The Department of Business and Professional Regulation Encourages Consumers Protection Through Education
March 7-13 is National Consumer Protection Week
March 5, 2010
TALLAHASSEE—Sunday marks the beginning of National Consumer Protection Week, from March 7 to 13, and the theme of this year’s campaign is consumer education for every stage of life–from grade school to retirement. During Consumer Protection Week, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation encourages Floridians and visitors to protect themselves through education. DBPR offers online tools at MyFloridaLicense.com for consumers to check licenses, complaint history, restaurant inspections and more.
“Consumer protection and public safety are our top priorities, and we believe the best way for consumers to protect themselves is through education,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem. “The professionals and businesses we license impact the lives of Floridians daily, and our online resources can help educate consumers on how they can protect themselves.”
MyFloridaLicense.com offers valuable information to consumers. The Web site provides licensing information for professionals and businesses, online complaint forms, unlicensed activity reports, information on what services require a DBPR license and much more. In addition to verifying licenses, consumers can check whether professionals or businesses have any complaints filed with the department.
Below are some tips to help consumers protect themselves:
• Always ask to see the license.
• Note the license number and verify that the license is current. To check a license, call 850.487.1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
• Ask for references and check each one.
• Beware of scams when individuals ask for all the money up front, will only accept cash, or solicit door-to-door.
• Beware of individuals who arrive in unmarked vehicles, possibly from out-of-state.
• Never pay in cash, especially a large up-front deposit.
• Be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
• Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
• Do not sign the certificate of completion until you are satisfied with the work done.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.