In regulatory jurisdictions that provide for it (comprising most or all developed countries with free market economies), consumer protection is a group of laws and organizations designed to ensure the rights of consumers as well as fair trade, competition and accurate information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent the businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors. They may also provide additional protection for those most vulnerable in society. Consumer protection laws are a form of government regulation that aim to protect the rights of consumers. For example, a government may require businesses to disclose detailed information about products—particularly in areas where safety or public health is an issue, such as food.
Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights and to the formation of consumer organizations, which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace and get help with consumer complaints. Other organizations that promote consumer protection include government organizations and self-regulating business organizations such as consumer protection agencies and organizations, ombudsmen, the Federal Trade Commission in America and Better Business Bureaus in America and Canada, etc.
A consumer is defined as someone who acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing.
Consumer interests can also be protected by promoting competition in the markets which directly and indirectly serve consumers, consistent with economic efficiency, but this topic is treated in competition law. Consumer protection can also be asserted via non-government organizations and individuals as consumer activism.
Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered as an area of law that regulates private law relationships between individual consumers and the businesses that sell those goods and services. Consumer protection covers a wide range of topics, including but not necessarily limited to product liability, privacy rights, unfair business practices, fraud, misrepresentation, and other consumer/business interactions. It's a way of preventing frauds and scams from service and sales contracts, eligible fraud, bill collector regulation, pricing, utility turnoffs, consolidation, personal loans that may lead to bankruptcy.
The following lists consumer legislation at the nation-state level. In the EU member states Germany and the United Kingdom there is also the applicability of law at the EU level to be considered; this applies on the basis of subsidiarity.
In Australia, the corresponding agency is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or the individual State Consumer Affairs agencies. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has responsibility for consumer protection regulation of financial services and products. However, in practice, it does so through privately run EDR schemes such as the Financial Ombudsman Service (Australia).
The Nigerian government has a duty to protect its people from any form of harm to human health through the use and purchase of items to meet daily needs. In light of this, the Nigerian Consumer Protection Council (CPC), whose aim is to protect and enhance consumers' interest through information, education, and enforcement of the rights of consumers was established by an Act of Parliament to promote and protect the interest of consumers over all products and services. In a nutshell, it is empowered to Eliminate hazardous & substandard goods from the market. Provide speedy redress to consumer complaints and petition arisen from fraud, unfair practice and exploitation of consumer.
Germany, as a member state of the European Union, is bound by the consumer protection directives of the European Union; residents may be directly bound by EU regulations. A minister of the federal cabinet is responsible for consumer rights and protection (Verbraucherschutzminister). In the current cabinet of Angela Merkel, this is Katarina Barley.
When issuing public warnings about products and services, the issuing authority has to take into account that this affects the supplier's constitutionally protected economic liberty, see Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court) Case 3 C 34.84, 71 BVerwGE 183).
In India, consumer protection is specified in The Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Under this law, Separate Consumer Dispute Redress Forums have been set up throughout India in each and every district in which a consumer can file his complaint on a simple paper with nominal court fees and his complaint will be decided by the Presiding Officer of the District Level. The complaint can be filed by both the consumer of a goods as well as of the services. An appeal could be filed to the State Consumer Disputes Redress Commissions and after that to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).  The procedures in these tribunals are relatively less formal and more people friendly and they also take less time to decide upon a consumer dispute when compared to the years long time taken by the traditional Indian judiciary. In recent years, many effective judgment have been passed by some state and National Consumer Forums.
Indian Contract Act, 1872 lays down the conditions in which promises made by parties to a contract will be legally binding on each other. It also lays down the remedies available to aggregate party if the other party fails to honor his promise.
The Sale of Goods Act of 1930 act provides some safeguards to buyers of goods if goods purchased do not fulfill the express or implied conditions and warranties.
The Agriculture Produce Act of 1937 act provides grade standards for agricultural commodities and live stock products.It specifies the conditions which govern the use of standards and lays down the procedure for grading, marking and packaging of agricultural produce.The quality mark provided under the act is known as AGMARK-Agricultural Marketing.
Modern Taiwanese law has been heavily influenced by European civil law systems, particularly German and Swiss law. The Civil Code in Taiwan contains five books: General Principles, Obligations, Rights over Things, Family, and Succession. The second book of the Code, the Book of Obligations, provided the basis from which consumers could bring products liability actions prior to the enactment of the CPL.
