September 25, 2023

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NYS Department of State’s DCP has returned nearly $2.4 million to consumers in 2022

Fri, Mar 3rd 2023 02:55 pm

Division of Purchaser Safety helped practically 20,000 New Yorkers with purchaser issues in 2022

√ Division of Customer Protection is sharing the best 5 types of customer grievances received in 2022, with tips to safeguard shoppers

To kick off Nationwide Consumer Defense 7 days, Gov. Kathy Hochul introduced the New York Department of State’s Division of Client Safety assisted 19,752 New Yorkers with a selection of customer security issues in 2022, ensuing in nearly $2.4 million staying returned to people.

Countrywide Client Security 7 days is celebrated all through the initially whole 7 days of March just about every calendar year to enable individuals fully grasp their legal rights as buyers and to share methods accessible to assistance secure them. This year, Nationwide Consumer Protection 7 days falls on March 5-11, and the Division of Shopper Protection is sharing the top rated five categories of buyer grievances acquired in 2022 with recommendations to educate, notify and shield consumers on these topics.

“My administration has labored diligently to return tens of millions of dollars to buyers that fraudulent companies stole out of the pockets of tough-operating New Yorkers,” Hochul mentioned. “With strategies and tools readily available to remain safe in this rapid-shifting economy, we will proceed to protect customers, ensure New Yorkers are knowledgeable of their rights, and keep dishonest firms accountable.”

Secretary of Condition Robert J. Rodriguez stated, “Over the previous yr, our Division of Consumer Protection has worked tirelessly to assistance thousands of New Yorkers recover their tough-earned revenue from unscrupulous businesses. We will keep on this important perform to aid ensure buyers are educated of their rights and have the resources they require to guard them selves and their people from fraud.”

Best 5 Types of Client Problems Acquired in 2022 // Guidelines to Shield Buyers

The DCP shared:

•Orders/deliveries: Complaints connected to the purchase and delivery of goods acquired, together with missing goods, incorrect items gained, late or delayed delivery or objects under no circumstances delivered.

For case in point, a buyer from Westchester County requested bed room household furniture from a substantial retailer in Brooklyn. At the time of sale, the shipping day was scheduled for Feb. 3, but it was afterwards moved to April 3. Upon understanding of the new date, the consumer contacted the furniture shop to terminate the buy however, they were being informed they would incur a 15% restocking payment. The shopper submitted a grievance with DCP, and DCP was able to organize for a full refund to the customer.

Customers must:

√ Remember to usually shop on trustworthy web-sites when online browsing. People ought to store from internet sites known to them, and work out caution when searching from unfamiliar websites or individuals that host merchandise for 3rd-social gathering sellers.

√ Learn about the Federal Mail, Online, or Telephone Purchase Merchandise Rule of 1975, which commonly necessitates stores to deliver products requested by mail, mobile phone or on line inside of 30 days unless or else mentioned at the time of order. If there is a hold off, you must be notified. If the enterprise can’t arrive at you to get hold of your consent to the hold off, they should, without the need of getting questioned, immediately refund all the funds you paid out for the unshipped items.

√ Be watchful when buying via social media. Social media commerce is getting ground among customers, and according to experts it is escalating a few moments quicker than much more traditional ecommerce economies. As more shoppers browse and shop directly or through backlinks observed on social media platforms, we urge shoppers to pay out focus to manufacturer imposters and fake merchants with pretend buyer reviews. Analysis and confirm vendors to prevent placing orders on copycat web sites for merchandise that will in no way arrive.

√ Keep observe of your packages. Evaluate the tracking information and facts for your bundle and report any challenges to the retailer and shipping organization promptly.

√ Consumers really should be knowledgeable that an unsolicited text information or electronic mail about an unfamiliar shipment or delivery may well be a indication of a bundle monitoring and delivery scam, and they really should training caution if one particular is obtained.

•Refunds/retail store coverage: Grievances associated to refunds and retail outlet guidelines, such as return insurance policies, restocking charges and refunds for ruined goods.

For example, a client from Bronx County procured cookware from a immediate salesman. She acquired the cookware four times later on and made a decision she no more time believed it was worthy of the cost. The consumer contacted the cookware company and was told that, pursuant to the “Cooling Off Rule,” she only experienced a few days from the date of buy to initiate a return. On the other hand, the shopper famous that the organization site marketed a return coverage of 10 days just after a shopper receives the items. The client transported everything back again to the company a few days immediately after receiving it, even so, the firm refused to difficulty a refund. DCP attained out to the corporation on behalf of the purchaser and organized for the shopper to get a total refund of $2,000.

Consumers ought to:

√ Know your legal rights. In New York, outlets must obviously put up their refund procedures. When no refund plan is posted, customers have 30 times from the acquire date to receive a total refund or a credit history (at the consumer’s possibility). You need to give a receipt or other confirmation presented by the vendor that demonstrates that 30 days has not elapsed from the date of order, and the merchandise ought to not have been utilised or weakened.

√ Ask about refund policies. Prior to producing an costly purchase, inquire the retail store to give data on any disorders or expenses, these kinds of as restocking expenses, relating to the return of products.

√ Save all receipts for buys to permit for relieve of returns.

