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Gloucester County Consumer Protection Office Helps Recover Dollars and Services

(Woodbury, NJ) – The Gloucester County Office of Consumer Affairs has announced that consumer complaints are down in 2013-14, while the amount of recovery dollars from fines has risen from just five years ago.
 
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “It is gratifying how much our Consumer Affairs Office Investigators can accomplish by enforcing one of the nation’s most powerful Consumer Protection Laws.”  New Jersey is known to have one of the most effective consumer protection laws in the nation.
 
In 2013 the office handled nearly 200 cases with two investigators and recovered $252,420 in actual monies and money value to residents, both in Gloucester County and in neighboring communities.
 
Freeholder Lyman Barnes, liaison to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Weights and Measures said, “These numbers illustrate that the state’s Consumer Protection Act is alive and well and that consumers in Gloucester County have a place they can go with complaints or questions on almost any consumer problem.”
 
Barnes said that the office handles a myriad of complaints ranging from small to big.  It is common for the investigators to be working on cases involving everything from pet purchases to major home renovation disasters.
 
“If a consumer feels something is not right with a purchase or a contractor, they can pick up the phone and speak to a professional in the Office of Consumer Affairs,” said Barnes.
 
In 2014 the office has received 158 complaints and returned $154,500 to consumers both in terms of real dollars, or additional work being performed or work completed on projects consumers had already paid for. 
 
The office has also worked with state officials on several task forces including ensuring that health clubs are conforming to state law and home improvement contractor registration, as required under the act.
 
Any resident needing assistance or having questions on Consumer Affairs or Weights and Measures can call the office at 856-384-6855.