August 13, 2015

A Happy-Ending Story Thanks to Consumer Protection

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) enforces laws to prohibit unfair and deceptive practices and works to ensure integrity in our marketplace. A recent occurrence demonstrates how that happens.

OCP Investigator Michelle Escobar handled a complaint from a Bethesda resident who had signed a home improvement contract for a new roof. The contract did not contain the 3-day cooling off disclosure required by law nor any notice about a “restocking” fee.

Due to an unforeseen financial problem, the consumer had to cancel the contract and postpone replacing her roof. However, the merchant refused to return the customer’s full deposit and stated they were going to impose a “restocking” fee.

OCP Investigator Escobar explained to the merchant that the consumer was entitled to a full refund because the contract was improper.

Thanks to the work of Escobar, this story had a happy ending for the consumer. But, circumstances like this one are why OCP reminds consumers to carefully read all contracts, confirm that the contractor is licensed and obtain more than one estimate.

See the story unfold on the video clip of “Refund Roadtrip” featured on the latest episode of OCP’s “Consumer Compass” on County Cable 6 (Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN; channel 30 for Verizon subscribers).

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