Thursday

Ohio Businesses Under Attack

Ohio has long had one of the strongest business protection laws in the country. What few people know, though, is that it also is one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the country too.

Having strong laws is good. They protect honest businesses from unfair competition by those few dishonest merchants that try to hawk their goods and services with lies, deception and unfair tactics that steal away their customers. Those tactics take customers out of the marketplace, depriving honest businesses of a chance to fairly compete for their business. Customers get hurt. Honest businesses get hurt too.

And that hurts everyone.

It's hard to understand how the Ohio legislature could think that protecting dishonest merchants would be good for honest businesses in Ohio - but apparently they do.

The state legislature is on the eve of passing HB 275, which will actually hurt fair competition by honest businesses in Ohio. It will change Ohio's 40-year old CSPA law, which has been a model for the nation.

HB 275 has for years protected the honest businesses in Ohio (the vast majority) from the dishonest and slimy sales tactics of the few dishonest merchants who every day try to trick people and steal customers. How bad is HB 275?

HB 275 will freeze lawsuits against dishonest merchants dead in their tracks - and no law in the nation does that. The customers of honest businesses will be locked out from the help the courthouse can give them, and dishonest merchants will hold the keys in their back pocket.

HB 275 will create a loophole that encourages dishonest merchants to force people to go to court, adding to the caseload our Judges already face with their over-crowded dockets.

HB 275 will tie the Judge's hands, preventing Judges from stopping dishonest business practices by imposing serious penalties if they don't treat their customers and other businesses right.

HB 275 will reward dishonest businesses by letting them cheaply "buy" their way out of the courthouse and out of the penalties and accountability that the legal system imposes on everyone in our society.

HB 275 will make it harder for an honest business to compete against those few dishonest merchants who don't mind lieing and misleading customers - stealing them away from honest merchants who are just trying to make a living.

When dishonesty is rewarded by the Ohio legislature, you have to wonder how that could happen. Did someone "get" to the right person in Columbus? Did the rest of the members of the legislature not read anything more than the title to HB 275 (the "right to cure" bill) and get fooled?

People like to think that things don't go wrong at the statehouse, but this bill is a good example of something that is badly going wrong. If honest businesses and consumers in Ohio don't stop it, this trainwreck of a Bill is going to charge right on down the tracks and end up ripping out your wallet.

For more on HB 275 and how it will hurt honest businesses and consumers alike, read the editorial by David Rothstein in today's Akron Beacon Journal Online by clicking here.

Then call or write your state senator and ask them who was the person who decided they want to hurt honest businesses in Ohio. And hurt you too.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves since 1978.