Monday, July 09, 2007

Consumer Protection 101

Sometimes it helps to have reminders that as consumers, we do have protections in place to use if we purchase something and are not satisfied with the purchase, or feel we were deceived in the purchase process, we have recourse.

Below you'll find basic information about ways you can request refunds and report misleading, deceptive or fraudulant claims through various agencies and companies.

If you have a complaint about a weight loss product or service, contact one of the following agencies:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC oversees the advertising and marketing of foods, non-prescription drugs, cosmetics, health care services and medical devices exchanged between states.

If you have a complaint, file a Consumer Complaint Form at the FTC's website: Or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
Postal inspectors investigate crimes, such as fraudulent marketing promotions, that use the U.S. Mail. A crime is considered mail fraud if it originates in the mail, by telephone or on the Internet and is carried out in the U.S. Mail. The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) handles complaints of fraud. If you think you are a victim of weight loss fraud by mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the USPIS online at or file a complaint at your local post office.

Attorneys General
Each state has an Attorney General that serves as a representative of the public interest in addition to providing legal protection to the state's government agencies and legislatures. You can find your state Attorney General?s office information online at

Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The BBB is a self-regulated organization supported by businesses to provide reports to consumers about companies. The BBB works with law enforcement agencies to stop fraud. You can check on a company, find tips on preventing fraud and file a complaint at the BBB's website:

If you make a purchase through PayPal, they have a Buyer Protection Policy that allows you to request a refund within 45-days of purchase.

If you make a purchase using a credit card, you may dispute a purchase through your issuing bank; with a debit card, the bank where you have your account.


  1. Great timing. LOL

  2. Just doing my civic duty! =)

  3. Thanks Regina!! Luckily I haven't need for the information, but I sure hope those that do find it!!