The Consumer Protection Law (CPL) in Taiwan, as promulgated on January 11, 1994, and effective on January 13, 1993, specifically protects the interests and safety of customers using the products or services provided by business operators. The Consumer Protection Commission of Executive Yuan serves as an ombudsman supervising, coordinating, reporting any unsafe products/services and periodically reviewing the legislation.
According to the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Association and the American Chamber of Commerce, in a 1997 critical study, the law has been criticized by stating that "although many agree that the intent of the CPL is fair, the CPL's various problems, such as ambiguous terminology, favoritism towards consumer protection groups, and the compensation liability defense, must be addressed before the CPL becomes a truly effective piece of legislation that will protect consumers"
The United Kingdom, as it is still a member state of the European Union, is bound by the consumer protection directives of the European Union; residents may be directly bound by EU regulations. Specifics of the division of labour between the EU and the UK are detailed here. Domestic (UK) laws originated within the ambit of contract and tort but, with the influence of EU law, it is emerging as an independent area of law. In many circumstances, where domestic law is in question, the matter is judicially treated as tort, contract, restitution or even criminal law.
Consumer Protection issues are dealt with when complaints are made to the Director-General of Fair Trade. The Office of Fair Trading will then investigate, impose an injunction or take the matter to litigation. However, consumers cannot directly complain to the OFT. Complaints need to be made to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (which has taken over from Consumer Direct) who will provide legal advice to complainants, or re-direct the individual complaint to Trading Standards for investigation. Due to restrictions within the Enterprise Act 2002, individual complainants are unable to be told whether their case is being investigated or not. In very rare cases, Consumer Direct may direct a very large number of complaints to the OFT to be considered as a systemic complaint. The OFT can also be engaged by consumer groups e.g. The Consumers Association or the statutory consumer protection body – Consumer Focus – via a super complaint. The OFT rarely prosecute companies, however, preferring a light touch regulation approach. Consumer complaints against companies are not published, but investigation work, undertakings, and enforcement are located at. Many of the consumer protection laws e.g. Distance Selling Regulations 2000 or Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (20 years ago) are actually UK implementations of EU directives. The OFT is one of the bodies responsible for enforcing these rules. It leads to a problem that these examples of legislation are clearly designed to deal with individual complaints but the OFT will only deal with systemic complaints and will ignore individual complainants redirecting them back to Consumer Direct.
The Office of Fair Trading also acts as the UK's official consumer and competition watchdog, with a remit to make markets work well for consumers, and at a local, municipal level by Trading Standards departments. General consumer advice can be obtained from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service or via a local branch of the Citizen's Advice Bureau.
On the 3rd September, Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton proposed plans to the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee to introduce an App that would provide a single source of advice and dispute resolution. 
In the United States a variety of laws at both the federal and state levels regulate consumer affairs. Among them are the federal Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. Federal consumer protection laws are mainly enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
At the state level, many states have adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act including, but not limited to, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, and Nebraska. The deceptive trade practices prohibited by the Uniform Act can be roughly subdivided into conduct involving either a) unfair or fraudulent business practice and b) untrue or misleading advertising. The Uniform Act contains a private remedy with attorneys fees for prevailing parties where the losing party "willfully engaged in the trade practice knowing it to be deceptive". Uniform Act §3(b). Missouri has a similar statute called the Merchandising Practices Act. This statute allows local prosecutors or the Attorney General to press charges against people who knowingly use deceptive business practices in a consumer transaction and authorizes consumers to hire a private attorney to bring an action seeking their actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees.
Also, the majority of states have a Department of Consumer Affairs devoted to regulating certain industries and protecting consumers who use goods and services from those industries. For example, in California, the California Department of Consumer Affairs regulates about 2.3 million professionals in over 230 different professions, through its forty regulatory entities. In addition, California encourages its consumers to act as private attorneys general through the liberal provisions of its Consumers Legal Remedies Act.
California has the strongest consumer protection laws of any US state, partly because of rigorous advocacy and lobbying by groups such as Utility Consumers' Action Network, Consumer Federation of California, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. For example, California provides for "cooling off" periods giving consumers the right to cancel contracts within a certain time period for several specified types of transactions, such as home secured transactions, and warranty and repair services contracts.
