One frustration I have with being a consumer protection attorney is that many consumers don’t get help from me when they could do so easily. No, my frustration doesn’t come because of money; it out of wanting to help people get justice but being unable to for one reason or another.
Many consumers don’t let me help because they think they can’t afford me. That is absolutely false. Indeed, I serve most of my clients on a pro bono basis; or in other words, for free. Anyone can afford a free attorney.
Another reason people don’t call is because they don’t think it is possible to get the help they need. In many cases that is simply not true. For example, one of my clients wanted out of a cell phone contract she was sold deceptively and she tried on her own for weeks on her own to no avail. The cell phone company was stubborn and would not budge. Once she hired me I was able to immediately get her out of the contract without having to pay the $600.00 penalty the cell phone company originally threatened to charge and without any negative information reporting in her credit reports. I charged her nothing.
Some consumers don’t ask me for help is because many don’t want to sue. This is unfortunate because in most cases we don’t have to sue the wrongdoer to get the consumer a refund or other compensation. In other cases I can understand the hesitation and desire to avoid a lawsuit. It can be stressful to sue someone and some people even consider it wrong to ask the courts to award them money. One way to view the situation is to consider that other than an award of money, there is no other way for a consumer to hold a company accountable for its abuse. As for stress, my clients quickly learn that any stress caused by litigation is far less than the stress of being abused or harassed by an unethical company.
Another reason people who are scammed don’t seek my help is that they think they don’t have time to deal with the problem. In some cases that is true but I do everything I can to make legal representation easy for my clients. I can receive documents by email or fax and can talk to my clients by telephone to simplify the process. In one case I had years ago I represented a consumer who lived in North Carolina. I handled his case by email, fax, and telephone for over two years before ever meeting him in person when I flew him out to Utah for his deposition. The case went very smoothly and ended well. The distance was not a problem for either of us.
Consumers also often try to handle consumer protection issues on their own without an attorney. While commendable it is often not the best way to get adequate relief. Experienced consumer protection attorneys understand the laws, regulations, and court decisions that govern your case. That knowledge can get consumers higher rewards than consumers acting on their own. For these consumers, I created several blog posts to educate them in handling their own case. As I said I want to help people, whether they pay me or not.
In the end most consumers don’t hire an attorney when they often should. Even a quick consultation can help guide you to the best path for the fastest and most efficient resolution. The inescapable fact in that you are more likely to get a refund or other compensation if you have proper legal representation. Don’t assume you can’t afford to hire an attorney. Call one. There are numerous options available to help you get a refund or other compensation.