This week, our Division of Standards celebrated a new relationship with the Town of Burlington, with Division inspectors handling weights and measures duty in the town. This is a great partnership between state and local government, and expands our efforts to maintain and reinforce the trust between consumers and retailers.
We all buy gas on a regular basis, and we take for granted that we are pumping an accurate amount of fuel – at the appropriate octane level – into our cars. We don’t bring calculators to ensure the price is matching the amount pumped, and we certainly don’t have the tools to measure octane levels. (In the photo right, Inspector Marty McHardy (right) and Division of Standards Director Charles Carroll are testing a gas pump’s accuracy.)
However, the Division of Standards does, and they do a fine job maintaining a level marketplace for businesses and consumers. A recent pre-Memorial Day inspection of 237 gas stations found only one that was delivering gas with inappropriate octane levels to drivers. The Division also checks item pricing and scanner accuracy, another successful area. Before the holidays, the Division checked 3,863 items at retailers’ scanners, and found the scanners to be 99.51 percent accurate.
With the addition of Burlington, the Division now provides weights and measures services to 62 communities across the Commonwealth. In speaking with town officials earlier this week, it was clear to me that Burlington is a community uniquely positioned to take advantage of our economic recovery. It is also clear that with the Division of Standard’s involvement in the community, residents will be able to count on that trust between consumers and retailers more than ever.
How to Combat Illegal Robocalls posted on Jul 25
Robocalls have become an all-too-common nuisance for consumers. Robocalls are unsolicited, pre-recorded phone calls, often scams, which are made to consumers without their permission, as opposed to calls solicited by the consumer, such as those from pharmacies and childrens’ schools. Robocalls are illegal in Massachusetts under M.G.L. c. 159C. While consumers can, and should, sign-up -for both the state and national Do-Not-Call lists, unfortunately this does not always stop many unscrupulous solicitors and scammers from making these calls.
Summary of the 2015 Consumer Federation of America Annual Consumer Complaint Survey posted on Jul 22
The Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators recently released the results of the 2015 Consumer Complaint Survey. This report is based on consumer information, complaints, and suggestions for increased consumer protections from 33 consumer agencies in 21 states.
Do-Not-Call Consumer & Solicitor Responsibilities posted on Jul 20
The Massachusetts Do-Not-Call Registry allows consumers to stop receiving certain telephone solicitations simply by signing-up and providing their telephone number. Established in 2003, the law requires telephone solicitors, list-brokers, and telemarketers to register with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, subscribe to the Do-Not-Call Registry, and remove registered telephone numbers of consumers from their call lists.