Ocean County Press Release
Ocean County Highlights Consumer Affairs Week March 2
2/26/2014

TOMS RIVER - Ocean County residents can rest assure that they are well protected when it comes to their rights as consumers.

"We have a very active Department of Consumer Affairs in Ocean County," said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of Consumer Affairs. "They work to protect our citizens and also to assist businesses to comply with laws and regulations."

In 2013, the department helped recoup $1 million for consumers in Ocean County.

"The majority of the businesses and contractors that are out there are legitimate and follow the rules," Vicari said. "But for those who don't, we will actively pursue you in order to protect our consumers."

National Consumer Protection Week as well as Weights and Measures Week are March 2 through 8. Vicari will preside over a proclamation presentation at the County Connection in the Ocean County Mall at noon, March 4 in order to raise awareness and help educate the public about the importance of consumer protection.

"Helpful information is one of the best tools we can provide to our consumers," Vicari said. "It can make a difference between a job well done or a costly mistake."

The Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs operates under the authority of the state Attorney General's Office and the Consumer Fraud Act.

"The department is charged with the protection of the public, and ensuring that businesses comply with the state consumer protection laws," Vicari said. "State certified investigators mediate and enforce complaints between a consumer and a business located in Ocean County with a goal of coming to a satisfactory resolution for both parties."

To highlight the week, an investigator from the county Department of Consumer Affairs will be at the County Connection in the Ocean County Mall, here, from noon to 4 p.m., March 4. Information also will be available to help educate consumers against fraud including identity theft, contractor pitfalls, and telemarketing scams.

In addition, Weights and Measures inspectors will be at the County Connection from noon to 4 p.m., March 4 with a display of the equipment used and information on how they test for accuracy. They will answer any questions the public may have as well as provide educational brochures.

"Everyday inspectors are in stores and at gas pumps to assure the consumers of Ocean County are getting what they pay for," Vicari said. "It's all about assuring the accuracy of the merchandise or products being purchased."

The Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs helps consumers on a daily basis with any dispute they might have with a company or individual they are doing business with. To contact the department call 732-929-2105 or visit the office at 1027 Hooper Ave., Building 2, here. In addition, Consumer Affairs representatives are at the County Connection from 2 to 4 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Complaint forms can also be found on the Department of Consumer Affairs website at http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/Consumer.

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