Assembly Approves Bill To Preserve Consumers’ Rights To File Fraud Complaints

TRENTON – Legislation that would invalidate any contract that requires customers to waive their right to file a consumer fraud complaint was approved 79-0 by the full Assembly on Thursday.

The bill (A-2205) would nullify any contract that contains language negating the ability of a consumer to contact either law enforcement or state, county or municipal authorities to file consumer complaint.

“When companies are using contract clauses that force consumers to waive their right to file a complaint, something must be done,” said Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Preventing a customer from filing a complaint undermines New Jersey’s long standing tradition of consumer protection. Without such protection, the ability monitor a business’ compliance with existing law is severely compromised.”

The sponsor added that consumers should have the right to purchase goods and services from providers and have them live up to the terms they negotiated.

“One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned from this recent recession is that more needs to be done to protect against consumer fraud and that starts by creating greater corporate accountability,” said Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski, (D-Middlesex). “This measure will help ensure that consumers always have the right to seek justice against corporate abuse.”

The bill now awaits consideration by the Senate.

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