Consumer organizations may operate via protests, litigation, campaigning, or lobbying. They may engage in single-issue advocacy (e.g., the British Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), which campaigned against keg beer and for cask ale) or they may set themselves up as more general consumer watchdogs, such as the Consumers' Association in the UK.
One common means of providing consumers useful information is the independent comparative survey or test of products or services, involving different manufacturers or companies (e.g., Which?, Consumer Reports, etcetera).
Another arena where consumer organizations have operated is food safety. The needs for campaigning in this area are less easy to reconcile with their traditional methods, since the scientific, dietary or medical evidence is normally more complex than in other arenas, such as the electric safety of white goods. The current standards on mandatory labelling, in developed countries, have in part been shaped by past lobbying by consumer groups.
The aim of consumer organizations may be to establish and to attempt to enforce consumer rights. Effective work has also been done, however, simply by using the threat of bad publicity to keep companies' focus on the consumers' point of view.
Consumer organizations may attempt to serve consumer interests by relatively direct actions such as creating and/or disseminating market information, and prohibiting specific acts or practices, or by promoting competitive forces in the markets which directly or indirectly affect consumers (such as transport, electricity, communications, etc.).
Trade associations and professional societies began to establish standards organizations to reduce industry waste and increase productivity. Consumers leagues modeled themselves after trade unions in their attempts to improve the marketplace with boycotts in the same way that trade unions sought to improve working conditions with strike action.
Aside from this general consumer norganisation, the Netherlands is home to many categorical consumer organisations whose working terrain is limited to a certain part of the markets. Examples of categorical organisations include:
The Swiss Alliance of Consumer Organisations is the umbrella organisation of the three Swiss consumer organisations (the Stiftung für Konsumentenschutz (SKS) of German-speaking Switzerland, the Fédération romande des consommateurs (FRC) of French-speaking Switzerland and the Associazione consumatrici e consumatori della Svizzera italiana (ACSI) of Italian-speaking Switzerland).
In the United Kingdom, the Enterprise Act 2002 allows consumer bodies that have been approved by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to be designated as "super-complainants" to the Competition and Markets Authority. These super-complainants are intended to, "strengthen the voice of consumers," who are "unlikely to have access individually to the kind of information necessary to judge whether markets are failing for them." Eight have been designated as of 2007:
By 1969 most capitalist countries with developed marketplaces hosted consumer organizations that published consumer magazines which reported the results of product testing. Internationally, the idea of consumer organizations spread from Consumers Union in the United States starting in 1956. The growth of interest in product testing journalism might be explained by increased consumption of mass-marketed products in and before that period. That increased international consumption itself was an effect of the aftermath of World War II.
|Year magazine started||Magazine||Country||Publisher||Year publisher founded||1969 sales||1975 sales|
|1936||Consumer Reports||USA||Consumers Union||1936||1,800,000||2,300,000|
|1953||Forbruker Rapporten||Norway||Forbrukerradet (Consumers Council)||1953||169,000||235,000|
|1957||Rad och Ron||Sweden||Statens Institut for Konsumenfragor (Institute for Consumer Information)||1957||104,718||n.a.|
|1959||Test-Achats||Belgium||Association des Consommateurs / Verbruikersunie (AC/V)||1957||102,235||240,000|
|1959||Choice||Australia||Australian Consumers' Association||1959||67,204||120,000|
|1961||Rad og Resultater||Denmark||Statens Husholdningsrad (Home Economics Council)||1935||28,100||n.a.|
|1961||Que Choisir||France||Union Federale des Consommateurs (UFC)||1951||15,000||30,000|
|1961||Konsument||Austria||Verein fur Konsumenteninformation (VKI)||1960||25,000||n.a.|
|1963||Canadian Consumer||Canada||Consumers Association of Canada||1947||43,000||n.a.|
|1964||Taenk||Denmark||Danske Husmodres Forbrugerrad (Danish Housewives Council)||1947||48,000||n.a.|
|1965||Il Consumatore||Italy||Unione Nazionale Consumatori||1965||100,000||n.a.|
|1970||50 Millions de Consummateurs||France||Institut National de la Consommation||1967||0||300,000|
|2012||Consumer Voice||Pakistan||Consumer Voice Pakistan||2012||0||n.a|
In the 25 years after World War II, there was a correlation between the number of people in a country who were purchasing cars and the popularity of consumer magazines. In some cases, an increase in other consumer purchases seemed to drive popularity of consumer magazines, but the correlation was closest for populations who made decisions about buying cars. The availability of consumer magazines comforted consumers when individuals in society suddenly became overwhelmed with marketplace decisions, and the popularity of magazines seemed to grow as more marketplace decisions became available.
