Contracts can be confusing, misleading, deceptive, and unfair. Contract terms live and die by many things, including whether you are acting in a consumer or business capacity, whether you were under undue influence, and dozens of other factors. If you feel you were wronged, we are here to help. We understand the specifics of Massachusetts contract law, and with our years of experience, can give you the advice you need.
Contract disputes arise all the time. The law and the effect it will have on your case depends on many factors, including:
A warranty is a two-part pledge to you. First, it promises that the merchandise sold is as represented. Second, it promises that you will receive repairs, a replacement, or a refund if it is not the quality or condition represented. A seller does not have to use formal words such as “warranty” or “guaranty,” for a warranty to exist. There are two types of warranties: express and implied.
Sellers create an express warranty when they make a promise, show a sample or model, or describe goods to you. The written warranties provided by some manufacturers are express warranties. Express warranties can be oral or written, but you should try to get all promises in writing for your protection. (M.G.L. c. 106, § 2-313 (1)).
Under the implied warranty of merchantability, the merchandise must do what it was designed to do with reasonable safety, efficiency and ease, and for at least a reasonable period of time. For example, a toaster must toast, a TV set must have a picture and a clothes dryer should not overheat and catch fire when properly operated.
Every item sold by a merchant in Massachusetts automatically comes with the implied warranty of merchantability. There is no warranty of merchantability if the seller is not a merchant, or if the seller is a merchant but does not ordinarily sell goods of that kind. For example, a computer purchased from a restaurant that does not usually sell computers will not have this implied warranty.
Under this law, a merchant cannot sell merchandise “as is”, “with all faults”, or with a “50/50″ warranty.( §2-314)
If you ask a salesperson to recommend a sleeping bag for camping in sub-zero temperatures, then the recommended bag should keep you warm. If it does not, then the merchandise is not fit for its particular purpose, and the seller had failed to follow this implied warranty. The implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose arises when all three of the following conditions are met: 1) the seller has reason to know your particular purpose for buying a product; 2) you rely on the seller’s skill or judgment in selecting or providing a product to meet that purpose; 3) the seller has reason to know that you are relying on his/her skill and judgment. M.G.L. c. 106, §2-315
Under state law, it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice to fail to honor a warranty. M.G.L. c. 93A, §2(c)
Massachusetts law requires that a merchant clearly and conspicuously disclose the store’s refund, return, or cancellation policy. A merchant cannot misrepresent the store’s policy or fail to honor it. Generally, clear and conspicuous disclosure means that the merchant must display a written return policy that the buyer can see and understand before the purchase is made. As long as the product is not defective, a merchant can choose any return policy, provided the merchant discloses this policy to the buyer before the purchase. Stating the policy on the receipt would not satisfy this disclosure requirement, because it is not provided until after the sale. M.G.L. c. 93A, §2(c)
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