Consumer Counseling/ Mediation Program

/Consumer Counseling/ Mediation Program
Consumer Counseling/ Mediation Program 2017-11-01T11:13:41+00:00

 The Local Consumer Program – Berkshire Consumer Services Office

Goals and Objectives:

  • Providing consumer education, information, counseling, resources, workshops, and more in areas as needed.
  • Promoting early intervention and strategies that allow consumers to prevent or have disputes resolved in as timely a fashion as possible without having to resort to the court system and/or retaining attorneys.
  • Providing a cost-free, accessible resource for Berkshire County consumers experiencing issues and/or disputes with for-profit businesses located in or outside of Berkshire County.
  • Providing a cost-free, accessible resource for consumers residing outside of Massachusetts who need assistance in resolving a dispute with a Berkshire County located business.

The Berkshire Consumer Services Program (BCSP) is one of the 18 Local Consumer Programs (LCP) that are funded by and working in cooperation with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office so that Berkshire County residents and business can have access to local services and counselors/mediators who are familiar with the community.

In Berkshire County, the Berkshire Consumer Services Program is administered and implemented by Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority (BCRHA). BCRHA provides a continuum of programming that promotes household, housing, and community stability. That’s why the CSP fits so well within our agency.   The staff is trained to counsel, educate and inform consumers as well as businesses. We speak with many people who call in to ask questions about a variety of things, including their rights, how to get information on a consumer topic, and others. In addition, the primary staff person is a trained mediator and speaks with hundreds of consumers and businesses each year to help resolve disputes that have arisen out of any number of possible reasons.

The BCSP offers a free and voluntary mediation process, performed over the telephone, that seeks to resolve disputes – once a written complaint is filed – and hopefully reach a mutually agreeable and amicable resolution. If the staff is not able to resolve your particular complaint, all legal options are discussed and explained, including how to go about filing a claim in Small Claims Court. There may also be in appropriate cases the opportunity for face-to-face mediation (also available at no charge in the majority of cases through BCRHA), community legal aid, or a private attorney.

Pen and paper

Click HERE to fill out a Consumer Complaint form

You can fill out the form online if you have an Adobe product on your computer.  Otherwise, it must be printed out, filled it, and then scanned and emailed, faxed, or USPS mailed back to us.

Once completed, form can be submitted using the following methods:

  • Save a copy of the completed form to your computer and attach it to an email to us at katea@bcrha.com.
  • Print out the completed form (saving a copy for yourself is a good idea) and mail it to:

Berkshire Consumer Services Program
One Fenn Street-4th Floor
Pittsfield, MA 01201

  • Or fax it to our office: 413-443-8137, attention to Kate Alexander

If you have any difficulties either filling out the form or getting it to us, please call 413-344-4861 or email katea@bcrha.com

FOR A SPEAKER REQUEST FORM CLICK HERE