June 25, 2004
CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF USING VOLUNTEER
Heroes Handle Thousands of Consumer Complaints a Year
$20 rebate that didnít materialize, the wedding gown that didnít arrive on
time, the new car thatís in the shop again, the health insurer that wouldnít
pay for the life-saving operation ... the Maryland Attorney Generalís consumer
complaint mediators tackle problems like these every day. On June 29, Attorney
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. will honor a team of 53 dedicated Marylanders who
volunteer their time to help solve other peopleís consumer problems, and will
also celebrate 25 years of the volunteer program in his office.
the supervision of the stateís Consumer Protection Division staff, volunteers take on the challenging
job of mediating disputes between consumers and businesses, or between patients
and health care providers or insurers. Mediators review complaints filed by consumers,
then discuss the complaint with both the consumer and the business and attempt
to work out a mutually agreeable resolution to the dispute. In 2003, the Division
handled more than 14,500 complaints and obtained over $4 million in restitution
ďThe volunteers do an incredible job. Their work expands and enhances
the service we are able to provide to Maryland consumers,Ē said Attorney General
Division began using volunteers to mediate complaints in 1979
as a way to increase the services it provided to the public.
The volunteers receive
training in mediation skills and in consumer law. Many are retired,
and bring to the work a wealth of experience from their former
careers. Many find the job
so rewarding that they volunteer for years; two have been with the
Division for 23 years.
thing hasnít changed since 1979: the top complaint category then, as now,
is automotive - new car sales, used car sales and auto repair.
who live in the Baltimore area and would like more information
about volunteering as a
consumer complaint mediator can call (410) 576-6355.
Consumer Protection Divisionís volunteers will be honored at a luncheon June 29, at 12 noon, in Baltimoreís
World Trade Center, Constellation Room. In addition to remarks
by Attorney General Curran, the guest speaker will be Maryland
State Senator Brian Frosh.
would like to attend, please call (410) 576-6357.