- What does the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit do?
Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit is the consumer protection agency for the State of Georgia. We help protect consumers from unfair and deceptive acts and practices in consumer transactions. We investigate consumer problems, monitor the marketplace to promote fair and honest competition, take enforcement action against violators and publish consumer education materials and alert warnings.
- Where is your office located?
Our office is at 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE, Suite 356, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. We are on the third floor (Plaza Level) of the East Tower of the Floyd Building, across the street from the State Capitol. Visitors can easily reach us either by MARTA (the Georgia State station off the East-West line) or from Interstate 75/85 or Interstate 20.
- Do I need to be a Georgia resident to use the services of your office?
No. Georgians may get in touch with us about problems they are having with businesses located either in the state or out of state, but out-of-state residents may also contact us about difficulties with Georgia businesses if the transaction was with a company site in Georgia. We are unable to assist in matters that have no connection to Georgia or where the only connection to Georgia is that the company’s billing department or administrative office is located here.
- Is there a fee for your services?
There is no fee for consumers.This office provides administrative services to certain types of businesses, and charges may apply in some of these cases. For example, we license buying clubs, and there is a fee set by statute for the license.
- How do I find out whether a business is reputable? Can your office recommend a particular business to me?
Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit cannot make specific recommendations about a company. For information about a business' standing contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB maintains a database of businesses and charities and publishes reliability reports summarizing the experiences of customers.For confidentiality reasons, Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit cannot acknowledge an open investigation of a company.
- How do I file a complaint?
For detailed instructions, please see the link to our Filing a Complaint.
- What happens to the written complaint I submit?
Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit reviews all complaints. Many result in enforcement action against violators of Georgia statutes. If you file a written complaint, we will advise you in writing of its status.Filing a written complaint does not guarantee that this office will be able to take action against the company. Even if we are unable to take action, your complaint provides valuable information about consumer problems in the marketplace and the identity of merchants who might be engaging in fraudulent activity.
- Can Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit represent me in a situation with legal issues to resolve?
Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit represents the consuming public as a whole and not the interests of any one individual. If your situation requires individual representation or you would feel more comfortable with such representation, you should consider hiring an attorney.
- What if I am unhappy with a company's customer service? Can your office help me?
If you feel the company has acted in a fraudulent, unfair or deceptive manner, by all means contact us. If, however, your complaint has to do with policies a business is free to set for itself—for example, issues such as merchandise refunds, acceptance of a check as payment or employee politeness and responsiveness—we have no statutory authority to intervene. In those situations, please continue to work directly with the company to resolve your dissatisfaction.
- Does your office offer information on a consumer topic or have publications available for distribution?
Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit educates consumers through articles, tip sheets and printable brochures, as well as links to other consumer protection websites offering other publications.You may contact our agency by calling 404-651-8600 or 800-869-1123 (toll-free in Georgia outside the metro Atlanta calling area.) Counselors are available by phone and to walk-in clients from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays. While we cannot give you legal advice, we can provide helpful tips and general consumer-related information.We also offer another website, ConsumerEd.com. The site, designed to appeal to 18-34 year olds who are making their first major purchases, aims to proactively educate consumers in the areas of car, home, credit/debt and finances.
- I believe I am the victim of identity fraud. What do I do?
You need to take quick action to restore your good standing. Please see our Instructions for Victims of Identity Theft.
- I'm fed up with junk mail. Contests, sweepstakes, special offers - it never ends. How can I reduce the amount of junk mail that I receive?
To cut down on "junk mail," simply send your name and address to:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, New York 10512.
To reduce the number of e-mail promotions you receive, go to www.dmachoice.org to sign on without charge to the E-Mail Preference Service’s e-mail opt-out list.To stop sexually-oriented advertising from coming to your home, contact the U. S. Post Office and request a Form 2150 or Form 1500 to stop mail from a particular company. The Post Office maintains a list of consumers who do not want sexually oriented advertising mailed to their homes and provides the list to companies that mail such promotions.
- Can I stop the unsolicited telephone calls?
The federal Do Not Call law, with some exceptions, prohibits telemarketers who are selling goods or services from contacting those who have placed their phone numbers on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry. Calls from charitable organizations, political campaigns, and businesses with which you have a prior relationship (unless you have asked them not to call you) are exempt from the Do Not Call requirements.
You can sign up for the registry at no charge at www.donotcall.gov, or by calling 888-382-1222 (TTY 866-290-4236) from the number you wish to register.
The DNC registry is maintained and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The federal government can assess penalties when telemarketers ignore or circumvent our privacy laws.