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News from DCA - Current Press Releases

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS ISSUES HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS TO LAST-MINUTE SHOPPERS TO ENSURE CONSUMERS KNOW THEIR RIGHTS AND SHOP SMART
The holiday shopping season has kicked into high gear and New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz is providing tips on smart ways to shop and spend wisely.




Tuesday, December 22, 2009
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS CRACKS DOWN ON USED CAR DEALERS FOLLOWING TWO-MONTH LONG INVESTIGATION INTO “BAIT-AND-SWITCH” ADVERTISEMENTS
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today announced a crackdown on used car dealers using bait-and-switch tactics to lure consumers into their dealerships. Following a two-month investigation of used car dealers’ advertisements, DCA conducted a targeted enforcement sweep, inspecting 18 dealerships in all five boroughs that advertised special car sales and deals, and found that less than half of dealers even possessed the cars advertised for sale. DCA issued 63 violations to 10 used car dealers. These violations included advertising cars that were not available or had already been sold, as well as advertising cars at prices substantially lower than what they charged in the dealership. Fines for violations written by the Department during its enforcement sweep could total more than tens of thousands of dollars.




Friday, December 11, 2009
STATEMENT OF NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JONATHAN MINTZ ON THE PASSAGE OF H.R. 4173 WHICH WOULD CREATE, IN PART, THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CFPA)
“I congratulate Chairman Frank and the House of Representatives for passing landmark legislation today that would – for the first time – create a powerful federal agency focused solely on protecting consumers from unsafe products and predatory practices in the financial marketplace. If the Senate follows suit, President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Agency will protect consumers across the nation who have every right to expect a fair playing field when navigating financial products and services like any other. As the nation’s largest and most aggressive municipal consumer protection agency, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure the enactment of the CFPA with the authority it needs to succeed.”




Thursday, December 3, 2009
THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF ENSURING A FAIR AND VIBRANT MARKETPLACE
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today announced the 40th anniversary of the nation’s first municipal consumer protection agency. Founded in 1969, DCA has ensured that New York City consumers and businesses benefit from a fair and vibrant marketplace by regulating 57 industries; licensing more than 71,000 small businesses; enforcing the City’s Consumer Protection, Licensing, and Weights and Measures Laws, as well as New York State and federal regulations; and by mediating thousands of consumer complaints every year.




Friday, November 20, 2009
HOLIDAY TRAVELERS CAN PACK THEIR BAGS AND ENJOY THEIR TRIPS AS CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF NEW YORK CITY AIRLINE SCALES ENFORCEMENT SWEEP
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today announced results of the Department’s 3-week enforcement sweep of every airline luggage scale used at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to ensure that scales are accurately calibrated and protect holiday travelers from luggage overcharges. DCA found 92 percent compliance in its initial inspections and issued 57 Stop-Use Orders to airlines for failing scales. Upon re-inspection of condemned scales after their recalibration by the airlines, overall compliance rose to over 99.7 percent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, airlines collected nearly $670 million in baggage fees in the second quarter of 2009 alone.




Thursday, November 19, 2009
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ PUTS USED CAR DEALER QUEENS AUTO MALL ON NOTICE FOR ILLEGAL AND DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today announced aggressive legal action against used car dealer Queens Auto Mall, Inc. (134-01 Atlantic Ave, Richmond Hill, NY 11418), citing the business for charging consumers illegal fees, refusing to refund deposits on cancelled transactions, prohibiting consumers from filing complaints as a condition of issuing refunds and guaranteeing financing for all customers in its advertisements. DCA also charged the used car dealer with deceptively implying that its auto auction business, Queens Auto Mall Auction House – also known as Federal Auctioneers, Federal Auto Auction and New York State Auction – is affiliated with the federal and state government.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009
STATEMENT OF NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JONATHAN MINTZ REMINDING PEDICAB BUSINESSES OF THE NOVEMBER 20 APPLICATION DEADLINE
“Over the past 60 days, the Department of Consumer Affairs repeatedly reached out to pedicab business owners and the industry associations to make sure that every pedicab business that wishes to operate in New York City doesn’t miss the opportunity to apply for a license. After November 20 the City cannot, by law, accept any new pedicab business applications. That means if a pedicab business misses the deadline to apply for a license, they are out of business. With only three days remaining to submit a pedicab business application, I want to remind all pedicab businesses to fill out the paperwork and get to the City’s Licensing Center at 42 Broadway by 5 p.m. this Friday, to make sure they can stay in business Saturday.”




Thursday, November 12, 2009
STATEMENT OF NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JONATHAN MINTZ ON NEW FEDERAL OVERDRAFT PROTECTION RULES
“This past Spring, the Department of Consumer Affairs recommended that the Federal Reserve create new overdraft rules to make sure consumers affirmatively choose, or ‘opt in’ to, fee-based overdraft protection services instead of being automatically enrolled into these costly so-called ‘courtesies.’ Consumer protection agencies like ours, which believe the most critical component of a free and fair market is consumer choice, know that today the Federal Reserve scored an important win for consumers.




Wednesday, October 21, 2009
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JONATHAN MINTZ ANNOUNCES TOP VIOLATIONS FOR 2009
As part of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' 7th Annual Business Education Day, Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today dispatched DCA staffers to educate businesses about key consumer protection laws—but not write any violations—in retail districts across all five boroughs.




Sunday, October 18, 2009
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER JONATHAN MINTZ REMINDS PEDICAB BUSINESSES THAT ONLY 30 DAYS REMAIN TO SUBMIT LICENSE APPLICATIONS
Pedicab businesses only have 30 days left to submit a license application, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz reminded the industry today. Pedicab business owners, and others seeking to start a business, must obtain a Pedicab Business license from DCA by submitting a complete license application no later than Friday, November 20. The law forbids the Department from accepting any applications after that date. Once a pedicab business submits a completed license application for up to a maximum of 30 pedicabs, DCA will schedule qualifying inspections of the business’ pedicabs to ensure each meets the City’s rigorous safety requirements, including proper brakes, lights, seatbelts and insurance. At the halfway point of the law’s 60-day application window, 10 pedicab businesses have submitted their license applications to the Department.



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