“Be a Smarter Consumer” with the Consumer Action Handbook

Each year the U.S. General Services Administration publishes a new edition of the Consumer Action Handbook. Written as a general reference for the lay consumer, the Handbook offers consumers advice for identifying scams and making smart choices when engaging in consumer transactions. Part I of the Handbook includes brief entries on various types of consumer transactions, such as applying for credit, buying a car, signing a rental agreement, and making major purchases. Each entry gives a basic overview of the transaction, the rights and protections afforded to consumers under federal law, and the government agencies and consumer protection organizations that may be able to intervene if problems arise. Part II of the Handbook focuses on filing complaints with agencies and organizations empowered to resolve consumer disputes. Part III lists government agencies and consumer protection organizations that cater to specific populations, including the disabled and military personnel. The “Consumer Assistance Directory” in Part IV of the Handbook contains contact information and a brief description of most consumer-oriented state and federal government agencies and consumer protection organizations.

The 2009 edition of the Consumer Action Handbook is available in print at the Main and Branch libraries and on the web at http://www.consumeraction.gov/pdfs/2009_Handbook_Web_Version.pdf

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