Recent Failures in Consumer Protection

by Nicholas Mammana, Jagdish Sheth



Failures of several recent efforts in consumer protection have made the exposure of their causes necessary if we are to uproot problems which threaten rational, safe buyer behavior. Indeed, we clearly see the presence of a "Catch 22" phenomenon in the present state of consumerism efforts. Despite the differences of opinions among various groups and entities, consumerism is generally considered to include some form of protection to people against physical threat to life, health and property, economic threat to rational and satisfying consumption benefit as a result of market imperfections, abuses, fraud and deception and threat from other consumers in the process of collective consumption in the modern technological mass consumption society. Similarly, most researchers and practitioners in consumerism believe that there are three distinct processes with identifiable entities that should safeguard consumer interest. They are the government through the process of legislation and regulation, the business through the process of free competition and industrywide self-regulation and the consumer activists through the process of consumer education and consumer consciousness of their rights in the marketplace.

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