Serving clients in Bellevue, Seattle and throughout King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties
Member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)
Consumer protection issues can arise from several different types of transactions, including:
- Automobile Fraud & Lemon Law
- Home Improvement & Residential Construction Contracts
- Retail Installment Contracts
- Real Estate Fraud
- Warranties: written and implied
- Credit Card Agreements
- Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations (FCRA)
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations (FDCPA)
- Washington Collection Agency Act violations (WCAA)
- Washington Consumer Protection Act violations (WCPA)
For most people, their everyday consumer purchase and service transactions go smoothly and without any problems. However, what happens when something major does go wrong? What do you do when the seller won't discuss the problem with you or even return your calls?
To initially determine whether or not you may have a valid consumer law claim against a person or company, some basic questions need to be asked at the outset:
- Were you promised something in writing before the purchase, and the person or company hasn't materially delivered on that promise?
- What warranties were included?
- What warranties apply to your purchase?
- Have you paid for a service or product and received nothing in return?
- Did you receive substantially less than you realistically should have in the transaction?
- If you signed a written sales contract, were you given adequate time and opportunity to completely read and understand it prior to signing?
- If a written contract was involved, were its terms fair and reasonable?
- Were the written contract terms adequately disclosed?
- Is the merchant trying to change the terms from those that were originally agreed to in writing without your approval?
- Did the seller know the specific purpose for which you were buying a product, and state to you that the product would meet that purpose?
- Is the seller or manufacturer refusing to honor the written warranty that came with the product or service?
- If there was no 'written' warranty offered, or the product was sold 'as is', what are the basic standards that the product has to meet?
- Did you agree to purchase one product at a given price, and the salesperson delivered to you a completely different and inferior substitute product?
If you said yes to one or more of the above questions, and your issues remain unresolved as the result of a consumer transaction between you and another person or company, the next step should be to ask whether or not it would be cost effective to seek the assistance of an attorney to pursue that person or company for compensation and/or damages.
For example, it may not make sense to retain a consumer attorney to pursue a merchant for a $1000 in damages when you have less expensive options available to seek compensation, such as through small claims court.
But - what if there's a more serious matter to pursue - such as a contractor that took several thousand dollars of your hard earned money to perform home improvements or repairs that were never finished - or worse yet, weren't even started?
What if you bought a new car, and despite four or more repair attempts, the dealer still hasn't been able to make the car reliable? Does Washington's Lemon Law apply?
In Washington, consumers are protected by several state statutes that prohibit deceptive and fraudulent acts, among them RCW 19.86, also known as the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and RCW 19.16, the Collection Agency Act. Your case may also involve violations of applicable Federal Law, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, The Truth in Lending Act, Reg. Z, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other.
If you believe that you've been the victim of a fraudulent or dishonest act, and you'd like to know if you have a potential case for just compensation as a result of your loss, please call my office. I offer a complementary, confidential 30 minute initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by calling to discuss your potential case.
Law Office of Fred Martens
Office: 14040 NE 8th St, Suite 211 Bellevue, WA 98007
Mail: P.O. Box 6416 Bellevue, WA 98008-6416
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, by appointment
Evening and Weekend Appointments available on a limited basis.
SMS: to have contact information sent to your mobile device, text "FJMLAW' to 50500.