What are the interests of consumers
You will find consumer advice centers in all federal states - with a wide range of services in around 200 advice centers. Consumers receive up-to-date, reliable information and independent advice here. Around a thousand employees work in the consumer centers of the federal states and the Federal Association of Consumers.
The consumer advice centers are independent, mostly publicly funded, non-profit organizations. The aim of their work is to inform, advise and support consumers in questions of private consumption. They provide an overview of confusing offers and a clear view of complex market conditions. And they name health or environmental aspects that can influence purchasing decisions.
The work of the consumer advice centers is funded by public funds from the federal states, by the municipalities and districts at the advice centers, and by federal project funds. In addition, the consumer advice centers generate their own income from advisory services and from the sale of guides.
What we do
- pursue legal violations (e.g. through misleading advertising or inadmissible contractual clauses) through warnings and lawsuits
- represent consumer interests at local and state political level
- inform the media and the public about important consumer issues
- carry out consumer-relevant campaigns, projects and exhibitions and
- work together with schools and institutions for youth and adult education.
In our advice centers, on the phone and on the Internet, we advise you on legal and economic issues relating to private households - for example, we provide information on purchase and service contracts, false promises from sweepstakes, the latest miracle diets and nutritional supplements, the authorization of telecommunications and energy bills, about insurance, about the right old-age provision and health insurance.
We advise, among other things, on:
- Credit law, debtor and bankruptcy proceedings
- Banks and investments
- Patients Rights and Health Services
- Travel law
- Mortgage lending
- Household, leisure, telecommunications.
Depending on the federal state, the advisory services differ from one another. You will find the respective advisory services in your federal state on the websites of the individual consumer centers.
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations: the voice of consumers
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) is the umbrella organization of 41 consumer associations - a powerful network for consumer policy with more than 20 million individual members. It is one of the world's most influential independent consumer organizations and represents the interests of consumers vis-à-vis politics, administration, the judiciary, business and the general public. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations are member organizations
- the consumer advice centers in the 16 federal states and
- 25 associations oriented towards consumer policy.
What we do
- We publicize the concerns of consumers and influence politics to create rules for a fair and transparent market.
- We point out grievances and, if necessary, enforce consumer rights in court.
- We create the basis so that our members can provide reliable and independent consumer advice.
- We ensure that consumers are aware of their power and can exercise it responsibly in everyday consumption.
Where do we start?
We act on four levels:
- in consumer policy lobbying and in policy advice
- in law enforcement
- in promoting consumer advice and information
- in consumer education
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations was founded in 2000. It emerged from a merger of the Consumers' Association (AgV), the Consumer Protection Association (VSV) and the Consumer Institute Foundation.
The history of the vzbv and its predecessor organizations goes back to the 1950s, when the consumer policy work of numerous associations was bundled for the first time in a central national interest group.
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