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Consumer protection laws in force

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2018 | Consumer Protection

Everyone wants to look their best, whether you live here in West Virginia or in New York, and cosmetics offer tools to enhance your features. But is that all that consumers are buying? Although the amount differs by a few billion depending on which analyst is writing, nobody estimates the value of the beauty industry at less than $400 billion each year—and that is just for skincare and make-up. That means a lot of women are buying a lot of cosmetics, and the claims they make as well.

According to Time, just 18 percent of the claims made by beauty product manufacturers are to be believed. The media mogul refers to a study of 289 cosmetic ads for a range of skincare, makeup and perfumes that appeared in national magazines such as Marie Claire and Vogue. They included language such as “clinically proven,” which researchers found were often based on questionable testing methods. They rated 18 percent of product claims as “acceptable,” while the remaining 82 percent were termed “vague” had an “omission” or included an “outright lie.”

Of course, most consumers are happy to return the item to the place they bought it for a refund. Others simply accept the monetary loss, which can be anywhere from $20 at a drugstore to $100 or more at tonier department stores. The beauty trade is just one industry with companies that make unwarranted claims about products, however; there are plenty of others as well.

FindLaw reports that West Virginia aims to protect residents from deceptive trade practices with several consumer protection laws. These include warranty protections and a ban on false advertising, as well as questionable sales tactics. If you buy a product that does not live up to its sales pitch, you can try to recover your money from the manufacturer or in some cases, the store where you bought it. If your request is denied and you paid more than $200 for the product, you can file a lawsuit to recoup your loss. 

This article is informational in nature and is not intended to be understood as legal advice.

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