT INFORMATION. FURTHERMORE, SELLERS WHO CONTROL PRODUCTION AND ADVERTISING MANIPULATE CONSUMER DEMAND TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE BUY WHAT IS PRODUCED AT HIGH PRICES. CONSUMER DISSATISFACTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF PURCHASED GOODS STEMS FROM THE COMPLEXITY OF MODERN PRODUCTS AND THE LARGE, INPERSONAL CHARACTER OF MOST RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS. CONSUMERS ARE UNDERREPRESENTED BECAUSE THEIR INTERESTS ARE WIDELY DISPERSED COMPARED TO THE SPECIALIZED INTERESTS OF PRODUCERS. CONSUMERS ALSO HAVE FEW SOURCES OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND MUST RELY ON PRODUCT TEST MAGAZINES OR GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS TO CONSUMER-ORIENTED AGENCIES. SINCE ALL CONSUMERS BENEFIT FROM A SUCCESSFUL REFORM ACHIEVED BY A SMALL GROUP, AN INDIVIDUAL HAS LITTLE INCENTIVE TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEADING OTHER CONSUMERS. BUSINESSES HAVE TRADITIONALLY USED GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS TO REDUCE COMPETITION, NOT BENEFIT CUSTOMERS. PROBLEMS OF VULNERABLE CONSUMERS, SUCH AS THE POOR, UNEDUCATED, THE AGED, OR CHILDREN, PROVIDE ADDITIONAL MOTIVATION FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Consumer fraud; Consumer protection; Consumers; Deceptive advertising
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66463

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