It’s Business, And It’s Personal

State consumer protection laws make the grade

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2022 | Consumer Protection |

When compared with many other states, North Carolina has consumer protection laws that serve to keep consumers from being taken advantage of by businesses. This is according to a report by the National Consumer Law Center, a group that advocates for the interests of consumers across the country, including of course in the Fayetteville area.

For the most part, this state’s lawmakers have not bowed to pressure to let businesses pursue profit through underhanded tactics.

North Carolina’s laws apply broadly to all industries, including lenders, insurance companies and businesses involved in real estate.

The laws also prohibit a wide range of behavior. It is more difficult for a business to hide behind the letter of North Carolina’s law to avoid having to face consequences for their poor conduct.

Still, the report did note at least a couple of weaknesses in North Carolina’s legal regime. Regulatory agencies in North Carolina do not have the ability to make additional rules to define or correct a business’s bad behavior.

Furthermore, the civil penalties the state can impose on a business that has violated a consumer’s rights are relatively light. Some businesses may prefer just to pay these fines rather than deal more fairly with their customers.

In North Carolina, individuals can band together to seek justice

Perhaps most importantly, North Carolina’s laws allow individual citizens of this state to sue for their damages if a business violates their rights as a consumer.

Furthermore, citizens also have the ability to band together and file suit as a group through what is called a class action lawsuit.

For consumers, class actions are important tools to hold businesses accountable.

For example, one consumer may be out less than $100 because of a business’s deceptive actions.

While it may be too expensive for that one person to file a lawsuit, pursuing a class action with other consumers who experienced the same treatment can make legal action affordable for the victims.

After all, even what might seem like a little amount to a business means a lot to most Fayetteville families. Businesses should never be able to get away with taking advantage of their customers.