Mass Consumer Affairs Blog

The Official Blog of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

Category Archives: Shopping 101

The Skinny on Dietary Supplements Posted on Sep 14

The Skinny on Dietary Supplements

We’ve all seen the ads for weight-loss pills and other dietary supplements online, in our favorite magazines, and in television commercials. But what do consumers really know about this market? After a recent investigation by Consumer Reports into the supplement market, we put together some tips consumers should keep in mind.

The Sharing Economy Posted on Aug 3

The Sharing Economy

One of the newest innovations in digital commerce is the “sharing economy,” a term used to describe a variety of businesses that use digital technology to directly match services and goods with customers. In just a few years, these businesses have developed the technology to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, as well as streamline business-to-consumer transactions, in order to connect consumers with almost any good or service on demand.

New Year’s resolution involve exercise? Be aware of red flags BEFORE you sign up for a health club membership Posted on Jan 8

  As the Times Square Ball dropped, the clock struck midnight and we ushered in the year 2016, more than 40 percent of Americans had a New Year’s resolution in mind, according to the most recent Marist Poll. However, if like many Americans your resolution   …Continue Reading New Year’s resolution involve exercise? Be aware of red flags BEFORE you sign up for a health club membership

EMV and Chip Technology – Protecting Your Payment Cards Posted on Oct 30

  Committing fraud by stealing credit and debit card numbers continues to be a major data security issue and only seems to be growing worse. But there is an effort underway by the payment card industry to include chip technology in payment cards to make   …Continue Reading EMV and Chip Technology – Protecting Your Payment Cards

Everything you wanted to know about gift returns but thought it would be rude to ask Posted on Dec 22

Purchasing or receiving an unwanted gift can be one of the most frustrating – and uncomfortable – things that can go wrong over the holidays. For this reason, most people prefer the reassurance when they purchase an item that they can return it if it   …Continue Reading Everything you wanted to know about gift returns but thought it would be rude to ask

All I Want for Christmas is Price Scanning Accuracy Posted on Dec 19

The Massachusetts Item Pricing Law was written to ensure that food retailers remained consistent and accurate in how they charge consumers. Since its last update in 2013, the law has been extended to cover consumer-use price scanners and automated check out systems. The Division of   …Continue Reading All I Want for Christmas is Price Scanning Accuracy

Consumer Affairs Survey Finds Lower-Cost Options for College Textbooks Posted on Aug 22

Consumer Affairs Survey Finds Lower-Cost Options for College Textbooks

It’s about that time that students will begin to flock back to the Boston area and move into their apartments and dorms.  As they prepare for classes, one of the more expensive purchases will be their course materials, including the very expensive textbooks.  According to   …Continue Reading Consumer Affairs Survey Finds Lower-Cost Options for College Textbooks

Loyalty Programs – A Two Way Street Posted on Aug 19

Loyalty Programs – A Two Way Street

Customer loyalty programs may save you cash, but do you know the true cost of your membership card? In recent years, a trend has been booming with business all over the world. They are offering consumers the opportunity to enroll in their customer loyalty programs.   …Continue Reading Loyalty Programs – A Two Way Street

Missing Price Labels? Grab it and Scan it. Posted on Aug 16

Missing Price Labels? Grab it and Scan it.

Price check! Earlier this year, new legislation went into effect that allows for Massachusetts grocery stores to stop placing price stickers on each individual item for sale. Markets that opt to not label everything in their store must apply for a waiver with the Division   …Continue Reading Missing Price Labels? Grab it and Scan it.

National Consumer Protection Week 2013 Posted on Mar 5

National Consumer Protection Week 2013

This week is National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). More than 60 nonprofit organizations and federal, state, and local agencies are participating this year all with the intention of bringing a larger awareness to consumer rights. For the past 15 years, the week has brought together   …Continue Reading National Consumer Protection Week 2013