When purchasing products, services, or entering into an agreement with a company for personal uses, the purchasing party enjoys protection by the legislation that has been put in place for this very purpose by the government.
Consumer laws, were created in order to make sure that competitors market their products and services fairly, in order to ensure the information they supply, regarding their services and products are honest. Consumer laws are also often referred to as consumer protection laws, and are put in place to stop organizations, and corporations from engaging in fraudulent activities, or particular unfair or unethical business practices, in order to gain an edge over the competition, in an unfair manner.
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These laws also serve as protection for weaker parties, often not able to handle these matters themselves. The legislation regarding consumer protection, comes from the governments in order to function as a safeguard to protect consumers. In this regard, the laws may require a specific business to provide information regarding their products or services, especially in industries, where public and personal safety or health are concerned, like the food industry.
The concept of consumer protection comes from the belief in another concept; that of consumer rights, which is the belief that consumers have a wide variety of rights, regarding the products and services they consume. To this end a variety of organizations have been founded, in order to assist consumers in getting informed, and be able to make intelligent choices based on this information.
The definition of a "consumer" is a person, who obtains products or services, in order use it, or own it, instead of purchasing it in order to resell, or use it as a part or ingredient to manufacture other products, goods or services.
Besides consumer laws, efforts to advocate competition between organizations in the area of consumer protection, can also serve to further guard the interests of consumers, but this falls under another law, which is referred to as the competition law, which lies beyond the scope of this article.
The area of consumer laws, are part of the private law legislation, that regulate the relations between consumers and producers and businesses, that market their products and services, The consumer protection law, covers a broad scope of subjects, among them the right to privacy for consumers, in order to restrain marketing efforts to a point that it would fall under harassment and liability, in order to force manufacturers, to uphold a certain quality of their products and services. The laws also protect consumers against unethical business practices, and a wide variety of other topics involving consumer to producer activity.
The legislation regarding consumer laws, deals with matters like the safety of products, credit repair or debt management companies, provided services and contracts between consumers and businesses, among many other topics, involving interactions between consumer and businesses. However, this is limited to personal use on the side of the consumer. Business to business activities, fall under an entirely different set of laws.
Besides consumer protection laws, another means to obtain protection for consumers, is through non government entities, that specialize in consumer activism, or individually by consumers themselves.