Choice is an Australian not for profit consumer organisation, previously known as the Australasian Consumers' Association. It is a non-partisan organisation that was founded in 1959 which researches and campaigns on behalf of Australian consumers. It is similar to the Consumers Union in the United States and Which? in the United Kingdom, which are considered sister organisations.The aim of the organisation is to provide up-to-date information across a wide range of consumer issues that allows individuals to make informed consumer decisions. It also lobbies for change on behalf of consumers when required. Choice tests and rates a range of products and services, including appliances, baby products, electronics and home entertainment, computers, food and health and financial products and services. More than 170,000 people subscribe to Choice.
Choice buys all the products it tests on the open market and does not accept advertising. Its income is derived from subscriptions and from the sale of its publications and products. It does not receive ongoing funding from commercial, government or other organisations.Consumer
A consumer is a person or organization that uses economic services or commodities.Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan
Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) is a rights-based civil initiative registered under the Trust Act, 1882. Established in 1998, CRCP is an independent, non-profit, and non-governmental organization. It largely works through local fund-raising and engaging volunteers. It is not supported by any industry or commercial sector. It is the first national consumer organization in the country, which approaches the issue of consumer protection in comprehensive and holistic terms. Its vision and strategies have significant cross linkages with both market practices and issues of governance. CRPC is led by a highly qualified team of professionals and they have worked on the core issues of the consumers' community. The Commission plans to establish its chapters in all provinces to achieve its objectives and members of all walks of life will be included.Consumer watchdog
A consumer watchdog is an individual or organization that supports consumer rights.
Consumer Watchdog, an organization that advocates for taxpayer and consumer interests in the United States
Consumer Watchdog (Botswana), a private consumer rights advocacy group in Botswana
Watchdog journalismConsumers' Association
Consumers' Association is a common name for consumer protection organizations and can refer to:
Australian Consumers Association
Fiji Consumers Association
Consumers' Association of Ireland
Which?, a United Kingdom consumer organization, officially known as Consumers' AssociationConsumers' Association of Canada
The Consumers' Association of Canada, founded in 1947, is a Canadian independent, charitable, volunteer-based, consumer organization. Based nationally in Ottawa with regional branches in Montreal, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Vancouver, the organization focuses on the social problems of food distribution and health, trade, standards, and communications and financial services.Their aim is to raise consumer awareness of marketplace issues, and to facilitate government and industrial coordination to tackle marketplace difficulties.
Isabel Atkinson served as national president from 1956 to 1960.Consumers' Checkbook
Consumers' Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services (stylized as Consumers’ CHECKBOOK) is an independent, nonprofit consumer organization. It was founded in 1974. in order to provide survey information to consumers about vendors and service providers. There are both print and online versions in the Boston, Chicago, Delaware Valley, Puget Sound, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C., areas.Consumers Council of Canada
The Consumers Council of Canada is a non-profit, volunteer-based consumer organization, promoting consumer rights and responsibilities in Canada.Founded in 1994, the organization is based in Toronto.The Consumers Council of Canada was a member of the Canadian Consumer Initiative. The initiative, initiated by the Office of Consumer Affairs of Industry Canada, has involved the development common policy positions and sharing of resources by organizations serving consumers in Canada.Data breach
A data breach is the intentional or unintentional release of secure or private/confidential information to an untrusted environment. Other terms for this phenomenon include unintentional information disclosure, data leak and also data spill. Incidents range from concerted attacks by black hats associated with organized crime, political activist or national governments to careless disposal of used computer equipment or data storage media and unhackable source.
Definition: "A data breach is a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so."
Data breaches may involve financial information such as credit card or bank details, personal health information (PHI), Personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets of corporations or intellectual property. Most data breaches involve overexposed and vulnerable unstructured data – files, documents, and sensitive information.According to the nonprofit consumer organization Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a total of 227,052,199 individual records containing sensitive personal information were involved in security breaches in the United States between January 2005 and May 2008, excluding incidents where sensitive data was apparently not actually exposed.Many jurisdictions have passed data breach notification laws, requiring a company that has been subject to a data breach to inform customers and takes other steps to remediate possible injuries.Euroconsumers
Euroconsumers: Consumer Organization in Europe, previously known as Conseur - European Consumers, is a private independent corporation, based in Luxembourg, that works in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg and Brazil.
The main objectives of Euroconsumers are to promote and defend consumer interests, solve their problems and help them exercise their fundamental rights (freedom of choice, access to information, education and justice, and right to health, safety and a healthy environment).
