Consumer Disputes

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In this consumer society, we all pay for goods and services every day. But what if we do not receive the quality of goods or services we paid for? Do we have any rights? In fact, we do. No matter what type of consumer issue we face, such as a landlord who won’t return the security deposit that is rightfully yours, a contractor who builds and sells a defective home, or a professional who doesn’t supply the services they’ve billed you for, you may have grounds to pursue a claim. In Massachusetts, consumer claims are subject to the state’s particularly strong consumer protection law, codified as Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A.

Chapter 93 stipulates that a commercial provider of goods and/or services who commits an unfair and/or deceptive act in the provision of these goods and services will be held liable. If the unfair or deceptive act is willful, the court can award double or even sometimes triple damages. This statute will also award attorney fees if your case is successful.

What would be considered ‘unfair’ or ‘deceptive’ under Chapter 93A? A court’s analysis of what would be considered unfair or deceptive would not be limited to contract, negligence, or breach of warranty claims. Harassment, defamation, and invasion of privacy are all considered illegal actions if they occur in the consumer realm. Fraud, deception, and unfair methods of competition also violate Chapter 93A. Unfair methods of competition claims have to be tied to conduct harming the marketplace as a whole and not only one consumer or business. Some actions are considered violations by their very nature. These include certain debt collection practices, landlord-tenant actions, and sales tactics.

If you feel you have been subjected to unfair or deceptive consumer practices, consult with one of our team of expert Massachusetts consumer disputes attorneys.