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Consumer Rights and Protection

Consumer protection encompasses a broad range of consumer issues including, credit, utilities, services and goods. Many consumer complaints arise from simple disputes that may be resolved through communication between the consumer and the business. Others, however, may accuse a manufacturer or seller of engaging in fraudulent transactions. Consumers are protected under both state and federal laws. Some states have laws regarding major purchases that allow for a “cooling off” period in which the consumer can return the item or cancel the contract with no penalty. Each state Attorney General’s office has some type of public protection division responsible for enforcing the rights of consumers in business and service transactions and to protect the civil rights of citizens. Federal standards are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees a number of federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. The Commission seeks to ensure that the nation’s markets function competitively and are vigorous, efficient, and free of undue restrictions. The Commission also works to enhance the smooth operation of the marketplace by eliminating acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive. In general, the Commission’s efforts are directed toward stopping actions that threaten consumers’ opportunities to exercise informed choice.

Inside Consumer Rights and Protection