Frequently Asked Questions
I file a complaint against a business?
You can file
a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division either online or by
filling out and mailing
a consumer complaint form. See File a Consumer
You can file a complaint in order to request that the Division mediate
a problem between you and the business, or
a complaint just for the record. For additional information, call our
hotline between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at (410) 528-8662 or 1-888-743-0023
toll-free in Maryland.
If you have
a health billing complaint, you can file a complaint with the the Division's
Health Education and Advocacy Unit. For
additional information, call the Health Advocacy hotline at (410) 528-1840
or 1-877-261-8807 toll-free in Maryland.
If I sign
a contract to buy a car, do I have three days to change my mind and cancel
Many consumers mistakenly believe all contracts allow a 3-day cooling-off
period to cancel. Generally, there's no cooling off period after you sign
a contract. (In Maryland, only a few types of transactions, such as door-to-door
sales contracts, allow you three business days to cancel.) However, if
the dealer promised finance terms, such as a certain interest rate or
monthly payment, and is unable to honor those terms, you can't be forced
to accept other terms and may cancel the contract.
Is a store
or business required to allow me to return an item, as long as I have
Under Maryland law, stores must post their return policies on the wall,
on the merchandise, or on your receipt. A store can refuse to accept returned
merchandise if that is their posted policy. If the policy isn't posted,
the store must accept returned merchandise within a reasonable time period.
If an item is defective, the store must repair it, replace it or give
you a refund, regardless of its regular refund policy.
I tell if a company is reliable?
can't tell you if a company is reliable, but we can tell you if anyone
has filed a complaint against the business and if so, how the complaint
was resolved. Call the Consumer Protection Division's hotline at (410)
528-8662. A mediator will tell you how many complaints have been filed
against the business, the nature of the complaints and how they were resolved.
You can also
check to see if an individual or business is licensed with the state before
they do business with you, at the Maryland
Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing website.
I get telemarketers to stop calling me?
See our publication "How to Stop Telemarketing
and Junk Mail" for some steps you can take to get off calling
and mailing lists.
Is a doctor
or hospital allowed to charge me if I request a copy of my medical records?
Although you have the right to the information contained in your medical
records, the record itself belongs to the doctor and he can ask a fee
to cover retrieval and photocopying. More
information about requesting medical records.
landlord evict me just by telling me to leave or else he will put my belongings
on the street?
No, eviction is a legal procedure. To evict a tenant, a landlord must
go to District Court to get a judgment against the tenant. If a landlord
moves your belongings out of your home, changes the locks, or cuts off
utilities without a court order, you should call the police and an attorney
or legal services organization. More information
a car a "lemon"?
Maryland's lemon law applies to a car, light truck or motorcycles that
is registered in Maryland and has been driven less than 18,000 miles and
been owned less than 24 months and has:
- A brake or steering failure that was not corrected after the first
repair attempt, and that causes the vehicle to fail Maryland's safety
- Any one problem that substantially impairs the use and market value
of the vehicle that was not corrected in four repair attempts; or
- Any number of problems that substantially impair the use or market
value of the vehicle that have caused it to be out of service for a
cumulative total of 30 or more days. More
information about Maryland's Lemon Law.
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