Advances in technology have the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of people age 50 and older. They also have dramatically changed how customers receive information and do business in the marketplace. The changes are rapid. Policymakers and regulators should ensure that consumer protections keep pace with these changes. There is also a greater need for private-sector companies to build consumer protections into their products and services up-front.
AARP’s Consumer Protection Principles provide a flexible framework that applies to all consumer products and services:
Ensure choice—consumers should have access to a variety of meaningful options.
Prioritize safety—consumers have a right to goods and services that are safe, appropriately tested, and labeled with warnings of possible risks.
Promote fair play and practice—business practices, consumer contracts, and marketing materials should be straightforward. They should not be unfair, deceptive or abusive.
Foster Transparency—consumers should receive understandable and accurate information about goods and services, pricing, business practices, companies, service providers, risks, and their rights. This information should be in plain, easily understood language.
Protect the right to redress—consumers have the right to accessible, appropriate, and adequate redress, including the full range of legal remedies.
Encourage participation—consumers should have a say in decision-making processes that affect the financial marketplace.
Safeguard privacy—consumers have a right to personal privacy. They should have the ability to reject the sharing of their personal information. They also have a right to be protected from intrusive marketing practices, communications, and technology.
Promote access—consumers have a right to basic and necessary services such as utilities, telephones, digital communications, financial products and services, and transportation. These services should be affordable, safe, and reliable.