Consumer Protection

PATH:  HomeContents > Marine Law >

PAGE CONTENTS
1 – Consumer Rights
2 – Consumer law2.1Australia
2.2 – Germany
2.3 – India
2.4 – China
2.5 – United Kingdom
2.6 – United States
3 – Constitutional laws
Page under Development

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 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, which 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, the Federal Trade Commission, ombudsmen, Better Business Bureaus, 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 Rights

In order to safeguard consumer interest, eight consumer rights are defined by UN Consumer Bill of Rights:

  1. Right to Safety – safeguarding against goods that are hazardous to life and property.
  2. Right to Information – consumers have the right to be informed regarding the price, quality, quantity, etc., of the products they buy.
  3. Right to Choice – consumers should be provided with a wide variety of goods to choose from.
  4. Right to be Heard – the right of consumers to have their complaints heard.
  5. Right to Satisfaction of Basic Needs – this right demands that people have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water, and sanitation.
  6. Right to Redress – consumers have the right to seek redress regarding their complaints.
  7. Right to Consumer Education – the right of consumers to be educated about their rights.
  8. Right to a Healthy Environment – this is the right to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.

Consumer law

Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered 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 fraud and scams from service and sales contracts, bill collector regulation, pricing, utility turnoffs, consolidation, personal loans that may lead to bankruptcy.

Australia
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).

Germany
A minister of the federal cabinet is responsible for consumer rights and protection (Verbraucherschutzminister). In the current cabinet of Angela Merkel, this is Heiko Maas.

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).

India
See also: Consumer Protection Act of 1986 and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
In India The Consumer protection act, 1986 is governing consumer protection. Under this law, Separate Consumer Dispute Redress Forums have been set up throughout India in each and every district in which a consumer [complaint can be filed by both the consumer of a goods as well as of the services] 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. 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 tribunalsare 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. The Contract Act of 1982act 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 honour 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

China
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”

United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, as member state of the European Union, is bound by the consumer protection directives of the European Union. 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 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 enforcements are located at. Many of the consumer protection laws e.g. Distance Selling Regulations 2000 or Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (15 years ago) are actually UK implementations of EU directives. The OFT is one of the bodies responsible for enforcing these rules. This leads to a problem in 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 theCitizen’s Advice Bureau.

United States
In the United States a variety of laws at both the federal and state levels regulate consumer affairs. Among them are the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, and theGramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Federal consumer protection laws are mainly enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, theConsumer Financial Protection Bureau, 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 prosectors 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.

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.

Constitutional laws

47 national constitutions currently in force include some sort of consumer right. The Constitute project lists the text of each of these provisions here. Kenya’s provision, for example, suggests that citizens have the right to (1) goods and services of “reasonable quality.” (2) information about the product, and (3) protection of their health and safety in the use of the product. The Kenyan rule also stipulates that citizens would have legal recourse in the case of injury or product defects.

More From Wikipedia


MARINE LAW
Admiralty Law
^  ^  International Treaties
(SOLAS, MARPOL, COLREGS, etc)
^  ^  Laws by Regions
 (Operator & Equipment Requirements, etc)
^  ^  ^  Regulations – United States
Insurance Law
Personal Injury
^  Product Liability
^  Consumer Protection
Law Firms by Regions
^  ^  Law Firms – United States
^  Expert Witnesses
^  Case Examples



Visit our FEATURED ARTICLES Home Page
to see examples of our website's comprehensive contents!

Thanks to our amazing contributors for the steady flow of articles, and to our dedicated all-volunteer staff who sort, polish and format them, everyday we get a little bit closer to our goal of
Everything About Boats. If you would like to submit an article,
see Submitting Articles.

— TOP 20 MOST POPULAR ARTICLES —

Ford Industrial Power Products Diesel Engines
Ford 2715E
Lehman Mfg. Co.
Detroit Diesel 8.2
Universal Atomic 4
Chrysler & Force Outboards
Eska
Perkins
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Allison Transmission
American Marine Ltd (Grand Banks)
Boat Inspection
Types of Marine Surveys
Marine Surveyors by Regions
Boat Builders By MIC
Beta Marine
Waterwitch
DIY Boat Owner Magazine
ABYC
USCG NVIC 07-95 Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls


Current Academy Members must SIGN IN to gain FULL access
to this website including the Members' Comments & Reviews!

If your membership has expired, CLICK HERE to Renew.

IF YOU ARE NOT YET AN ACADEMY MEMBER,
CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
thousands of expanded pages and articles, and dozens of excellent programs
WITH JUST A SMALL DONATION!

Thank you for your support. You make this website possible.


Comments for Public Viewing

Anyone may submit comments for public viewing via email to:
Comments-EAB@AnchorsAweighAcademy.org
(Put this webpage's title in the subject line)

FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 10,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."

FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 50,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 10,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server on October 15, 2018 because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, Thanks. You inspire us to keep working on this labor of love. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. And we assure you, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Let's work together on this.

FROM Name: Text.


Academy Members' Comments & Reviews
Academy Members must be signed in to post and view

This website welcomes our members Comments & Reviews, including any recommendations (favorable or not) based on their experience with the above marine vendor, boat equipment, article author, etc. Please see our COMMENT RULES as all Comments will be moderated before they appear on this page.