Consumer Rights Resources

Consumer Rights & Advocacy

 

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

The Federal Trade Commission site offers information on a variety of consumer topics. Provides tips on avoiding rip-offs and exercising your consumer rights.

 

‘Lectric Law Library Lawcopedia’s Consumer Rights & Protection

Access articles of interest to consumers on topics ranging from credit and loans to warranties, truth-in-leasing, discrimination, hiring an attorney, and more.  Includes a legal dictionary.

 

Public Citizen

A national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

This site offers information about the safety of a wide array of products, services, and programs, including food and drugs, motor vehicles, and medical devices.

 

National Consumers League

Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is a private, nonprofit advocacy group devoted to protecting and promoting social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. Find information on health, food, finances, worker’s rights, Internet fraud and more

 

Better Business Bureau

Check out a business or charity, find a BBB accredited business, file a complaint. Find news, business reports, a resource library, and links to local BBB offices throughout the country.

 

Middlesex County Consumer Affairs

711 Jersey Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

732-745-3875

NJ Bureau of Securities

The Bureau of Securities within the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General is the State’s securities regulatory agency.The Bureau administers the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law and the Regulations there-under. The Law and Regulations include registration, exemption filing, notice filing, and anti-fraud provisions.

Recalls & Product Safety

Recalls Look-up by VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

Your VIN is printed on your registration.

In light of the revelation that airbags in many vehicles are potentially dangerous, and CR-Vs, model years 2002-2006 are included in the potential recall, you might want to search your VIN on the Department of Transportation’s Safe Car site to see if yours is one that is affected.  Your VIN is printed on your registration.

Recalls.gov

To provide better service in alerting the American people to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions have joined together to create this “one stop shop” for U.S. Government recalls.

 

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

An independent federal regulatory agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products used in and around the home, in sports, recreation and in schools. Obtain information on recalls & product safety, report an unsafe product and order publications on a variety of consumer safety issues.

 

USA.gov

Official information and services from the U.S. Government. Subject guide and links to consumer information on money management, health care, shopping, food and product safety data, home and community advice, technology purchasing and privacy tips, filing complaints and much more.

 

FDA.gov

Food and drug recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts

 

 

Findlaw’s Defective and Dangerous Products

Offers legal information and assistance if you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or dangerous product. Provides an overview of legal issues common to most defective product cases.  Offers  in-depth legal and health information on dozens of specific dangerous products, recall and safety alert information from federal government agencies, and more.

 

 

Consumer Information

 

Consumer Action Handbook

Access the full text of the Federal Consumer Information Center’s Consumer Action Handbook through Findlaw.com. The Consumer Action Handbook is full of helpful tips about preventing identity theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint, and much more.

 

 

Contact Help

A free, user-maintained resource which provides quick access to hard-to-find customer service information.  Provides phone numbers, shortcuts to reach live human beings, and direct links to corporate customer service departments. Users can post comments, add ratings and upload recordings of customer service phone calls.

 

 

Get It Done Online

A directory of government services and information. Topics include: recalls, gas prices in your area, links to farmers markets, car safety comparisons, and more.

 

What It Costs

What It Costs is an online service that provides information about the costs associated with a wide variety of services and concepts.

 

 

Planetfeedback

Send compliments or complaints to over 20,000 companies. Be a better informed consumer before purchasing by reading about the experiences of others.

 

Product Reviews

 

Consumer Reports  (library card number required for access)

 

ConsumerSearch

Owned by About.com, ConsumerSearch.com is a website that helps users find information about which products are top-rated or best bets in their class. Their mission is to reduce the time it takes readers to make an intelligent purchase.

 

Cnet

Provides information, tools, and advice on products and technologies to help users decide what to buy and how to get the most out of their tech. Users can read the latest news and unbiased reviews, watch videos that demystify technology, listen to podcasts, download software, mobile applications, and games, and post opinions.

 

Consumerworld.org

Consumer advocacy and education site which contains product reviews, price comparisons and other consumer resources.

 

Consumer Health & Insurance

 

American Medical Association Doctor Finder

 This online physician Locator helps you find a perfect match for your medical needs. DoctorFinder provides you with basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States. This includes more than 814,000 doctors.

American Board of Medical Specialties

Is your doctor board certified? The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), assists 24 approved medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians.  When you choose a doctor who is board certified by one of the ABMS member boards, you can be confident he or she meets nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills to provide high quality care in a specific medical specialty. Board certification goes above and beyond basic medical licensure. Find out here if your physician is board certified.

U.S. Food & Drug Administration

An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which is responsible for protecting public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

 

ConsumerHealthRatings.com

Provides a comprehensive listing of organizations that rate or report performance on specific hospitals, health plans, physicians, nursing homes, home health agencies and other health care providers in the United States. The ratings information is free.

