As an individual, you MUST send the business a 30-day demand letter.  The letter is called this because you must send it thirty (30) days before you sue in court. The point of the letter is for the business to negotiate with you.  This is a more affordable option for you and the business.

1. When do I send this letter?

a. This letter must be sent thirty (30) days before you sue in court.

2. What do I need to include in this letter?

a. You must identify the claimant (yourself).  You can do this by including your full name and address.
b. You must include a reasonable description of all unfair or deceptive acts or practices. You must also list the dates when everything occurred and important facts. You can do this in a short paragraph with the facts.  You can mention laws you think were broken, but you don’t need to.
c. You must clearly explain the injury that you suffered as a result of the unlawful act.  You can do this by describing the money or property lost as a result of the unfair act.
d. You must explain what it will cost to fix the problem. This may later help a court figure out what the business owes you.
e. You may ask the business to stop doing what it is doing wrongly.

3. How do I send this letter?

a. You should—but do not need to—send the letter by certified mail with return-receipt requested.  This allows you to have proof of delivery.
b. You should also send the letter by regular mail. This should be done in case the business refuses certified or registered mail.
c. Keep a copy of the letter for your files. Also keep receipts and forms that you get from the post office. These will be helpful if you do need to file in court.

4. You do not need to send this letter if…

a. the merchant does not maintain a place of business or have property in Massachusetts; or
b. a business sued you, and you are responding to the business.

5. You can download sample letters to help guide you as you write your own letter.

a. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations has a sample.