A key mission of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is to provide consumers the information they need to fully exercise their rights and also to understand their responsibilities in the marketplace. Our partners – the Attorney General’s Office, Better Business Bureau, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service – also strive toward that same goal of consumer education and empowerment.
At the Office of Consumer Affairs, we hear from thousands of consumers through our hotline and our email database. We’ve compiled all of those complaints and inquiries to calculate our Top 5 Consumer Issues for 2012:
- Auto Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Home Insurance
- Home Improvement Contracting
- Lemon Law
One eye-catching component of our Top 5 is that the top three are insurance-related issues. This is not surprising. Many Massachusetts residents have cars, and everyone who has a car must have auto insurance. All of us must have health insurance, and indeed 98% of Massachusetts residents are covered. The numerous weather events that occurred in 2012, most recently Superstorm Sandy and several blizzard-like storms, caused havoc around the Commonwealth that prompted questions and claims on home insurance.
The two issues that round out our Top 5 have consistently made this list. My office runs the Home Improvement Contracting complaint, registration, and arbitration programs as well as the Guaranty Fund. We also house the Lemon Law arbitration program, and our consumer hotline staff take questions and give advice about the law’s qualifications.
Navigating the networks of insurance plans, dealing with insurance claims, resolving issues with home improvement contractors, and dealing with lemons are all trying situations for consumers. My Office and affiliated agencies seek to provide assistance through education and outreach so that consumers can know and use their rights.
If you have a question or complaint, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs Consumer Hotline, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 617-973-8787 or toll-free in MA at 888-283-3757.
Chances Are, You’ve Had to Deal with One of These 5 Consumer Issues posted on Aug 14
Last month, the Consumer Federation of America published a list of their top ten consumer complaints. In it, they named many of the issues that the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations keeps consumers informed about, ranging from auto complaints to fraud and scams. …Continue Reading Chances Are, You’ve Had to Deal with One of These 5 Consumer Issues
The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Offers Disaster Relief Tips for Residents of Revere posted on Aug 5
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations advises residents of Revere who were impacted by last week’s tornado to be cautious as they look for repair assistance and seek to file insurance claims. It is important that consumers make sure they are hiring …Continue Reading The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Offers Disaster Relief Tips for Residents of Revere
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Over the past week, the Consumer Hotline has received two complaints about a scam on Craigslist where buyers are scamming sellers out of money and their personal information. Callers reported being scammed when trying to sell an item on Craigslist. Online buyers would offer to …Continue Reading Craigslist Scam Alert: How You Could You Be Paying Someone to Steal Your Personal Info