The purpose of consumer defense is to help people who have been harmed by deceptive trade practices, unfair business methods and other unfair practices by resolving their disputes through mediation, negotiation and the courts. Consumer defense attorneys are trained to use the law to protect consumers. They often specialize in a specific area of the law, such as consumer rights, unfair trade practices or financial fraud. They are often hired by consumer groups, banks or other creditors to represent them in disputes with businesses.
Government-backed consumer protection laws are one way to ensure that consumers are treated fairly. Those laws can include federal and state statutes, rules and regulations, as well as administrative and judicial decisions interpreting those provisions. They can also involve a wide range of activities, including the inspection and enforcement of products or services to protect health and safety, as well as regulating advertising and sales practices. They can even include licensing programs such as occupational licensing, housing codes and public health or food safety standards.
A key component of consumer defense is disclosures that tell consumers what to expect from the product or service they are buying. These can be accomplished through advertising, displays, sales assistance, packaging and labeling. They can also include security deposits, warranty terms, return policies and second opinions. In addition, consumers and consumer protection agencies can expose producers’ failings through unannounced or secret inspections and tests, third-party knowers, decoys and undercover operatives.
Many consumer defensive stocks have stable demand, generating steady revenues regardless of economic conditions. They can also pay dividends, providing a source of passive income during periods of market volatility. Examples of consumer defensive stocks are utility companies, food and beverage manufacturers and healthcare providers.
While these industries are defensive by nature, some consumers can still be swindled by unscrupulous businesses that target vulnerable individuals. These can include those with limited resources, such as the elderly, ill or poor. Consumers may be particularly susceptible to fraudulent schemes or misleading marketing, such as telemarketing, robocalls, pyramiding and identity theft.
The City’s Consumer Protection Law prohibits unfair trade practices when dealing in consumer goods and services, such as false advertising, phony sales, special offers with hidden conditions and improper behavior by debt collectors. This page provides information on how to file a complaint and more.