National Consumer Protection Week is coordinated by the Federal Trade Commission to encourage consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.
Here are some quick tips for staying safe against potential scams:
- Your utility will never require immediate payment using gift cards, Western Union, or other untraceable prepayments to avoid disconnection of service.
- Your utility will not call asking for personal information.
- If your utility has a technician in the area doing work, the employee will have proper identification such as a badge, uniform, or sign on the vehicle.
- If you ever feel that something is suspicious, you have the right to hang up the call and call your utility directly.
Federal Trade Commission Outreach Toolkit
The Federal Trade Commission hosts an online toolkit of information for organizations to use when spreading the word about National Consumer Protection Week in their communities.
Consumer Rights and the Regulatory Process
The ORS has recorded webinars sharing more information on ways consumers can protect themselves and learn about their rights.
ORS Consumer Services
The ORS serves as a mediator between consumers and utilities in South Carolina, as well as between consumers and the electric cooperatives. ORS Consumer Services resolves a vast majority of complaints through an informal investigation process, which avoids a more costly formal hearing at the PSC. Through consumer education, ORS Consumer Services helps consumers make educated choices and understand their rights and obligations.
Additional Resources for Consumers
Solar Leasing Consumer Protection Regulations
The ORS enforces solar leasing consumer protection regulations to help resolve consumer complaints against solar leasing companies.
I Need Internet Survey
Consumers who do not have access to internet service to their home or business can voluntarily complete the I Need Internet survey. Results from this survey are shared with ISPs to help inform the expansion of broadband access in the state.
The Lifeline Program provides a discount on landline, wireless, or broadband service for qualifying low-income consumers.
South Carolina Equipment Distribution Program
The South Carolina Equipment Distribution Program (SCEDP) provides no-cost phone equipment and alerting devices to South Carolinians living with a hearing or speech challenge.