CT Department of Consumer Protection

This, the last of a four part series published to coincide with the National Consumer Protection Week, March 1-7 (NCPW), focuses on the CT Department of Consumer Protection (CTDCP). Since so many of our members reside in Connecticut, it just seemed appropriate.

The three previous articles:

CTDCP: Mission Statement: To ensure a fair and equitable marketplace, safe products and services for consumers in the industries that we license, regulate and enforce.

In a nutshell, the CTDCP looks out for consumers by the following:

We License: Each year, the Department of Consumer Protection issues over 200,000 licenses, registrations, and permits for more than 200 types of jobs and businesses, including pharmacies, liquor stores, casinos, mobile home parks, electricians, home improvement contractors, lottery agents and real estate brokers, to name just a few. We also oversee food and beverage industries, to ensure safety and wholesomeness. We regulate gasoline retailers and home heating fuel dealers, and oversee the production and distribution of all prescription medication in the state.

We Regulate: We enforce many federal and state laws, investigate consumer complaints and mediate disputes between consumers and businesses. The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act gives us broad authority over unfair business activity and offers the possibility of financial restitution for consumers who have been unfairly treated. The Pure Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the State Child Protection Act and the Weights and Measures Act also help us safeguard residents from harmful products and from unfair or dishonest treatment.

We Monitor: To protect citizens from unfair businesses and unsafe products, we continually monitor the marketplace and remove tainted, fraudulent, and dangerous products from store shelves. We inspect gasoline pumps, scales and all measuring devices used in business to ensure their accuracy. We prevent the illegal sale or prescribing of prescription drugs, and we work to put scam artists out of business and to keep alcoholic beverages away from minors and intoxicated persons. We also ensure the integrity of all forms of legalized gaming.

We Protect: A written complaint is the first step a consumer must take to alert us of a problem. We carefully review each complaint, investigate as needed, and work to find a solution that restores fairness, ensures legal compliance, and wherever possible and appropriate, provides monetary restitution to the consumer.

Wow!
That’s a pretty broad sweep of responsibility. There’s no way that we could tell you all about it, except by republishing their web site, and nobody wants that.

But Be Informed!
Still, most everyone at sometime or other has need for services and products from providers that CTDCP regulates and monitors, so it really isn’t a bad idea to have a working knowledge of the CTDCP structure and what regulations it applies to protect us, the Connecticut consumers. So, read on for a short overview of the CTDCP organization and how it protects us. Not a bad idea to bookmark their web site as well: CTDCP. Continue reading

National Consumer Protection Week, March 1-7

We received a newsletter last week from the FTC. Among the items highlighted was a notice about the National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), which begins  March 1. Since Tri-Town Apple’s purpose is to provide useful and beneficial information to the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union  membership, it seemed appropriate to look into this. We had never heard of the NCPW. Here’s what we found:

EveNCPW logory year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) encourages people and businesses to learn more about avoiding scams and understanding consumer rights. This year, NCPW takes place March 1-7, 2015. NCPW highlights free resources from government agencies and consumer organizations to help people make smarter buying decisions and spot rip-offs. Visit www.ncpw.gov to find out about consumer education materials available from NCPW partners, and order free FTC materials.

We discovered a vast collection of resources on the web, made available by about 75 government agencies (federal, state & local) and other organizations, such as the AARP & Consumers Union (part of Consumer Reports). We are going to focus on this subject over the next four weeks, but there is no way we can even begin to bring breath and depth of this information to light here. Today’s article is the introduction. We’ll cover three of these topics  in the next three articles.

We strongly urge you to take a quick look at the summarized list of topics below. If one or more of these topics relates to a concern or question you have, click here or on the image below for more information.

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Thank you for reading the Tri-Town Apple.