In honor of National Consumer Protection Week we have gathered the Top 5 Consumer problems from all of our agencies.
In honor of Consumer Protection Week, we have compiled the top issues that consumers face in each of our agencies. For more information on any of these issues or what your rights as a consumer our visit our website at http://mass.gov/consumer.
If you're a consumer in need, call our toll-free hotline at 617-973-8787 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Division of Banks, under the Office of Consumer Affairs, is dedicated to advancing the public interest by ensuring a sound, competitive and accessible banking and financial services environment. The Division educates consumers in financial literacy and protects business by maintaining a safe, sound and competitive banking and financial services environment throughout the Commonwealth.
The Division of Banks list reflects the financial difficulties many families are facing. As the point agency for one-on-one foreclosure assistance, the Division handled nearly 2,000 foreclosure-related contacts in 2010. The inclusion of debt collection and small loans on the list reflect how many people are struggling through tough financial times.
The primary mission of the Division of Insurance is to promote a healthy, responsive and willing marketplace for consumers who purchase insurance products. When it comes to complaints, denial of claims is a significant issue for consumers including auto, health, home and life insurance. Want a great example of how the Division of Insurance helps the people of Massachusetts every day? You can use their premium comparison website to see examples from each company and the range of premiums you could see if you shop around.
The Division of Professional Licensure is responsible for licensing and regulating the activities of over 355,000 individuals, corporations and partnerships. Their goal is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by licensing qualified individuals who provide services to consumers and by fair and consistent enforcement of the statutes and regulations of the boards of registration. Hair salons, hairdressers and barbers are one of the largest sections of licensees at the Division of Professional Licensure. Most of the complaints revolve around sanitary conditions, and DPL finds many unlicensed practitioners or expired licenses when doing investigations. The Division has a checklist to help consumer choose a professional service provider, click here to check it out.
The Division of Standards handles community weights-and-measures for about 70 communities. Statewide the Division is in charge of gas pumps and their calibrations, leading their complaint list from consumers who believe they were shorted on a fuel-up or were sold bad gas. Auctioneers are a popular complaint area, and early last year there were a few stories about auctioneers claiming to sell items belonging to Bernie Madoff. Interested in the work of the Division of Standards? Subscribe to their newsletter here
The Department of Telecommunications and Cable has two Top 5 lists! Check them out to see.
The Department of Telecommunication and Cable regulates the telecommunications and cable industries in order to protect both consumers and companies when market forces alone are not enough to do so. They ensure consumers receive high quality communications at just and reasonable rates and promote sustainable competition to increase consumer welfare. The Department also provides expert input into the development of telecommunications-related policies for the State. Need help selecting a telephone carrier? The Department has a guide for consumers, just click here.