Consumers have the right to safety, to be informed, and to have errors related to purchases corrected. Businesses have the right to receive payment for services or products offered to customers. Consumer disputes can take many forms, including disputes over defective products, billing errors, and breach of contract claims.
The Pittsburgh business attorneys at Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace LLP have extensive experience representing consumers whose rights have been violated. We also represent business owners involved in a wide range of consumer disputes. When you work with our skilled litigators, you can rest assured that we will carefully evaluate your case, answer any questions, and work with you to develop an effective legal strategy.
Representing Victims of Consumer Fraud
Consumer fraud is rampant. According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were around 2.4 million reports of consumer-based fraud in 2022. As more consumers than ever rely on online shopping, more consumers become victims of shopping scams.
If you’ve been the victim of consumer fraud, it’s essential to understand your rights. Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace LLP can investigate your case. You may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit for compensation for the financial harm caused by scams, fraud, or bad business practices. Some of the most common examples of consumer fraud include the following:
- Medical devices defects
- Product defects
- Overcharging or improperly charging consumers
- Deceptive or unfair consumer contracts
- Insurance fraud
- Automobile defects
- False or misleading advertising
- Online shopping fraud
Product Defect Disputes
When a product isn’t fit for the purposes for which it was made or doesn’t do what it was made to do, it may be considered defective. Product designers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are legally obligated to use reasonable care when making and selling products to consumers. When a consumer becomes injured or dies because of a dangerously designed or manufactured product, the victim or his or her loved ones can bring a civil lawsuit against the at-fault parties. Victims may recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.
There are three main types of product liability claims. The first involves defectively designed products. When the product was designed in a way that is likely to cause consumers harm, and there was a safer alternative design available, victims can hold the product designers liable for their injuries. The second type of product liability claim involves manufacturing defects. If a product was defective because of an error during the manufacturing process, and that defect caused a consumer to become injured, the victim can pursue a product liability claim.
Finally, victims can pursue product liability claims when a company doesn’t adequately warn them of the inherent dangers associated with the product. If a defective product seriously injures you or your loved one, you can pursue compensation through a product liability lawsuit. However, there are time limits for filing product liability claims. The sooner you speak to an experienced attorney, the better your chance of recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Consumer Disputes Related to Billing Errors
Most consumers rely on their debit and credit cards to make purchases daily. Some retailers and restaurants do not accept cash at all. Consequently, disputes between consumers and merchants about the merchandise they’ve purchased on a debit or credit card have increased. Bankers should understand their liability when a customer complains about a transaction with a merchant paid for by their debit or credit card.
Under federal law, the issuers of a creditor debit card must investigate and resolve billing errors. This provision includes transactions involving goods and services that were not delivered or that the customer didn’t accept. Some of the most common examples of consumer billing errors include the following:
- Customers are billed for the wrong amount
- The delivery of the products or services is different than what was agreed upon
- The merchant delivers the wrong quantity of products
- The products were delivered late or to the wrong address
When the customer sends a written notice to his or her credit or debit card issuer within 60 days of receiving a statement, the card issuer must investigate the dispute. In most cases, the card issuer is required to acknowledge the billing error notice and resolve the dispute within 30 days. Until the error has been resolved, the consumer has the right to withhold payment to the card issuer of the amount in dispute plus any finance charges attached to it until it is resolved.
Contract Disputes Between Consumers and Businesses
Consumers sign many different types of contracts to purchase goods and services. Consumer contracts are legally binding agreements between the consumer who purchases the goods, services, or digital content and the merchant. Many service providers require consumers to read through lengthy, complex contracts and click a button stating that they agree to the terms of services.
Consumer protection laws protect consumers from being held to the terms of contracts when the contract terms are so unfair they violate public policy. Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace LLP has helped many consumers navigate breach of contract claims in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania. If you’ve been the victim of a breach of consumer contract, we can help you understand your rights. You may be entitled to pursue compensation.
Discuss Your Case with a Consumer Dispute Attorney in Pittsburgh
If you or your loved one have been the victim of consumer fraud, defective products, or violations of your consumer rights, you aren’t alone. The experienced litigators at Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace LLP are prepared to help you pursue your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve sustained because of consumer fraud.
Our attorneys also represent Pittsburgh consumers and businesses involved in consumer disputes. Contact Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace LLP to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation and learn more about how we can advocate for you and your rights.