•Merchandise/merchandise: Problems connected to items or products and solutions that did not satisfy consumers’ anticipations.

For case in point, a consumer in Nassau County acquired a new array from an appliance store. Instantly right after set up, the vary would intermittently shut off for the duration of cooking. The consumer contacted the retailer, who directed her to the maker. After various telephone phone calls and makes an attempt to take care of the issue with the maker, the consumer arrived at out to DCP. Just after making contact with the producer, DCP was in a position to prepare for the consumer to get a total refund of $7,303 and removal of the vary.

Customers ought to:

√ Shop on trusted sites to steer clear of fraud. Be conscious that, if a web page potential customers to a 3rd-get together to buy products, the 1st website is not liable for the orders manufactured on the 3rd-get together website. Constantly examine verified shopper opinions before positioning an purchase on a new site.

√ Always browse products specifications to be absolutely sure of the product or service you will acquire. Make guaranteed that what is getting pictured is the item that you anticipate to get.

√ When buying for little ones, check that products are age-proper for their basic safety – suppliers are essential to present this info on the packaging. The U.S. Consumer Solution Protection Fee (CPSC) updates customers consistently on merchandise recalls, a great software to store properly.

√ Review keep return insurance policies and retain receipts for simplicity of returns.

•Home advancement: Grievances related to home improvement, repair service solutions and contractors.

For example, a consumer in Niagara County hired a franchise portray business to mend holes in a couple of walls and repaint the inside of their household. The get the job done carried out was covered by warranty, so when some of the tape made use of to patch the holes began to peel, the shopper tried to get in touch with the company for mend. Regrettably, the franchise organization had considering that long gone out of small business. The client tried out getting in contact with the father or mother organization several moments, but did not acquire a reply. DCP reached out to the mum or dad firm on behalf of the purchaser and was able to prepare to have the repair service perform done beneath warranty and at no price tag to the consumer.

Shoppers ought to:

√ Get at least three estimates from respected, insured contractors that include a checklist of the supplies, price and providers to be provided for the job.

√ Request and test references from the contractor. Glimpse up the contractor as a result of the Much better Company Bureau and other websites and communicate to neighborhood suppliers and pals to see if they have details that may possibly be beneficial. If you live in New York Metropolis, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam or Rockland counties, check your local purchaser affairs office environment. If you reside in a further county, verify with your area municipality to see if they license residence advancement contractors.

√ If the deal rate is more than $500, New York condition law demands a penned agreement that consists of the contractor contact info (which includes phone amount), value, payment timetable, start and close dates, and a thorough description of the function to be completed.

√ Negotiate a payment agenda tied to the completion of distinct phases of the career. In no way shell out the complete price up entrance, and attempt to limit the quantity of any deposit produced prior to the commencement of do the job.

√ Ensure you acquire and conserve copies of all warranties, like people on the supplies made use of.

√ Know your legal rights. Consumers have a few times to cancel just after signing a contract for household enhancements. All cancellations have to be in crafting.

•Credit playing cards: Issues linked to erroneous charges, billing, card benefits and unlawful surcharges.

For instance, a shopper in Cayuga County acquired a journey through her journey credit history card, which included a number of journey positive aspects and companies this sort of as journey cancellation insurance plan. 4 times just before the scheduled excursion, the consumer’s spouse suffered a professional medical emergency that competent for journey cancellation. The shopper filed a claim with her credit rating card company, submitted the essential supporting documentation, and then continuously contacted them in excess of the up coming four months for an update. She was promised a connect with again by a claims examiner many moments, but hardly ever obtained a single. When the purchaser filed a criticism with DCP, DCP contacted the credit score card organization and arranged for the buyer to get a whole refund totaling more than $15,000.

Customers really should:

√ Review your payments thoroughly. Take a look at all rates and assure they are for providers you asked for and are obtaining.

√ Be informed of prices for automatic contract renewals. It is illegal in New York condition to continue charging an individual for an on the web service without having offering an easy way to also terminate the service on line.

√ Always study the fantastic print. Make guaranteed you evaluate the phrases and circumstances of assistance and fully grasp the provisions of contracts.

Assembly member Nily Rozic claimed, “From value gouging and price hikes to fraud and identification theft, New York consumers are consistently at hazard of becoming scammed. Below in New York, we are difficult at perform fighting for people, and I am thankful to do the job with Gov. Hochul to be certain New Yorkers have the essential protections and guidance.”

The Federal Trade Fee potential customers quite a few public functions during Nationwide Client Security 7 days that encourage consumer security consciousness. All situations are cost-free to sign up for and can be found listed here.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection’s mission is to support, shield, teach and symbolize individuals in an ever-altering economy. The DCP is effective to guide folks aggrieved in the marketplace through its complaint mediation initiatives, along with educating the public on market scams, and advocating consumers’ interest prior to legislative and regulatory bodies.

Individuals can file a grievance with the DCP at For extra purchaser safety information and facts, phone the DCP helpline at 800-697-1220 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or stop by For common shopper defense tips and recall info, abide by DCP by using Twitter @NYSConsumer or Facebook at Indicator up to receive purchaser alerts straight to an email or phone listed here.