 

HealthGrades.com

Provides ratings of hospitals, physicians, dentists, drugs, health plans, nursing homes and more.  Also offers health education videos, articles, news and tips.

 

New Jersey Health Care Profile: Physician, Podiatrist and Optometrist Profiles This site was developed by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs in consultation with the State Board of Medical Examiners. Profiles of physicians include education, practice information, legal actions taken, and professional activities. In the practice information section, a consumer can find information such as languages spoken by the physician and health plans accepted.

 

Hospital Compare

Compare quality of care hospitals provide. Find information on how well hospitals care for patients with certain medical conditions or surgical procedures. Get results from patients’ surveys about the quality of care received during recent hospital stays.

 

New Jersey Monthly Top Doctors

 

US News & World Report Best Hospitals

 

American Board of Medical Specialties
Verify if your physician is board certified and locate doctors by city, state and specialty. This web site requires free registration first.

 

Verify a doctor’s board certification status and location by city, state and specialty. This web site requires free registration first.

 

NJ Dept of Consumer Affairs Licensee Search

Lists licensed professionals in New Jersey (individuals & businesses) from approximately 50 occupations and gives information on their status and any action pending against them.

 

National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information

Developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this site provides information and resources to help you and your family plan for future long-term care (LTC) needs.

 

Best’s Ratings & Analysis

Ratings on life/health, property/casualty and international insurance companies.  A.M. Best’s rating process subjects all insurers to the same rigorous criteria, providing a valuable benchmark for comparing insurers. See insurance guide of factors to consider when buying various sorts of insurance. Includes a glossary of terms.

 

Quickquote

Get insurance quotes on annuity, dental, health, life, student, and travel policy costs from eighteen large companies.

 

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

Regulates the banking, insurance and real estate industries.  Protects and educates consumers regarding insurance, money matters and real estate transactions.  Consumers can obtain information and file for assistance if they need help with a banking, insurance or real estate issue/complaint.

 

Obtain industry forms & applications

Get information on State of NJ Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

and information on Cobra and New Jersey Continuation.

 

 

Identity Theft

 

Identity Theft Resource Center

A nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft.  Provides victim and consumer support as well as public education.  Advises governmental agencies, legislators, law enforcement, and businesses about the evolving and growing problem of identity theft.

 

OnGuardOnline

Practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.

 

FTC’s Identity Theft Site

Get information on identity theft from the Federal Trade Commission. Includes what to do if you suspect you are the victim of identity theft.

 

Identity Theft Resource Center

ITRC is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to educate consumers, corporations, government agencies and other organizations on best practices for fraud and identity theft detection, reduction and mitigation. Includes resources for victims, consumers, and law enforcement. Also includes information on scams as well as consumer alerts.

 

 

Automobiles

Edmunds.com

Prices, reviews and information on new and used cars. Consumer resources, manufacturer histories and more.

 

Kelley Blue Book
New and used car values, reviews and price quotes.

 

Intellichoice

Research New and Used cars, get quotes in your area shop for insurance financing and leasing information, locate a dealer and more

 

Auto Insurance

NJ Dept of Banking & Insurance Everything you need to know to be an informed consumer from the state of NJ on shopping for insurance.

 

 

Consumer Credit

 

AnnualCreditReport.com

The official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report as required by NJ state law. Sponsored by Transunion, Equifax and Experian.

 

Bankrate.com

Compare rates on credit cards mortgages, checking and savings accounts. Information on loans, investments, insurance, college financing, retirement planning and more.

 

National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior and builds capacity for its members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services. Call 1-800-388-2227 to speak to a counselor near you.  Offers credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and financial education.

 

 

Housing & Utilities

 

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

A regulatory authority with a statutory mandate to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in New Jersey.  Offers several programs to provide assistance to those having trouble affording their utility bills

 

Information on local utilities

 

File complaints

 

NJ Dept. of Community Affairs

Lists of Affordable Housing by County

 

State of New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency

Mortgage and foreclosure information and assistance. Foreclosure prevention resources.

 

NJ Judiciary Foreclosure Mediation Program

Aims to assist homeowners avoid foreclosure by proposing work-out and payment arrangements that balance the interests of the borrower and lender.  Provides housing counselors, lawyers, and mediators to homeowners facing foreclosure.

The Foreclosure Mediation Hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Toll Free: 1-888-989-5277.

 

 

Eldercare Information

 

Eldercare Locator

Welcome to the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connecting you to services for older adults and their families.You can also reach us at 1-800-677-1116.

 

National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information

 

Paying for Long-Term Care

Information from the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information

 

     Consumer Books