This Organization has the following brands:
Test Achats: Consumer organization in Belgium called "Test Aankoop" or "Test Achats"
OCU: Consumer Organization in Spain called "Organizacion de Consumidores y Usuarios"
Deco Proteste: Consumer Organization in Portugal called "Deco Proteste"
Altroconsumo: Consumer Organization in Italy called "Altroconsumo"
Proteste: Consumer Organization in Brazil called "Proteste"FlyersRights.org
FlyersRights.org is an American not-for-profit organization that supports legislation protecting the rights of airline passengers, improving visibility in the reporting of tarmac delays by commercial airlines and distance between the rows of airline seats.It is the biggest non-profit consumer organization in North America representing passengers of commercial airlines.In 2011, FlyersRights.org pushed a rule through the U.S. Department Of Transportation, which expanded on passenger protections.Isagenix
Isagenix International LLC is a privately held multi-level marketing (MLM) company that sells dietary supplements and personal care products. The company, based in Gilbert, Arizona, was founded in 2002 by John Anderson, Jim Coover, and Kathy Coover. As of 2013 the company reported having over 200,000 active MLM distributors. In 2017, the company reported revenues of $958 million. According to Isagenix, the company employed 850 people as of 2017.Physician Harriet Hall, writing in the Skeptical Inquirer in 2011, said that many of the claims made about the products are false. The Australian consumer organization CHOICE reported that Isagenix’s claims about its "nutritional cleansing" product are scientifically unsupported; that its weight loss products are similar in content to much cheaper store-bought alternatives; and that its MLM distributors provided unauthorized medical advice.List of consumer organizations
This is a list of consumer organizations.National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is an American consumer organization. The National Consumers League is a private, nonprofit advocacy group representing consumers on marketplace and workplace issues. The NCL provides government, businesses, and other organizations with the consumer's perspective on concerns including child labor, privacy, food safety, and medication information.
The organization was chartered in 1899 by social reformers Jane Addams and Josephine Lowell. Its first general secretary was Florence Kelley. Under Kelley's direction, the League's early focus was to oppose the harsh, unregulated working conditions many Americans were forced to endure. The founding principles of the NCL are: "That the working conditions we accept for our fellow citizens should be reflected by our purchases, and that consumers should demand safety and reliability from the goods and services they buy." The league's focus continues to be to promote a fair marketplace for workers and consumers.Option consommateurs
Option consommateurs is a non-profit consumer organization dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of Canadian consumers.The organization was founded in 1983 and is based in Montréal. Its focus areas are energy, agri-food, financial services, privacy, and commercial practices.Through the Éconologis program, an energy efficiency program for low-income households run by the Quebec government's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Option consommateurs has offered free visits to low-income households in Montréal, wherein consumers are given personalized advice to improve their energy consumption, as well as new electronic thermostats.Product testing
Product testing, also called consumer testing or comparative testing, is a process of measuring the properties or performance of products.
The theory is that since the advent of mass production manufacturers produce branded products which they assert and advertise to be identical within some technical standard.Product testing seeks to ensure that consumers can understand what products will do for them and which products are the best value. Product testing is a strategy to increase consumer protection by checking the claims made during marketing strategies such as advertising, which by their nature are in the interest of the entity distributing the service and not necessarily in the interest of the consumer. The advent of product testing was the beginning of the modern consumer movement.
Product testing might be accomplished by a manufacturer, an independent laboratory, a government agency, etc. Often an existing formal test method is used as a basis for testing. Other times engineers develop methods of test which are suited to the specific purpose. Comparative testing subjects several replicate samples of similar products to identical test conditions.Robert L. FitzPatrick
Robert Lawrence FitzPatrick is an author. He serves as president of Pyramid Scheme Alert, a consumer organization to confront the abuses of pyramid schemes.Swedish Consumers' Association
The Swedish Consumers' Association (Swedish: Sveriges Konsumenter) is a consumer organization based in Sweden. It is a member of Consumers International, BEUC and ANEC.William Shernoff
William M. Shernoff (born c.1949) is a prominent American trial lawyer based in Claremont, California/Beverly Hills, USA. He is one of the pioneers of a branch of law known as "insurance bad faith", in which he investigates the alleged bad faith and misconduct of insurance companies. This began in 1971 with his first insurance case. He then founded the firm of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, in 2004, heading a team of 10 litigation lawyers who are widely known as the "bad faith insurance lawyers". Shernoff is also the author and co-author of several books on law, including Bad Faith (1984), Payment Refused (1986), How to Make Insurance Companies Pay Your Claims and What to Do If They Don't (1990) and Fight Back & Win (1999). He has served for many years on the Board of Directors of the national insurance consumer organization, United Policyholders.