The Consumer Defense department protects Bucks County residents from unlicensed businesses, scammers and individuals who engage in abusive business practices. It conducts mediation of consumer complaints, performs investigations and coordinates with other departments for possible criminal action.
It also provides education to the community about how to spot and avoid scams. In addition, it monitors residential care facilities to ensure they are complying with applicable treatment standards. The department also conducts licensing programs that license over 3.5 million products, services and businesses.
Consumer defensive stocks are those that provide essential goods and services that consumers consume regularly and are relatively insensitive to changes in economic cycles. This group includes utility companies, food and beverage manufacturers and healthcare providers.
While consumer defence aims to bolster property rights and contractual law by providing redress against private-sector actors, it is not a substitute for market solutions. These include enticing market participants with competitive pricing, offering warranties and guarantees and encouraging consumers to shop around and compare prices. Consumers can also test and monitor producers and third-party knowers through unannounced inspections, product comparisons, contests and competitions. Consumers can also rely on information from peers, expert reviews and research organisations.
In the context of a globalized world, consumers must be prepared to face an increasing variety of challenges. This is particularly true of financial markets, where consumer protection laws must evolve to address new types of risk, including cyber fraud and misrepresentation. These challenges will inevitably affect both the scope and effectiveness of traditional legal protections.
The consumer-oriented approach of the current Consumer Protection and Defence Code was introduced in Peru with the 1979 Constitution, inaugurating a new period of democratic life. But it is possible to trace its origins in the previous Political Charter of 1933, which contained various provisions referring to the consumer indirectly.
These provisions include a declaration on the right of the consumer to defend his or her interests and a reference to the need for public policies to safeguard consumer interests. The new code also includes a general approach to consumer policy (Article V of the preliminaries), and specific rules regarding contracts involving consumers and the discipline of abusive clauses (Articles 150, 151 and 152 of the Preliminaries).
The current version of the code also contains a summary procedure for processing complaints relating to minor issues, as well as provisions regulating consumer contracts and imposing sanctions on traders who violate these rules. This system is based on the experience of other countries, which have adopted similar legislation. In recent years, however, we have seen a resurgence of discredited regulatory choices that paternalistically restrict consumer choice. This trend must be reversed if we are to safeguard consumers against harmful effects of government interventions. This is a challenge that requires cooperation between government agencies and civil society, and that must be oriented toward the development of mechanisms for consumer defence that are both effective and economically sustainable.