Massachusetts Legal Blog

Consumer Rights and Protection Laws in Massachusetts

Consumer Rights and Protection

It is natural for all of us to assume we can trust whoever we do business with. In fact, it wasn’t all too long ago when a simple handshake was all it took to seal a deal, ensure a job was done right and guarantee customer satisfaction. However, those times are sadly long gone and not everyone conducts themselves with the highest ethics and standards of business anymore. If you have learned that lesson the hard way, you may want to learn more about consumer rights and protections.

The Basics of Consumer Rights and Protections and Chapter 93A

The pursuance of a consumer rights and protections claim typically comes about when a consumer has been the victim of a business or individual that was deceitful, unfair or even unlawful– either intentionally or they have refused to rectify the situation once the mistake or wrongfulness has been brought to the their attention. The particular statute, Chapter 93A, is a legal recourse for those who have been the victim of bad business. The process of filing a consumer rights suit begins with a 93A Demand Letter. This letter essentially outlines how you have been wronged and what kind of remedy you are insisting upon. There must also be proof the entity or person you claim is at fault is engaged in doing commerce. Then, you must have supporting evidence or proof that their actions were unfair, deceptive or illegal. There must also be proof that there was a loss of money or property for compensation to be pursued. That compensation can also include the cost of attorney fees or other expenses incurred as a result of the wrong that was committed, including double or treble damages.

Common Consumer Rights and Protection Cases

There are many forms of unfair or deceptive practices that may warrant a consumer rights and protection case. Just as each situation may be unique, the expenses or losses someone has suffered can be just as varied; therefore damages awarded are dependent on the facts of each case. Some common examples of deceptive or unfair practices include when a business changes their rates or the cost they have marked an item or advertised it for, discrepancies or confusing refund or return policies, or a business that doesn’t live up to the warranty they promises or advertised. Another common issue that can lead to a consumer rights and protection case may be when a business or individual fails to warn someone about a product or service that can result in injury. Bait and switch practices are also common occurrences that lead to the need file action. Other occurrences that may lead someone to seek legal action may be if someone is unfairly targeted by a collection agency or denied credit because of inaccurate information on their credit report. Deceptive advertising practices or being defrauded by a lender or salesman, such as an auto dealer, also fall under the umbrella of when legal protection or the acquisition of damages may be actionable.

If you have been in a situation where a business to consumer deal or even a business to business deal has not gone as you feel it should, and you have suffered damages as a result, you may want to find out if legal action pertaining to consumer rights and protection laws may be in your best interest. Although a handshake is no longer as legally binding as it once was, the basic principles of fairness and trustworthiness should be. At the Shapiro Law Group, PC, our skilled consumer protection litigators can help determine if you have been wronged and also what kind of damages or compensation will best rectify the situation. We can successfully negotiate a settlement and help ensure all legal filings and avenues, including the drafting of your Demand Letter, are handled as they should be so you can get the results you deserve. For more information on consumer protection laws and rights click here.

By Anna Shapiro