Other states have been the leaders in specific aspects of consumer protection. For example, Florida, Delaware, and Minnesota have legislated requirements that contracts be written at reasonable readability levels as a large proportion of contracts cannot be understood by most consumers who sign them.
47 national constitutions currently in force include some sort of consumer right. The Constitute project lists the text of each of these provisions Kenya's provision, for example, suggests that citizens have the right to
The Kenyan rule also stipulates that citizens would have legal recourse in the case of injury or product defects.
- Media related to Consumer protection at Wikimedia Commons
A referendum on tenant and consumer protection was held in Switzerland on 13 March 1955. Voters were asked whether they approved of a popular initiative "for the protection of tenants and consumers", which would prolong price controls. Although the proposal was approved by a majority of voters, it was rejected by a majority of cantons, so did not come into force. Voters also voted on a counterproposal, which was rejected by a majority of voters and cantons.Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) (Pub.L. 109–8, 119 Stat. 23, enacted April 20, 2005), is a legislative act that made several significant changes to the United States Bankruptcy Code. Referred to colloquially as the "New Bankruptcy Law", the Act of Congress attempts to, among other things, make it more difficult for some consumers to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7; some of these consumers may instead utilize Chapter 13. Voting record of S. 256.It was passed by the 109th United States Congress on April 14, 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2005. Most provisions of the act apply to cases filed on or after October 17, 2005.Consumer
A consumer is a person or organization that uses economic services or commodities.Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), statutorily named the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), is an agency of the United States government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. CFPB's jurisdiction includes banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies operating in the United States.
The CFPB's creation was authorized by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, whose passage in 2010 was a legislative response to the financial crisis of 2007–08 and the subsequent Great Recession. The CFPB's status as an independent agency is currently questioned due to a circuit split in the U.S. Court of Appeals and a New York Federal District Court.On June 16, 2018, President Donald Trump selected Kathleen Kraninger, a White House budget official, as the nominee to be the next director of the CFPB.Consumer Protection Act, 1986
Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India. It makes provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers' disputes and for matters connected therewith also.The act was passed in Assembly in October 1986Cybersquatting
Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.
The term is derived from "squatting", which is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building that the squatter does not own, rent, or otherwise have permission to use.Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety
The Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), until 2014 known as the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO), is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. The DG is responsible for the implementation of European Union laws on the safety of food and other products, on consumers' rights and on the protection of people's health. In 2006, DG Sanco launched the public Health-EU portal to provide European citizens with easy access to comprehensive information on Public Health initiatives and programmes at EU level.Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173, commonly referred to as Dodd–Frank) was signed into United States federal law by US President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010.
Passed in response to the 2008 global financial crisis, the Act brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the nation since the regulatory reform that came following the Great Recession. It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment affecting all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation's financial services industry.The law was initially proposed by the Obama administration in June 2009, when the White House sent several proposed bills to Congress. The legislation was introduced in the House in July 2009. On December 2, 2009, revised versions of the bill were introduced in the House of Representatives by then–financial services committee chairman Barney Frank, and in the Senate Banking Committee by former chairman Chris Dodd. Dodd and Frank were both involved with the bill; the conference committee that reported on June 25, 2010, voted to name the bill after both men.Studies have found the Dodd–Frank Act has improved financial stability and consumer protection, although there has been debate regarding its economic effects. The Act established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which from inception to April 2017 had "returned almost $12 billion to 29 million consumers and imposed about $600 million in civil penalties."On June 8, 2017, the Republican-led House passed the Financial CHOICE Act, which, if enacted, would roll back many of the provisions of Dodd–Frank. In June 2017 the Senate was crafting its own reform bill.On March 14, 2018, the Senate passed a bill by a 67 to 31 vote, easing financial regulations and reducing oversight for banks with assets below $250 billion. The law passed the House of Representatives on May 22, 2018 in a 258–159 vote. The legislation was then signed into law by President Donald Trump on May 24, 2018.European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety
The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety is the member of the European Commission. The current post of Commissioner is held by Vytenis Andriukaitis (Lithuania). The portfolio is responsible for matters of public health, food safety, animal health and plant health.European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) is a committee of the European Parliament.Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Germany)
The Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (German: Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft), abbreviated BMEL, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its primary headquarters are located in Bonn with a secondary office in Berlin. From 1949 to 2001 it was known as the Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests (German: Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten). Through an organizational order by the German Chancellor on 22 January 2001, it became the Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture after the Consumer protection function was transferred from the Federal Ministry for Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit). The name Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection was adopted on 22 November 2005 simply to alphabetize its functional parts in the German language.Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (German: Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz), abbreviated BMJV, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Under the German federal system, individual States are most responsible for the administration of justice and the application of penalties. The Federal Ministry of Justice devotes itself to creating and changing law in the classic core areas related to Constitutional law. The Ministry also analyzes the legality and constitutionality of laws prepared by other ministries. The German Federal Court of Justice, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (GPTO), and the German Patent Court all fall under its scope. The ministry is officially located in Berlin.The BMJV was founded on January 1, 1877, as the Imperial Justice Office (Reichsjustizamt). After Germany became a republic in 1919, it was raised to the rank of a federal ministry as the Reichsministerium der Justiz or Reichsjustizministerium. The ministry was formally renamed the Bundesministerium der Justiz in 1949. In several laws predating 1949, the ministry and the minister are however referred to as Reichsministerium der Justiz and Reichsminister der Justiz, respectively. This has gradually been replaced with the new name and title when laws have been amended, most recently in 2010.Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. Its principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anticompetitive business practices, such as coercive monopoly. It is headquartered in the Federal Trade Commission Building in Washington, D.C.
