Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection has joined federal, state and local government agencies and other national consumer advocacy organizations to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week, March 2–8.
Montgomery County’s award-winning consumer protection office was established over 40 years ago as a law enforcement agency to prohibit deceptive trade practices in the marketplace. OCP investigates and resolves consumer disputes, provides consumer education, licenses certain businesses, and administers programs affecting the quality of life in Montgomery County.
OCP launched a comprehensive outreach campaign to ensure that underserved residents in Montgomery County are aware of the unique services and assistance provided by the office. This outreach campaign will include:
- Advertisements placed on the inside and outside of Ride-On buses [View Ad]
- Direct mail information in formats commonly used by merchants
- “Sticky” labels on local newspapers
- Public Service Announcements on radio stations [Listen to PSA]
- Promoting our Anonymous Tip Line to Report Consumer Fraud [View Card]
- Consumer Education presentation to senior groups
- A Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Chris Van Hollen
- Additional episodes of our Cable TV show “Consumer Compass” [Youtube]
- Expanding our Social Media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Distributing our Office brochure at all library branches
On Wednesday, OCP visited the Rockville Ride-On Bus Depot. OCP staff joined with OCP volunteers to help place the advertisements on the inside and outside of the buses.
For the youngest consumers in Montgomery County, OCP is sponsoring a “Catch the Consumer Bus” contest. Kids are requested to take a photo of any Ride-On bus they see with OCP’s advertisement on the outside, and send the photo to OCP via Instagram (www.Instagram.com/consumerwise) or Facebook (www.Facebook.com/mococonsumerprotection). The most interesting photo each week will be featured on OCP’s website.
“We are fortunate to have a vibrant and active consumer protection office in Montgomery County,” said OCP Director Eric Friedman. “With the support and resources provided by our elected officials, our office is uniquely able to ‘Ensure Integrity in the Marketplace’ for all of our residents and businesses.”
OCP, the county’s consumer protection agency, investigates thousands of complaints each year involving automotive sales and repairs, new home purchases, home improvements, credit issues, retail sales, internet services and most other consumer transactions. OCP provides pre-purchase information to consumers, as well as speakers to the community on consumer issues.
For more information and to check any merchant’s complaint record, call 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/OCP.