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Office of Consumer Protection

News Coverage


March 16, 2017
The Office of Consumer Protection Launches “Language Friendly Hours” to Enhance Outreach Efforts  News Release

February 2, 2017
County Warns Consumers and Businesses About Lost Pet and Lost Child “Donation” Boxes in Stores  News Release

September 10, 2016
Maryland water utility partners with company accused of misleading customers – The Washington Post

August 16, 2016
3 Ways Scammers Can Find You U.S. News & World Report   

May 11, 2016
Storm clouds gather over Maryland’s Blue Sky Films Washington Post
Martin Gruber always made a backup. Of that, his former employees are sure. He probably made a backup of the backup, too, for that is prudent practice in Gruber’s business: creating the sort of slickly produced wedding-video packages that newlyweds pay upwards of $3,000 each for.  Read the article here.  
April 27, 2015
Consumer Protection Director on Kojo Nnamdi Radio Show WAMU
Eric Friedman, director of Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection recently appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 to discuss the issue of predatory towing. Appearing with Friedman was Fred Scheler owner of Henry's Wrecker Service and Windsor Towing Service.  Listen Here   If you need an alternative format for the above radio show please  submit alternative format request.
January 21, 2015
Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection Featured on NBC Today Show News Release
Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection was featured today in a consumer report on the NBC "Today Show" alerting consumers to the nationwide problem created  by certain towing practices.   Read More
December 17, 2014
Ride Services Drive Regulators Crazy The Washington Post Letters To The Editor
Is our new "sharing economy" taking the consumer protection movement by full circle by returning us to a buyer-beware marketplace? Taxi rides are regulated; Uber and Lyft claim not to be in the taxi business.  Hotels are built to code and inspected; Airbnb claims not to be renting rooms.  Charities are rquired to register and disclose financial information; crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe collect thousands of dollars in "donations" minutes after tragedy strikes.   Read More
November 24, 2014
Tipster Catches Alleged Tow Truck Drivers  "Spotting" in Downtown Bethesda Bethesdanow.com
A tipster sent images of what appear to be two tow truck drivers from a Rockville-based towing company perched on the third floor of the county's Woodmont Corner Garage.  The drivers appear to be watching the lot across the street at the Connor Building...  Read More
October 27, 2014
7 On Your Side:  Beware of Craiglist Car Repair Scammers abc7
ACar repair scammers show up in parking lots - or even in your own driveway claiming they can fix the dings and paint scratches on your car at little cost.  But if you let down your guard, you ciould end up with even more damage and an empty wallet.   Read More
August 6, 2014
Lawmakers Looking To Address Montgomery County's Pawn Problem WAMU
A nearly 30-year-old law in Montgomery County is frustrating customers who are looking to trade-in cell phones and other electronics to get the latest versions of them.  Read More
August 5, 2014
Montgomery County To Reconsider Dated Pawn Shop Law WAMU
When they get back to work next month, Montgomery County lawmakers will take up a measure that would update parts of the county's nearly 30-year-old "pawn shop" law, which is causing unintended problems for consumers.  Read More
June 17, 2014
High Water Bill In Montgomery County?  Report Offers Possible Causes WAMU
In Maryland, a new report is shedding light on why some Montgomery County residents may be getting particularly high water bills.   Montgomery county resident John Ashdam’s quarterly residential water bill can average around $250. Ashdam says in the first quarter of this year he received a bill higher than he'd ever seen before.  Read More
WSSC Customers Challenging High Water Bills Need Arbiter Beyond Utility, Report Finds Washington Post
Utility customers in the Maryland suburbs who want to challenge   high water bills need a way to dispute those charges outside the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, according to the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection.  Read More
Predatory Towing Continues In Downtown Bethesda Bethesda Now
Bob Silverberg claims it took only five minutes.  By the time Silverberg returned to the Connor Building parking lot on Woodmont Avenue, his car had been latched on to a tow truck. A few moments after leaving the parking lot to pick up a sandwich order two blocks away, the tow truck driver pounced.   Read More
Billing Cycles, Meter-Reading Problems May Be Behind WSSC's High Water Bills WTOP
The WSSC, which serves Montgomery and Prince George's counties, responded to a number of complaints. Roughly 60 complaints landed on the desk of Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, whose district includes Bethesda and Potomac. And the answers he got didn't satisfy him or the WSSC customers.  Read More
June 16, 2014
Report:  No Definitive Cause For Higher Montgomery Water Bills Gazette
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission uses “antiquated” technology for reading customers’ meters and lacks an independent means to deal with complaints of excessive water bills, according to a report from Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection.  Read More
June 06, 2014
Montgomery County Warns of Unscrupulous Contractors Gazette
On Friday, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) announced a renewed effort by police and county departments to crack down on “rip-off artists” who target residents with fraudulent offers to do projects such as roof or driveway repair or tree work or removal.  “We will not tolerate the victimization of our residents, particularly our seniors,” Leggett said.  Read More
March 26, 2014
Office of Consumer Protection Investigating Complaints of High Water Bills Gazette
“Something is not right.”  In response to the issue of higher-than-normal water bills plaguing many Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission customers, Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda quoted the children’s book “Madeline,” written by Ludwig Bemelmans.  Read More

 

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