Consumer Affairs Office works with the Attorney General's Office providing consumer information, resources and education. We offer a free, voluntary mediation service that tries to help resolve matters between consumers and merchants outside of court.
What We Do
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, deception or unfair business practice this office can assist you in resolving a complaint through an informal process of mediation.
In mediation, neutral third party-mediator-helps you and the other party try to resolve the problem through facilitated dialogue. However, it is up to you and the other party to reach an agreement.
In order to determine whether your situation is appropriate for our mediation service, you must first file a complaint with our office. Your complaint will be reviewed, if suitable, it will be assigned to mediator.
Trained mediators contact merchants in an attempt to provide effective assistance to consumers in resolving complaints.
It is important to note that we cannot require a merchant to participate in this voluntary mediation program. However, many businesses do choose to participate and as a result, mediation is able to help many individuals resolve consumer problems.
How to File a Consumer Complaint
You should file a complaint if you are having a problem with a business and need help to resolve that problem.
The Attorney General's Office can help with most consumer issues. The most common consumer issues include:
- Defective products;
- Car sales and financing;
- Auto repossession issues;
- Debt collection;
- Mortgage servicing and loan modification;
- Home improvement contracts;
- Business closures;
- Utility bill disputes;
- Shut off of unregulated utilities; and
- Issues specific to immigrants, veterans, homeless, and elderly residents.
You can also file a complaint to report anti-competitive mergers, price-fixing agreements, and other illegal practices.
If you just need information or would like to better understand a consumer issue, you should review the information on our website or call our Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400.
If you are looking for complaint information about a particular business, you should review the Information online.
Your Right When You Shop
Protecting Your Credit Right
Forms and Links
- Consumer Complaint Form
- Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Division
- Massachusetts Contractor Registration Site
- Massachusetts Lemon Laws Site
- Massachusetts Identity Theft, Data Privacy and Cyber Security Site
- Sample Consumer Resource Guide (Boston)
Buying a Used Car
The Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty law protects consumers who buy used cars. It applies to dealers or private sellers. Under this law:
- A dealer must give you a written warranty against safety defects, and
- private sellers need to tell you about any defects or safety issues.
A seller can offer repairs, a refund, or a repurchase as a way to pay you back for a defective car, but not all vehicles or defects are eligible for a repurchase.
For more information, call the Consumer Affairs Hotline at 1-888-283-3757
Staying Safe Online
Millions of young children use the Internet daily. Parents need to know about the dangers the Internet poses to children. Studies show that:
- one out of every 17 children feel threatened or harassed online
- one out of every five children receive sexual solicitation online, and
- one in four children see unwanted sexual material.
Children don't always tell their parents when these incidents happen, so parents should track how their children use the Internet.