Cases and Resources
27: Becoming a Smart Consumer
Rights as a Consumer
Direct Action by Consumers
Taking Your Case to Court
Learn practical shopping techniques and how to decide if you
need to buy something or if you can afford a luxury. Take
note of the techniques advertisers use to get consumers to
buy their goods.
Field of Marketing
Advertising to consumers to encourage buying has evolved into
a separate field. Those involved in marketing determine targets,
or markets, for advertising, how the advertising works, and
why advertising works.
Federal Trade Commission
Browse through the FTC Web site and learn how the FTC helps
consumers and businesses. What makes advertisements misleading
Consumer Product Safety Act
Read the Consumer Product Safety Act. Now read an
of the act.
Nutrition Labeling and Education Act
Read about the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. The government has passed laws to ensure that consumers have access to complete and accurate food labels on almost all food in this country.
with Disabilities Act
Read this act and note how individuals are now being protected
from discrimination on the basis of disability.
and Local Consumer Protection Agencies
Browse through this listing of state and local consumer protection
agencies. Find an agency that operates in your state or city.
Some states have larger divisions for consumer protection
than other states. How does your state compare with others?
Your Rights as a Consumer
Consumer Problems (After Purchase)
After a consumer has made a purchase, the consumer may not
be stuck if he or she is unhappy with the quality of the purchase.
Read the options available to a consumer who is not satisfied
and how disputes can be settled.
Federation of America
This site educates consumers about products and services for
children and adults, such as health care, food, and utilities.
Safe Kids Campaign
This link provides information to consumers about issues of
This site researches and compares all types of consumer products
and services, from cars and appliances to banking and financial
services. This is a good place to begin comparison shopping
or conduct research before making a purchase.
The BBB is an organization helpful in researching a company—such
as an auto repair shop or home repair contractor—before
you do business with them.
National Association of Attorneys General
Use this site to learn more about what your state is doing
to litigate or enforce consumer protection issues.
Federal Government Consumer Protection
Food and Drug
Safety Commission (CPSC)
Communications Commission (FCC)
of Transportation (DOT)
Action by Consumers
A consumer who takes action will be much more effective if
he or she learns the best ways to send a message. This site
offers consumers education on advocacy techniques as well
as information on specific consumer areas.
Visit this federal government site that educates citizens
on taking action and protecting consumer rights. This site,
like Consumer Action above, offers information in several
Your Case to Court
Whether to Sue Someone
The first step in taking your case to court is determining
if you have a good case and if the person or company you are
suing can pay if you win. Read this article that helps a potential
plaintiff decide if he or she has a case worth taking to court.
Release: Business Guilty of Criminal and Civil Crimes
When taking your case to court, be aware that a business may
be guilty of criminal and civil crimes. Read this press release
about a home improvement contractor who was found guilty of
both criminal and civil crimes.
Read general information about small claims courts and learn
how to prepare for a case. Does your state have a limit a
plaintiff can seek in small claims court?
America: Ending Sweatshops
Explore the issue of sweatshops and what consumers can do
about sweatshops. This site offers information on businesses
that do not use sweatshops and advocacy tips for consumers
who wish to get involved.