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The consumer protection trap

Assuming that customers have no responsibility for their actions is not good for customers

By Anthony Browne  

How obscure the words caveat emptor now seem. For decades this Latin phrase meaning “buyer beware” was the key tenet of consumer law. But it was also a principle used to pernicious effect by unscrupulous businesses which claimed that if a customer got a bad deal it was simply because he or she had not conducted sufficient due diligence.

The growth of consumer protection in the last half century has rightly put paid to that, to the benefit of both customers and good companies. But today’s daytime television adverts and the incessant text messages from no-win, no-fee law firms underline…

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