Latest Issue

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect