National Consumer Protection Week – Know Your Rights and Your Roles

protect your familyMarch 3-9, 2013 is National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), which is “is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.” Here, you can read the Presidential Proclamation from President Obama where he calls upon “government officials, industry leaders, and advocates across the Nation to share information about consumer protection and provide our citizens with information about their rights as consumers.”

National Consumer Protection Week is about highlighting the importance of consumer protection and bringing awareness to the fact that all Americans are responsible for making educated decisions for both themselves and their family members. It is no secret that we live in a consumerist culture and it can be debated that the Pursuit of Happiness has transitioned into the Pursuit of Things. When purchasing food, housing, and other necessities, the importance of clarity is pivotal for the consumer. Americans should know exactly what they are investing their money in and the role they play as a consumer.

Consumers are purchasing products in many different ways, with the Internet becoming a predominant marketplace. The Internet has become integral in our everyday lives, with 80% of men and 82% of women using the Internet in 2012. We have easy access to purchasing virtually anything we desire online and this has the potential to be both beneficial and detrimental. Although many consumers agree that shopping online proves to be easier than going in-store, and often times less expensive, the likelihood of encountering a scam is significantly higher online. It has never been more important for consumers to protect their personal information. Using credible and secure websites are two ways to avoid becoming a victim of scams and fraud.

Increasing knowledge of online safety is but one example of why NCPW exists. The President emphasizes this week because there are numerous other topics regarding consumer’s rights to be discussed. As fellow consumers, we at SelectQuote encourage you to research your rights as consumers and take this week to reflect on your spending. Make a list of all of your necessities: housing, food, insurance, etc. See how your hard earned dollars are being spent across the board and make sure that you are making smart, informed financial decisions.

If you have any questions regarding consumer protection, you can chime in to a chat @USA.gov with the hashtag #NCPW on Twitter, hosted by the Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Service Administration this Wednesday, March 6 at 2:00 PM EST.

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