Consumer Protection

America’s free market system is the greatest economic engine in the world, yet despite all of the good that comes from the free market, there are many individuals and businesses that utilize this market freedom to unfairly prey on consumers.  Many businesses, both large and small, take advantage of unknowing or unwitting consumers by selling them products that turn out to not be what was advertised – an old fashioned “rip-off.”  Fortunately, Massachusetts law affords protection for the consumer and carries stiff financial penalties for predatory businesses.

There are two primary legal tools that protect consumers.  The first is a legal doctrine called the Implied Warranty of Merchantability.  Essentially, this law places a legal duty on a business to sell you a product that works.  The law is powerful in both its simplicity and in its utility.  If a business sells you a product that does not work as advertised, they may be legally required to provide you a full refund.

The second legal tool is a law that prohibits businesses to engage in “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts.”  This law is vast in its scope as it covers every type of business that operates in Massachusetts.  Essentially, the law prohibits businesses to engage in deceptive and unfair behavior with consumers and if they do behave in such a way, there are very stiff penalties that include having to pay three times the amount of damages to an aggrieved consumer.

There are many other laws in Massachusetts that protect consumers.  The bottom line is that you are not helpless when you feel that you are either being, or have been, “ripped-off” by a business.  Attorney Kevin M. Cloutier can help you understand the rights afforded to you as a consumer and will gladly take on any businesses that have taken advantage of you.   

For more information on Massachusetts Consumer Protection laws, visit the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries as well as the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR).
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