How the law protects consumers

There are a variety of laws on the books that aim to protect consumers in different ways. For instance, Pennsylvania consumers may be covered by a lemon law that allows them to return a defective vehicle. Other laws prevent businesses from using deceptive advertising to entice consumers to buy a product or service. Furthermore, bait-and-switch tactics are generally prohibited. This occurs when a company advertises a product only to not have it available to consumers. In its place, a company tries to sell another product that is more expensive.

Credit reporting agencies have standards that they must abide by that are designed to protect consumers. For instance, if there is an error on a credit report, an individual could challenge that error. In the event that a negative item is placed on a credit report, it can only stay there for a period of several years before falling off.

Most professionals are covered by some sort of law or licensing requirement before offering their services. If a person is harmed by a professional's negligence, the professional could face penalties up to and including the loss of a license. The same could be true if a doctor, lawyer or other professional engages in outright fraud against a person.

If a person is the victim of fraud or misrepresentation, it may be possible to pursue financial or other relief. Legal counsel could review statements made by a company or other actions taken to determine if consumer protection laws were violated. In some cases, it's possible to resolve a case through mediation or some other form of settlement talks. However, a formal trial could take place if these alternatives don't result in a favorable outcome for the victim of an illegal activity.

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