Consumer Vulnerability: Advancing a multidisciplinary perspective of vulnerability
Consumer Vulnerability: Advancing a Multidisciplinary Perspective of Vulnerability
Jessica Wyllie, Jamie Carlson, Ranjit Voola and Tania Sourdin (2019) Social Business, 9(1), 1-5
Marketplace engagement by consumers who are homeless: Internet communities as a resource for consumer resilience
Carol Kaufman-Scarborough (2019) Social Business, 9(1), 7-28
This study examines the Internet as a resource to build resilience for persons experiencing consumer vulnerability. Specifically, it attempts to contribute to our understanding of consumer vulnerability through an in-depth analysis of one specific case – a blog that provided advice to persons who were homeless. As a unique forum that spanned several years, an analysis of their shared conversations may help unfold how members adapted, coped, and built consumer survival skills.
Gendered vulnerabilities in Australian microfinance
Archana P. Voola (2019) Social Business, 9(1), 29-47
This paper seeks to explore consumer vulnerability in the context of Australian microfinance to uncover the role of macro forces that exacerbate and/or eradicate gendered vulnerabilities.
Policy implications of localised stigma: A case study of consumer vulnerabilities experienced by mobile home park residents
Jon Littlefield and James E. Littlefield (2019) Social Business, 9(1), 49-68
This paper contributes to knowledge in the area of consumer vulnerability with respect to housing by detailing a study of residents of a large mobile home park (MHP) in a small town in the Southeastern United States. Residents of mobile home parks inhabit some of the most stigmatised residential locations in the United States, and this stigma, in addition to poverty, contributes to their vulnerability.
Vulnerability and dispute resolution in the banking and finance sector
Tania Sourdin and Mirella Atherton (2019) Social Business, 9(1), 69-91
The meaning of vulnerability in the context of consumers in the banking and finance sector in Australia is poorly articulated, partly because vulnerability can be situational, can vary over time, and may be linked to financial or economic vulnerability that can impact on the capacity of a consumer to seek redress and pursue the resolution of any dispute. Whilst decisions about how to protect consumers in an increasingly complex financial environment have been the subject of recent discussion and scrutiny, there has been limited focus on how banking consumers who are vulnerable can pursue concerns that have arisen when a financial arrangement is already in place. Internal dispute resolution (IDR) processes have been set up within financial organisations to deal with such concerns, however there has been recent evidence that these have not always worked well. In addition, over the past two decades, as a result of the issues that arise with more traditional forms of litigation (primarily cost and delay), there has been an increase in the external alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process options available to banking consumers where an internal complaints process has not resulted in an agreed outcome. Concerns include that complaint and dispute settlement processes relating to banking and finance may result in outcomes that favour the stronger party in any negotiation. In this regard, the current complaint and dispute resolution framework applying to financial services disputes within Australia has been designed with significant selfregulatory and industry regulated components.
This article explores the impact of this approach and considers how vulnerable consumers can be supported within the financial and banking complaint and dispute area, by considering the broader and largely unexplored definition of vulnerability, the options presented to such consumers, and approaches that can support fair outcomes.