Consumer rights violations must be addressed by consumer rights laws because such violations are unfair to consumers, and some are downright deceptive.
The most common violations occur when consumers are placed in vulnerable and compromising situations.
Examples of situations include consumers falling behind on their bills, allowing debt collectors to make their lives more difficult by regularly calling at odd hours, contacting their place of work, and friends & family. Other nefarious activities that violate consumer rights are:
- Predatory lending forms the basis for many consumer protection lawsuits. These schemes cover a broad range of conduct, such as charging huge credit card interest rates and other loans, hiding fees and penalties in written agreements seldom read by customers, and applying payments to low-interest portions of a loan balance.
- Deceptive healthcare practices can be done by healthcare, medical, or pharmaceutical workers and institutions. For example, they can mislead consumers to boost sales or justify high prices for certain medical products or procedures. Consumers should also be wary of health insurance fraud, especially extra charges for procedures or services they didn’t receive or when there is a fraudulent denial of claims under a policy.
- False or misleading advertising is particularly harmful to consumers who easily believe that a good or product is trustworthy. For example, consumers can believe a car dealer’s advertisements of having cars at reduced prices to draw them to the dealership. However, those cars with reduced prices are no longer available once they arrive. The dealer can then pressure consumers into buying a car on less favorable terms. Aside from these “bait and switch” tactics, consumer rights laws can address other harmful falsehoods presented to consumers like warranty misrepresentation and defective products.
- Fake contests and sweepstakes have become increasingly common with the rise of the Internet and email. There are many warnings from consumer protection agencies about these types of contemporary schemes, usually involving a letter or email informing consumers of something that they’ve won but requiring them to send a form of payment to retrieve the prize. Some of these have been called “phishing” scams, in which scammers use the promise of a prize won to get personal consumer information (i.e., banking details, social security number, passwords). If any contest, sweepstake, or offer seems too good to be true, it often is. And remember, it’s highly unlikely anyone will win a prize from a contest they never entered.
There are still plenty of other consumer rights violations out there, so always be careful and stay vigilant when exercising your rights as a consumer.
Know how some entities or people can take advantage of any consumer’s lack of knowledge in a particular area, so you can do what must be done to prevent or mitigate the damage done by those malicious entities.
Editor’s Note on Consumer Rights Violations:
This blog post aims to deliver to you a quick coverage of the different types of consumer rights violations to make everyone fully aware.
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