State program returns $3M taken during deceptive sales practices, other consumer protection violations

ROCHESTER. N.Y. (WHEC) — A New York State program has recovered nearly $3 million taken from state residents in deceptive sales practices or other consumer protection violations. More than 21,000 state residents had their money returned in 2021 after filing consumer complaints through the Division of Consumer Protection, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday.

The violations included selling defective products and billing consumers for products consumers never received. Another common infringement was refusing to refund travel or entertainment tickets after pandemic cancelations.

In Queens County, a consumer ordered five pieces of clothing online but received only one. The state was able to contact the company for a full refund on the four items not received. The state also helped a Kings County consumer to refund a newly installed convection microwave with a broken bake feature.

"I’m proud that New York State has helped tens of thousands of consumers recover nearly $3 million of their hard-earned money,” Hochul said.

This month Hochul announced that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has helped residents recover more than $1.65 million from fraudulent auto dealers and repair shops.

Friday is the final day of National Consumer Protection Week. For more information on consumer protection, readers can call the state’s helpline at 800-697-1220 or visit the state’s consumer protection website.