Consumer defense is a strategy designed to protect consumers from fraud, misrepresentation and unfair practices in the marketplace. This approach is important because it helps to promote a fair market system that benefits everyone.
In the last three decades, consumer law has evolved dramatically. It has been adapted to the new realities of the economic world and the technological revolution that it has accompanied, including the emergence of electronic commerce.
The development of this field also reflects changes in the nature and structure of the economy, as well as to the social and political environments that a country has to face. It has become an integral part of the social protection mechanism in a number of countries, with the main goal of reducing the risk of consumers falling victim to fraudulent or unethical behavior by companies.
To achieve this, consumer law must develop a clear and efficient legal framework that is able to respond to the various types of threats that can affect the health of consumers. These threats may include fraud, scams and unfair practices, which are often based on misleading marketing or false advertising techniques.
A key factor in this process is the ability of consumer law to identify the parties responsible for committing these offences. This can be achieved by defining the sphere of jurisdiction and identifying the relevant agencies and entities that have responsibility for ensuring the application of the regulations.
This is done through the management of sanctioning procedures and, in particular, by applying financial penalties (fines) and/or corrective measures such as refund of what was paid, replacement or repair of the product or service.
However, there is a certain amount of uncertainty regarding the future evolution of this field. For example, the emergence of artificial intelligence could be a major challenge for the industry. In this context, it is important to take into account the possibility of implementing regulatory changes that will be aimed at protecting consumers from these threats, such as through information security and privacy legislation.
Another factor that could impact the consumer defence movement is the economic crisis, which has brought to light problems related to the lack of supply of essential products and services. This has resulted in a growing number of conflicts between companies and their customers, such as problems with non-delivery of online purchases, rescheduled or cancelled flights, theft of cellular equipment with applications from banking institutions, hoarding or speculation on essential products and services.
In addition to this, there is a growing interest in promoting consumer rights and fighting against reprehensible clauses. This is a result of the work of the International Committee on Consumer Protection, which has been active since 1985, with the adoption of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection.
Despite these advances, there are still many challenges that the consumer defence movement will need to face in the years to come. These challenges are not only influenced by the social, political, and economic environment, but also by the fact that the new era has opened up the possibility of a greater involvement of society in the economy. This means that the consumer defence movement will have to adapt its strategies to the changing conditions of the market, so as to be able to provide a solution for all the different risks that consumers are exposed to.