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State Rep: Michigan Consumer Protection Act May Not Protect Consumers

March 17, 2009

Lansing, MI - By its name alone, the Michigan Consumer Protection Act would seem to do just that - protect consumers. However, one state representative says it doesn't protect anyone at all. The Michigan Supreme Court, in a 1999 case, narrowly interpreted the law to mean that any regulated business is exempt from the Act, and State Representative Robert Jones of Kalamazoo says it's time to change that. He says fly-by-night businesses whose promises are better than what they deliver are cheating consumers and hurting honest businesses.

"They end up skipping off with the money and leaving someone with a half job, or something like that. It not only damages the consumer, but it also damages the reputable business."

Jones has introduced a bill that specifies the Consumer Protection Act must cover unfair, unconscionable and deceptive practices.

Jones says his bill outlines the ramifications for non-compliance.

"It'll increase the fines and penalties for anyone who claimed to be licensed and anyone who claimed to perform work and did not do it."

Some other state lawmakers believe licensed businesses are already regulated enough.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI