Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
To file a complaint online, click here.
Here’s a snapshot of the laws in Massachusetts regarding deceptive advertising:
General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 266, § 91: Prohibits the use of advertisements that contain untrue, deceptive, or misleading statements or representations.
Some of the penalties that fraudulent or deceptive advertisers may suffer in Massachusetts include:
- Up to three, but not less than two, times the amount of actual damages (GLOSSARY) if the court finds that the advertiser acted willfully or knowingly (General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 93A, § 11);
- The cost of reasonable attorney’s fees of the person suing, if that person wins the lawsuit (General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 93A, § 11).
Small Claims Court in Massachusetts
If you’re not trying to recover big bucks, but rather just trying to recoup the money you spent on a product or service after being duped by a false ad, then you might consider filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court.
For general info about filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court, click here.
For info on how to file a Small Claims lawsuit in Massachusetts, click here.
Researching Consumer Complaints
To obtain copies of complaints consumers have filed against a business, you can send Freedom of Information requests to:
Massachusetts Attorney General
Division of Consumer Protection
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108-1518
Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
10 Park Plaza, Suite 5170
Boston, MA 02116
A sample Freedom of Information request can be found here.
**Please note that this page is informational only and does not take the place of legal advice. Please also note that the above summary is meant to provide a brief look at the laws in Massachusetts, and not a comprehensive list.**
The chief law enforcement official in each one of the 50 states; also refers to the person heading the federal government’s Justice Department
A court order that requires a person or company to do a particular act or to refrain from doing a particular act. Example? A court order prohibiting a company from using an ad that’s been deemed deceptive.
Compensation for losses that are proven to have occurred.