Mayor's Office of Consumer Information, a Local Consumer Program (LCP) of the MA AGO

Working in Cooperation with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office

Click here for Attorney General's Office Multilingual Resources

City Hall, Room 315
Tel: (413) 787-6437 - TTY: (413) 787-6154 
Fax: (413) 787-7781
E-mail: moci@springfieldcityhall.com

OUR VISION: To protect the good of consumers and ensure a safe and fair marketplace, free and clear of deceitful practices.

OUR MISSION: To empower consumers with knowledge for them to make informed decisions, and to advocte for those who need assistance in resolving a consumer complaint.

OUR MOTTO: "Education is the Best Prevention!"

WHAT'S NEW? Since launching our very own podcast, The Consumer Toolbox, we've also introduced The Consumer Toolbox quarterly newsletter (find the link on the right column). To subscribe, send an email to moci@springfieldcityhall.com. 

The Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information (“MOCI”) is a Local Consumer Program (LCP) funded by and working in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General  to help consumers resolve complaints who otherwise have to seek legal recourse through the court system. It serves residents of the City of Springfield and its surrounding cities and towns throughout Hampden County, as well as parts of Worcester County. The MOCI cannot guarantee the outcome of a complaint but ensures that it will, with the cooperation of both parties, aim to effectively provide consumer advocacy assistance in hopes of reaching an amicable resolution. 

Since 2000 MOCI has handled tens of thousands of complaints, advocated for consumers, and successfully recovered over $14 million dollars for them in the form of a refund or credit. It has held hundreds of community outreach events throughout its serving community.

The MOCI's services are provided throughout Hampden County, and the following Worcester County cities and towns*: Brookfield, Charlton, Dudley, East Brookfield, Holland, North Brookfield, Oxford, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Tolland, Wales, Warren, Webster, and West Brookfield.

Spanish-speaking staff is available. 

The MOCI staff will educate consumers on their rights in many consumer-related areas and has an array of brochures readily available.Some of the areas the MOCI can assist with are:

To speak to a case specialist to learn of your consumer rights, seek advice on how to resolve your dispute, or to request consumer assistance, call (413) 787-6437. We are ready to personally answer your question(s).

TO FILE A COMPLAINT

NOTE: Consumer complaints are completely online in a centralized computer system at the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office (AGO) to bring to their attention any potential trends of unfair and deceptive business practices in our serving jurisdiction.

COMPLAINT FORM: File a formal Complaint with the MA AGO.

However if need to request a printed version of the complaint form, or wish to speak with a case specialist about filing a consumer complaint, you may reach a Case Specialist at (413) 787-6437, Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm.

The MOCI brochure is available in EnglishSpanish and Russian.

CONSUMER RESOURCES:

Are you facing foreclosure? The MA Attorney General's Office may be able to help: Mortgage Lending and Foreclosures

For additional consumer protection information (Lemon laws and home improvement) visit: Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America.  Learn how to deter, detect and defend against it, visit: Federal Trade Commission: Identity Theft

Did you know that you are entitled to a free annual copy of your three credit reports, with no strings attached?  When requesting your credit reports, be sure not to use a public computer or Wi-Fi and allow at least 20 minutes for the process. Securely request your free credit reports from Annual Credit Report.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with pre-approved credit card offers in your mailbox? Did you know that they put you at risk of identity theft if they end up in the wrong hands? To stop receiving pre-approved credit card offers, click here: Opt-Out of pre-approved credit card offers

Would you like to reduce the volume of junk mail in your mailbox? You can actually stop junk mail by simply requesting to opt-out: Stop Unsolicted Mail, Calls and Emails

To stop telemarketing calls to your home or mobile telephone, register at: National Do Not Call Registry

Are debt collectors harassing you at home or work?  Learn what you can do to stop the calls your consumer rights: Fair Debt Collection

There is accountability for predatory lending.  The CFPB will "Educate, Enforce and Study" consumer issues.  Visit their website at: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Before doing business with a merchant, you may want to first check its ratings and complaint history with the Better Business Bureau 

Elder scams and financial exploitation are on the rise. The U.S. Department of Justice launched a website, Elder Justice to help protect seniors

Be CarSmart! Buy a Car, Not a Lemon...

Are you in the market for a new car? Here's what you need to know to avoid buying a lemon:

  1. Take the car for a long test drive. Make sure you drive it on the highway and on a hilly road.
  2. Bring the vehicle to a mechanic to have it checked thoroughly before you buy it.
  3. The used vehicle warranty period is based on the mileage on the vehicle at the time of purchase, and not set by the dealer.
  4. Take it (yourself) to get inspected within seven days of purchase.
  5. A dealer is not allowed to sell a vehicle in an "as is" condition or with faults.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Lemon Laws

Flood Cars: Don't Be Left High and Dry When Buying a New Car!

