The concept of professional regulation serving the public interest is summarized in the "Consumer Bill of Rights," first articulated by President John F. Kennedy in 1960:
- The right to safety: to be protected against the marketing of products and services that are hazardous to health or to life.
- The right to be informed: to be protected against fraudulent, deceitful, or grossly misleading information, advertising, labeling, or other practices, and to be given the facts needed to make informed choices.
- The right to choose: to have available a variety of products and services at competitive prices.
- The right to be heard: to be assured that consumer interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration in making government policy, both through the laws passed by legislatures and through regulations passed by administrative bodies.
- The right to education: to have access to programs and information that help consumers make better marketplace decisions.
- The right to redress: to work with established mechanisms to have problems corrected and to receive compensation for poor service or for products which do not function properly.
At the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, we and our five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. We keep these consumer rights in mind when making decisions and working to improve consumer rights and protections.