Consumer laws target deception, defects and errors

Buyer beware is a common piece of advice for people in Pennsylvania, but every business transaction depends on some level of trust among parties. To enforce this necessity, consumer laws create a framework for holding people and companies accountable for their actions in the marketplace. These laws seek to maintain standards of truthfulness, product quality and qualifications among professionals and tradespeople.

Someone who was tricked into a deal by deceptive advertising could have a legal right to a refund or other remedy. The classic example here is known as a bait and switch. This tactic lures people to a business with an attractive offer, but then the company attempts to sell a different and more expensive product or service.

Lemon laws apply to car dealerships and establish a threshold of functionality for a vehicle. Too many breakdowns within a specific time period could entitle a person to a refund or replacement. Licensed tradespeople must also uphold the educational and certification standards set for their jobs. A victim of fraud or malpractice could complain to the applicable licensing board about someone's lies or poor performance.

The law also requires credit reporting agencies to maintain accurate records. People have a right to request the removal of errors from their records or enforce time limits on financial issues that should no longer appear on a report.

When a person suspects that a business has lied or refused to follow the law, an attorney could provide him or her with information about consumer protection laws. After reviewing the situation, a lawyer could explain which laws the opposing party might have violated. An attorney's direct communication with the company might result in the desired settlement, such as a refund, release from contract or replacement. When necessary, a lawyer could also file a lawsuit.

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