Previously flooded vehicles from other states are creeping their way to Western Mass and being sold by private parties and dealers. Here's what to check to detect prior flood damage on a vehicle:

  • Rust on screws or other metallic items
  • Upholstery and seat belts for water stains
  • Underneath spare tire for water or rust
  • Engine compartment for mud or indicators of submergence
  • Under the dashboard for mud or moisture
  • Headlights and taillights for signs of water
  • Operation of all electrical components
  • Glove-box, trunk and storage compartments for mold or a musty odor

OUTREACH IN ACTION

We provide outreach events thoughout Hampden County and parts of the Worcester community.

If your school or organization is interested in getting empowered on a consumer topic (such as Scams & Fraud, Identity Theft, Credit, Buying a Car) complete the Speaker Request Form or contact us via email: moci@springfieldcityhall.com. We are prepared and committed to serve you.

Update:

Due to high demand from community groups, we are currently booking outreach presentations beginning in mid-April, and only have limited dates available Therefore, please contact us before submitting a Speaker Request Form, or provide us with three proposed dates on the request form and we will do our very best to accommodate your request. Thank you. 

Your Consumer Rights...

What matters to consumers, matters to us!  We make this our number one priority. If you have a consumer question or concern, and need to speak with a consumer specialist, contact us at (413) 787-6437 or via email at moci@springfieldcityhall.com.

Other Helpful Contact Information:

  • Massachusetts Attorney General's Office: (617) 727-8400
  • Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation: (888) 283-3757
  • Hampden County Bar Association, Lawyer Referral Service: (413) 732-4648

Milagros S. Johnson, Director

Julimar Otero, Case Specialist

Delaney Baughman, WNEU Student Intern

OFFICE HOURS

To speak with a Consumer Specialist, call (413) 787-6437 between the hours of 9am and 4pm.

Y si, se habla Español!

From the pandemic we learned that our services were more in demand than ever before, and it has continued to be this way. The staff continuousy provided the same level of dedicated and uninterrupted service to consumers. We quickly adapted to the use of modern technology (such as e-complaints, scanners, email, and virtual meetings). 

However, if you or someone you know does not have access to a computer or an electronic device and requires assistance, we are happy to accomodate them in completing an electronic-complaint. 

"If you have a consumer-related matter that's concerning to you, it's important to us and we want to hear about it!"

We encourage you to contact us at (413) 787-6437, or email moci@springfieldcityhall.com

Stop by the City Hall Atrium and get empowered! Bring your consumer questions too!

SPECIAL EDITION NEWSLETTER!

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is March 3 to March 9, 2024. It is an annual event we celebrate each year!

Our current Newsletter is dedicated to NCPW and we've included the local events our program will be hosting.  Be sure to check out the Newsletter and join us at one of the events.

Feel free to print and share our Newsletter with your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Together we can make a greater impact in spreading consumer awareness . As our motto goes, "Education is the Best Prevention!" 

To subscribe to our newsletter, send us an email: moci@springfieldcityhall.com.

~Milagros~

FEBRUARY TIP OF THE MONTH: Beware of Scam Targeting Residents with Past Criminal Records

Have you heard of the new scam targeting former inmates? Well it's targeting the greater Springfield area and the imposters are preying on the victim's fear and vulnerability. Please heed the advise and share with others to prevent the scam from spreading. 

~Milagros~

Listen to our recent Podcast, "NCPW 2024: Consumers Lost $10B to Fraud in 2023!"

National Consumer Protection Week is March 3 to March 9 and we are dedicating not just our outreach activities to the event, but our recent podcast episode as well. 

According to the FTC, consumers lost over $10B to Fraud in 2023, which numbers are quite alarming. It seems that fraudsters are relentless and it's time we step up our game! 

Listen to the episode, and don't forget to subscribe. 

Uptick of Telephone Scams

Fact: The majority of our daily calls are from consumers wanting to report a telephone scam.

There are all sorts of telephone scams, from lottery to utillity, and they come to us at all times of the day. Simply stated, they target Older Americans most. By the way, scammers have stepped up their game and have become more aggressive and manipulating, mainly when there are done trying to sound professional and convincing. 

Fact:  If you answer the call and engage in a conversation, the calls will only escalate.

Avoid answering your telephone as much as possible. Or, if you answer, hang up as soon as you identify it to be a scam. Don't answer any questions, or keep saying, "Hello," if they don't respond. Let us remind you, that it's perfectly okay to hang up the telephone, and never feel like you are the one who is being rude. 

How to Complain Effectively

Are you having problems with a product or service you recently purchased? Learn how to complain effectively and have your concerns heard and addressed by the business or merchant. 

If your dispute remains unresolved and you need further assistance, you may want to file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. 

Page last updated:  Wednesday, February 23, 2022 12:49 pm