National Consumer Protection Week 2008

National Consumer Protection Week is March 2-8, 2008. In honor of this highly publicized week (not), I am going to write today about the importance of being proactive rather than reactive.

Whether the issue is a lawsuit by a debt collector, fraud perpetrated by an auto dealer, credit report errors or any one of a number of other issues, I speak with Indiana consumers all the time who put off addressing the issue for far too long. I’m sure there are many reasons for this. One of the primary ones, I believe, is a feeling of helplessness. But KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and it’s NEVER TOO LATE TO BECOME PROACTIVE. Some knowledge costs money, and I understand that, but there is a lot of knowledge out there on the internet on so many consumer issues that is totally free.

For instance, I give free initial consultations. I’m guessing, but I bet only 10-15% of the consumers I speak with become clients. Some I can’t help, some I can help with some simple advice, some choose not to hire me and some I can help and they become a client. The point is that if you look hard enough for information, free information, it can be found. Now I know I am really preaching to the choir here, because if you are reading this blog entry chances are you are looking for information on the web on a consumer issue and are being proactive. But we all need to be reminded of how critical it is to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, including myself!

The reason it’s so critical is that often the longer you wait the fewer the options that are available. Options are a good thing. So be proactive and keep your options open!