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It’s been an exciting 2015 for Undersecretary Chapman and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. This year we focused on educating the consumer, alerting you to rights you may not have known you had and calling your attention to ways to protect your identity and investments.

 

Let’s recap:

 

Home Improvement Projects

  • Did you make any repairs to your home this year or are you planning to in the upcoming year? Make sure you always use a Registered Home Improvement Contractor. The OCABR regulates the registration of contractors performing improvements or renovations on detached one and two family homes. Hiring an unregistered contractor will disqualify consumers from access to the state’s Home Improvement Contractor Guaranty Fund should something go wrong with their contractor. Learn more about the HIC program and check if your contractor is registered. If you think your contractor isn’t registered, let us know. We’ll add their name to our unregistered contractor list.

 

Renting

  • Many people rented an apartment this year. Did you know tenants and landlords have certain rights and responsibilities? The OCABR is here to help you navigate the renting rules.

 

Car Buying

  • Did you buy or lease a new car this year? If so, make sure you’re familiar with the Massachusetts Lemon Law. The Lemon Law protects consumers who have serious defects in their new cars which substantially impair the use, market value, or safety of the vehicle and have not been repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. Find out more about the Mass Lemon Law and read up on the Used Vehicle Warranty if your “new” car was used.

 

Scams

  • This year saw a lot of scammers looking to take advantage of consumers by stealing their money or their identity. Did you hear about the Department of Public Utilities Scam? Maybe you were a victim of the One-Ring Scam? The OCABR does our best to alert you to a scam and offers tips to keeping your identity secure in a digital world. Read up on scam alerts and be sure to alert our office if you think something is a scam.

 

Shopping

  • Did you buy anyone a gift this year? Maybe you received a gift card? There are certain protections the consumer is entitled to when making a purchase or using a gift card. Be a smarter shopper and know your shopping rights.

 

Looking ahead:

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is part of the Baker-Polito Administration, with the mission of protecting consumers through advocacy and education. We’re looking forward to another great year of working hard to help make the Commonwealth a better place to live and work.

 

Remember to contact our office any time you have a concern or think someone may be trying to take advantage of you. Tips and stories from Commonwealth residents help us crack down on illegal or fraudulent activities and try to keep it from happening again.  Keep reading our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter  to stay up-to-date with the latest information.

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