Fair competition is a trademark of American society, particularly when it comes to sales. Businesses should always be truthful to those who purchase their products and services. When companies are not truthful, consumers have the right to hold them accountable for unfair practices such as false advertising, bait and switch tactics, and other deceptive business practices. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our experienced Charleston consumer protection attorneys are ready to get to work protecting your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Consumer Protection Law?
Consumer protection laws allow individuals to take legal actions against businesses for unjust practices. These federal and state laws were created so that business owners and operators could be held accountable for any misconduct on their part. For example, businesses that seek to gain profits from consumers’ ignorance can be held accountable. Perhaps a business falsely advertises or makes false claims about their products to gain the consumer’s trust. Consumer protection laws can help consumers in a wide variety of circumstances. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our Charleston personal injury attorney has experience handling a variety of these types of cases.
Types of Consumer Protection and Safety Cases We Handle
Illegal debt collection practices
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was created by Congress to stop unfair, abusive, and deceptive practices by debt collectors. This law revolves around how collections can be recovered for various types of debt that may be outstanding, including credit card debt, auto loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgages, and other household debts. The FDCPA restricts the means and methods that collections agencies can use to contact debtors, as well as the number of times contact can be made and the time of day they can call.
If you know that there is a possibility of your vehicle being repossessed, there are steps you can take to protect the property, aside from paying the debt on the car loan. It is important to know that consumers have rights in these situations. If the vehicle has already been repossessed, consumers need to act quickly, as repossessed vehicles are often sold auctions very quickly after the repossession. If the amount that the vehicle was auctioned for is less than how much you owe on the vehicle, debt collectors will continue to come after you for the difference. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, we will fight for the return of your vehicle and against any claims on the money you owe.
Telephone Consumer Protections Act violations
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued regulations that establish a “Do-Not-Call” registry and have made further modifications to the Telephone Consumer Protection Action of 1991 (TCPA). The FCC now imposes financial penalties on all commercial telemarketers for calling numbers on this registry. For members of the public who are not on the Do-Not-Call registry, current regulations place a maximum rate on the number of abandoned calls that can be made and require telemarketers to transmit caller ID information. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, we will work to hold businesses accountable for violating the TCPA, seeking penalties and attorney’s fees.
One of the main reasons that products become defective for consumers is false labeling. In many cases, this revolves around a company failing to provide the consumer with information necessary for safe operation or consumption of the product. Companies could use false advertising, or they could place false claims on a product label.
Improper billing practices
All too often, companies and entities will practice improper billing practices in violation of state and federal law. Nowhere is this highlighted more clearly than issues concerning medical billing and credit card disputes.
- Medical billing. For those with health insurance, the West Virginia legislature offers protections against improper billing practices and specifically takes aim at any healthcare agency or medical billing that improperly goes after beneficiaries of health insurance plans after services have been rendered.
- Credit card disputes. If you have ever been billed for merchandise you either returned or never received, or if your credit company has charged twice for the same item, or failed to credit a payment to your account, you deserve to be treated fairly by the credit card company. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), consumers have a right to settle billing errors made to their credit card account, so long as the account is still open.
Do You Have a Consumer Protection Claim?
Understanding whether or not you are being treated unfairly or have been deceived by a business can be complicated. Consumer protection lawsuits can become incredibly complex, and most companies have legal teams on retainer should they encounter any of the issues discussed above. That is why you need a skilled and experienced legal team by your side as well. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping our clients in Charleston and throughout the State of West Virginia recover the compensation they need. This can include:
- Compensation for any product or service that was purchased
- Coverage of any medical bills arising due to a defective product injury
- Any compensation granted under the various consumer protection laws in place
- Physical and/or emotional pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages may be attainable in cases where the company acted in an extreme, excessive, egregious, reckless, or deceitful manner
You may or may not know that you have a legitimate consumer protection claim against another company or entity. Even if you are not quite sure, you should let a consumer fraud attorney in West Virginia look at your case to determine the next steps forward for your case.
Fighting for Consumer Rights in West Virginia
If you or somebody you love has been deceived by a business or harmed by irresponsible, reckless, or negligent business practices, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our consumer protection attorneys in Charleston, WV are ready to help you get through this. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will investigate every aspect of your case so we can secure the compensation you deserve in accordance with the law. When you need a West Virginia consumer protection attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation online or by calling (304) 720-6700.