So far, consumer advice in Germany is primarily designed for consumers, who are aware of their rights as consumers and who proactively seek support at consumer advice centers when needed. According to several studies, such a model of the average consumer does not relate to the real-life situation of many people and disregards especially the needs and problems of so-called "vulnerable consumers". This term refers to an idiosyncratic group of people with e.g. low levels of income and formal education, with a migration background as well as elderly people, who exhibit a special need for consumer advice. In order to strengthen the position of vulnerable consumers, the consumer advice-center in Cologne implements a pilot project for reach-out consumer counseling in the neighborhood.
Until the end of 2017, ConPolicy will support this pilot project with professional expertise and will conduct evaluations of selected counseling tools. The resulting insights will be used for the practical implementation of the pilot scheme.