Informing Consumers About Themselves
Erasmus Law Review , Volume 3 - Issue 2 p. 93- 119
Consumers make mistakes. Imperfect information and imperfect rationality lead to misperception of benefits and costs associated with a product. As a result, consumers might fail to maximise their preferences in product choice or product use. A proposed taxonomy of consumer mistakes draws attention to a less-studied category of mistakes: use-pattern mistakes – mistakes about how the consumer will use the product. Use-pattern mistakes are prevalent. Sellers respond strategically to use-pattern mistakes by redesigning their products, contracts and pricing schemes. These strategic design responses often exacerbate the welfare costs associated with consumer mistakes. From a policy perspective, focusing on disclosure regulation, the importance of use-pattern mistakes requires more, and better, use-pattern disclosure. In particular, sellers should be required to provide individualised use-pattern information.
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