Missouri consumer protection law is found in The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, in Chapter 407 of the Missouri statutes. Also known as the "MMPA," The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act was created to protect Missouri consumers from deceptive and unfair business practices. It supplements, but does not replace, other Missouri consumer protection laws–like the right to sue on the basis of fraud. legal remedies that Missourians have against wrongdoers. The MMPA is applied very broadly to protect Missouri consumers from a variety of wrongful business practices–from deceptive acts and misrepresentations, to outright fraud. Its intent is to preserve fundamental honestly and fairness in consumer transactions.
Who is Protected by The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act?
The MMPA protects any person who buys (or leases) merchandise, though it must be primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. If that consumer suffers a loss as a result of another's unlawful practices, then the consumer can bring a lawsuit against the wrongdoer.
What Kinds of Business Practices are Unlawful Under Missouri Consumer Protection Law?
It is important to understand that even though the MMPA contains the word "merchandising," it doesn't apply just to merchandise. It also applies to the sale of services and even intangible goods. Specifically, the MMPA forbids the use of deception, fraud, false promises, or misrepresentations in transactions with Missouri consumers. It is also unlawful for businesses to conceal, suppress, or omit important facts. Examples of unfair and deceptive acts include: a used car salesman telling a consumer that a car has never been in a wreck, despite knowing that it has from the records; or a home remodeler who says he'll come back and do the last few touch-ups to finish the job, but never does.
Consumer Remedies under Missouri Consumer Protection Law
The MMPA provides that consumers can get the full extent of their actual damages. But beyond that, the courts can also order the wrongdoer to pay the consumer's attorneys' fees and court costs. And the courts also have the power to award punitive damages.