Mass Consumer Affairs Blog

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

Tag Archives: Consumer

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Posted on Oct 24

Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Looking for health insurance for you or your family and your employer doesn’t offer it? The Commonwealth’s Health Insurance Connector’s Open Enrollment begins this year on November 1, and continues through January 31st, 2017. Massachusetts and federal law prohibit consumers from purchasing an insurance plan outside of the Open Enrollment period unless there is a qualifying event, such as a birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, loss of insurance through employer, etc.

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.

How do you connect? A Consumer Guide to Cable Service: Part 3 Posted on Aug 11

How do you connect? A Consumer Guide to Cable Service: Part 3

Cable service is available in most Massachusetts communities through one or more providers, and may be offered as a stand-alone service or as part of a bundled package. The term “bundled package” refers to a specially-priced combination of services that may include telephone service (wireless or landline), television (cable or satellite television), internet or a home security system. Bundled packages often include a contract agreement that will require you to maintain your services for a fixed period of time, usually 12-24 months.

How do you connect? A Consumer Guide to Cable Service: Part 2 Posted on Aug 8

How do you connect? A Consumer Guide to Cable Service: Part 2

Cable service is available in most Massachusetts communities through one or more providers, and may be offered as a stand-alone service or as part of a bundled package. The term “bundled package” refers to a specially-priced combination of services that may include telephone service (wireless or landline), television (cable or satellite television), internet or a home security system. Bundled packages often include a contract agreement that will require you to maintain your services for a fixed period of time, usually 12-24 months.

How do you connect? A Consumer Guide to Cable Service: Part 1 Posted on Aug 4

How do you connect? A Consumer Guide to Cable Service: Part 1

Cable service is available in most Massachusetts communities through one or more providers, and may be offered as a stand-alone service or as part of a bundled package. The term “bundled package” refers to a specially-priced combination of services that may include telephone service (wireless or landline), television (cable or satellite television), internet or a home security system. Bundled packages often include a contract agreement that will require you to maintain your services for a fixed period of time, usually 12-24 months.

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.

May/June Scam Log Analysis Posted on Jul 28

May/June Scam Log Analysis

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation compiles publicly-available scam, identity theft, and fraud complaints from around the Commonwealth via police logs and news outlets, as well as through the Office’s Consumer Information Hotline.

How to Combat Illegal Robocalls Posted on Jul 25

How to Combat Illegal Robocalls

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

Do-Not-Call Consumer & Solicitor Responsibilities

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.