The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) will recognize National Consumer Protection Week March 6 – 12 by highlighting ways consumers can protect themselves and learn more about their rights. National Consumer Protection Week is an annual event organized by the Federal Trade Commission, which serves to encourage consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make informed decisions.
Through the agency’s Facebook and Twitter social media outlets, the ORS will share information throughout the week on the rights of consumers who receive service from electric, natural gas, water/wastewater, telecommunications, and transportation companies. The ORS will also share information on various programs and initiatives that may help benefit consumers:
- The ORS Consumer Services Department protects consumers by answering questions, assisting to resolve consumer complaints, and mediating issues with a utility company.
- The ORS enforces solar leasing consumer protection regulations to help resolve consumer complaints against solar leasing companies.
- Consumers who do not have access to internet service to their home or business can voluntarily complete the “I Need Internet” survey.
- The Lifeline Program provides a discount on landline, wireless, or broadband service for qualifying low-income consumers. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program also offers discounts toward internet service for eligible households.
- 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.
- SOLAR.SC.GOV houses unbiased information for consumers about solar energy in South Carolina.
- The Energy Saver Tool and website helps consumers easily find energy-saving programs.
For more information on National Consumer Protection Week or how you can protect yourself as a consumer, visit ORS.SC.GOV/Consumers or call 803-737-0800. Additional resources (such as consumer protection tips, toolkits, and free materials) are available by visiting consumer.ftc.gov.