Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations USA

Who is a Consumer under the Consumer Protection Act? What are Consumer Rights and Responsibilities? What is Consumer Exploitation? When is Consumer Rights Day celebrated?
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What Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations USA are relevant for consumer awareness i.e. it is important to know for consumer education. But where to report the cases of consumer exploitation and what are the laws following the Consumer Protection Act to protect you from unfair practices? Here are these laws discussed in detail. Continue reading!

1. Bureau of Consumer Protection: Federal Trade Commission

The fraudulent, unfair, and deceptive business practices are stopped by the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the FTC under the Consumer Protection Act. They are responsible for reaching the consumers and conducting investigations regarding the products while collecting feedback and reports, which helps to sue the companies breaking the law and create a fair market. (See What is Empowered Consumerism?)

2. Consumer Protection Rights Act 2015 USA

The Consumer Protection Rights Act was entered into on 1 October 2015. It consisted of the Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations regarding services, goods, and unfair terms updated while consolidating existing rules. Legislation is widely governed by the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. Some core consumer rights are mentioned below:

  • Good quality products
  • Purpose-driven products
  • Up to the description of products

According to consumer rights, if any product lacks any of the above three criteria, the consumer is entitled to a refund. Also, this act promotes B2B contracts while keeping the legislations of 1977, the unfair contract terms, and 1979, the Sales of Goods Act untouched. Must read How to Develop a New Product from Concept to Market?

3. Who is a Consumer under Consumer Protection Act?

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Photo by Sam Lion

According to the Consumer Protection Act, a consumer is a person who purchases a product for use and not resale, which is the consumer’s general pace for the product to hire or buy it. The consumer cannot use the product for commercial purposes. (See What is Sustainability and Why is it Important?)

4. List Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations USA 2022

Some of the Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations USA 2022 are-

  • UCC (Uniform Commercial Code): It is general consumer protection that protects the parties by mandating fair deals in commercial transactions.
  • FTC (Federal Trade Commission Act): It promotes fair commerce and general consumer protection.
  • COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act): It prohibits collecting data from children under 13.
  • TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act): It restricts automated dialing systems of telephone, thus promoting privacy.
  • VPP (Video Privacy Protection Act): It restricts consumers’ personal information from being disclosed by video service providers.
  • DPP (Drivers Privacy Protection Act): It restricts the personal information of a consumer from being disclosed by records of motor vehicles.
  • FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act): It promotes privacy and fairness by restricting the consumer reporting agency from using their information.
  • FD&C (Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act): It regulates food, device, drug, and cosmetic product safety.

5. What are Consumer Rights and Responsibilities?

Consumer rights and responsibilities according to the Consumer Protection Act are tabulated below:

S.no. Consumer Rights Consumer Responsibilities
1. Purchase certified products. The consumer should know about the quality and safety of products, which is a responsibility to be aware of.
2. Choose from various products that are right to choose from. The consumer should be able to speak fearlessly about their grievances to the traders, which is their responsibility.
3. Know the products’ details that are right to be informed. Consumers should make an independent decision about what they need, which is the responsibility to think independently.
4. Express their feedback that is right to be heard. The consumer should file and express their satisfaction with the services that are their responsibility to complain.
5. Seek redress against exploitation or unfair practices, which is the right to compensation. The consumer must not engage in any fraudulent practices and purchase the products fairly, which is the responsibility of an ethical consumer.

6. What is Consumer Exploitation?

Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations USA
Photo by Megan (Markham) Bucknall on Pexels

Consumer exploitation is the process by which a consumer is cheated either by the producer or shopkeeper. Shopkeepers cheat customers by giving them low-quality products or adulterated goods. Sometimes, they charge higher prices and sell fake brand products, thus going against the Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations. (See Different types of Customers in Marketing and Retail)

7. Identify the Reasons Behind Consumer Exploitation and Consumer Awareness

Currently, customers are exploited. To stop this, customers need to be educated about the Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations. They can protect themselves if they understand the reason behind exploitation and are well versed with the Consumer Protection Act. Various reasons for consumer exploitation are listed below. The question of why is a consumer exploited is a concerning question and is important for consumer awareness.

  • Lack of Knowledge: The consumers do not know about the commodities’ prices and services. Hence, they trust the sellers about the facts told to them and this is how they get trapped and are exploited. There are several products on the market, but no fixed law has been made regarding the price and quality. Lack of knowledge of price quality and usage makes the consumer suffer loss and make a wrong choice.
  • Telemarketing: This is the age of computers where eCommerce and telemarketing are reaching heights. Consumers can see advertisements on television about the prices and services of the goods and receive the parcel by paying the required money online. Sometimes, customers get cheated in the process.
  • Monopoly: In this state, a group of producers sets their right to produce a commodity and show arbitrary behavior regarding price and quality.
  • Illiteracy: Uneducated consumers can be cheated very easily by sellers. The shopkeeper sells a low-quality product in the brand’s name by misplacing a few resembling words. But uneducated consumers do not fight and accept it as their fate.

8. When is Consumer Rights Day celebrated?

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Photo by Diego García on Unsplash

Consumer rights day is celebrated on 15 March. On this day, awareness regarding Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations is raised every year. President John F Kennedy was the first world leader to address the consumer rights issue and consumer exploitation to the US Congress. Since then, that day has been celebrated annually to spread consumer awareness on 15 March. (See What were the Strengths of the Articles of Confederation?)

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