Consumer defense is an area of law that protects consumers from scams, predatory businesses and unqualified individuals. It is also a critical issue in helping to protect and strengthen the rights of vulnerable people, such as low-income or older adults.
The consumer market provides goods and services that we use almost daily. These products are essential in our lives, and they can help make us more healthy and more prosperous.
When the economy is in a downturn, however, many of these products may be subject to substantial declines in value. This can create financial problems for individuals who purchase them. This is why it is so important for investors to have a stock portfolio that includes consumer defensive stocks.
These types of stocks typically pay dividends, which can provide a steady flow of income during periods of economic uncertainty. A good example of a consumer defensive company is Unilever PLC (UL), which has a strong revenue growth history and offers attractive dividend payouts.
Unlike cyclical stocks, consumer defensive stocks are usually less volatile and can offer steady profits during periods of economic slowdowns or downturns. This is especially true for the retail and healthcare sectors, which produce items that we need on a daily basis.
One of the most significant problems is that consumer defense cannot be fully developed unless the law allows for it. Contract law, for example, often limits the remedies available to consumers under the terms of their contracts.
This can make it difficult for consumers to pursue claims against business parties that break their promises and fail to deliver what they say they will. In addition, it can be costly and time-consuming to file suit.
There is a growing trend in consumer protection advocacy to look for more powerful remedial devices, such as Federal Trade Commission enforcement or private class actions. While these tools can be valuable, they can be abused by unscrupulous businesses or their lawyers.
A second problem is that it is easy for businesses to draft contracts that circumvent legal protections. For example, if the law requires that contracts be subject to arbitration, business parties can craft mandatory arbitration clauses that essentially require consumers to waive their right to trial by jury.
Similarly, if the law attempts to expand the rights of consumers by increasing their remedies, businesses can opt for conspicuous limitations that will allow them to avoid litigation or, at best, only resolve cases with minimal impact on their bottom line.
In this article, I argue that a way to address this problem is to substitute for the traditional remedy of a breach of promise with protections based on other types of wrongdoing. Instead of limiting contract remedies, these substitutes could provide consumers with a larger set of rights to inspect the goods or services they purchase and reject non- conforming products and services.
These rights would include the ability to inspect the value of goods and services purchased, the right to reject non- conforming products or services without paying for them, and the right to obtain a written statement of satisfaction with the transaction. These rights are necessary to ensure that consumers have a realistic understanding of the goods or services they purchase and can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to buy them.