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August 15, 2012

The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and What It Means For You

Category: Business Law, Consumer Law, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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In a perfect world, all vendors would be honest, and all customers would pay on time, but unfortunately that’s not always the case.  The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) was created to protect vendors from fraud and shoddy worksmanship, but now some consumers are abusing it to avoid paying their bills.  Here’s how to use this legislation ethically — and to protect yourself from abuse.

For Consumers

If you’re a consumer who’d fallen victim to unethical vendors, then you have every right to take full advantage of the MMPA. An example where the MMPA would prove beneficial would be if you paid a company to install a new driveway which then immediately cracks; when you got to report it, the company fails to respond.
If this or something similar happens to you, you can file the case with your attorney general.  If you go through an attorney, which can be helpful in dealing with a company’s own legal team, you’ll be able to recover your attorney’s fees if you’re successful.

For Vendors

Here’s what you have to watch out for as a vendor.  Let’s say you put a roof on someone’s house, and then they don’t pay for the service.  You sue and win, but the customer counters with an MMPA filing.
The best way to protect yourself from this sort of behavior is to include a “sore loser” clause in your initial settlement for the non-payment.  This protects you against slander on social media and government reporting agencies.  Without it, there’s little recourse.

Get Help From Dan Miller Law

At Dan Miller Law, our attorneys are experienced in both consumer protection and business advocacy.  You can expect us to help you get what you deserve, no matter which side of the coin you’re on.  Give us a call at 816-875-0470, or use our web submission form to request more information.