The Federal Trade Commission Act was one of President Woodrow Wilson's major acts against trusts. Trusts and trust-busting were significant political concerns during the Progressive Era. Since its inception, the FTC has enforced the provisions of the Clayton Act, a key antitrust statute, as well as the provisions of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 41 et seq. Over time, the FTC has been delegated with the enforcement of additional business regulation statutes and has promulgated a number of regulations (codified in Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations).Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry. The FCA regulates financial firms providing services to consumers and maintains the integrity of the financial markets in the United Kingdom.It focuses on the regulation of conduct by both retail and wholesale financial services firms. Like its predecessor the FSA, the FCA is structured as a company limited by guarantee.
The structure of the FCA's regulatory authority takes in the Bank of England's Prudential Regulatory Authority (another FSA successor), and the Financial Policy Committee. The FCA is responsible for the conduct of around 58,000 businesses which employ 2.2 million people and contribute around £65.6 billion in annual tax revenue to the UK economy.Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DEBEIS), or informally Business Secretary, is a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. The office is responsible for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and previous to that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The secretary of state was, until July 2016, also President of the Board of Trade when that position was transferred to the newly created post of Secretary of State for International Trade.Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1991 and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush as Public Law 102-243. It amended the Communications Act of 1934. The TCPA is codified as 47 U.S.C. § 227. The TCPA restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment. The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. It also specifies several technical requirements for fax machines, autodialers, and voice messaging systems—principally with provisions requiring identification and contact information of the entity using the device to be contained in the message.Trading Standards
In the United Kingdom, Trading Standards are the local authority departments, formerly known as Weights and Measures, that enforce consumer protection legislation.Sometimes, the Trading Standards enforcement functions of a local authority are performed by part of a larger department which enforces a wide range of other legislation: environmental health, health and safety, licensing and so on. These departments investigate commercial organisations that trade outside the law or in unethical ways. They attempt to remedy breaches by advice or by formal enforcement action.
Many Trading Standards services also offer Primary Authority Partnerships whereby a business can form a legal partnership with a regulator in order to obtain advice and support with complianceTruth in Lending Act
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) of 1968 is a United States federal law designed to promote the informed use of consumer credit, by requiring disclosures about its terms and cost to standardize the manner in which costs associated with borrowing are calculated and disclosed.TILA also gives consumers the right to cancel certain credit transactions that involve a lien on a consumer's principal dwelling, regulates certain credit card practices, and provides a means for fair and timely resolution of credit billing disputes. With the exception of certain high-cost mortgage loans, TILA does not regulate the charges that may be imposed for consumer credit. Rather, it requires uniform or standardized disclosure of costs and charges so that consumers can shop. It also imposes limitations on home equity plans that are subject to the requirements of 12 C.F.R. 1026.40 and certain "higher-priced" mortgage loans (HPMLs) that are subject to the requirements of 12 C.F.R. 1026.35. The regulation prohibits certain acts or practices in connection with credit secured by a consumer's principal dwelling.You and Yours
You and Yours is a British radio consumer affairs programme, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.