Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on April 16, 1974 · Page 10
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 10

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Location:
Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 16, 1974
Page:
Page 10
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Page 10 article text (OCR)

Iowa's Pioneer Consumer Protection Division Growing Rapidly MOINES - It may come as a surprise, but Iowa was one of the fore-runners of the modern consumer protection movement in the spring of 1966 the Iowa Legislature enacted the Iowa consumer fraud act at a time when only a handful of states had such legislation. The consumer protection movement turned into a landslide beginning in 1970 and today every state has such legislation. In 1965 the consumer protection division in the attorney general's office received 201 complaints; this year they anticipate receiving 6,000 complaints. Last week in a speech to the Des Moines Women's Club, assistant attorney general Douglas R. Carlson, who is assigned to the consumer protection division, said the agency ''saved and recovered" over $1 million for lowans. What's more, he said it appears the consumer protection division will double that amount - over $2 million in 1974. The staff is looking beyond this year. Carlson revealed that within the next few years the office hopes to open a mobile office facility which will allow them to travel to some r»f T^wa's more remote county seats with the ability to take complaints from local residents and act on them accordingly. "We also hope to begin active education and assistance programs for our local county attorneys and to engage in more and more cooperative efforts with county attorneys and city law enforcement officials in the consumer protection area," he said. The consumer protection division, Carlson said, also hopes to establish a task or strike force of consumer protection attorneys and investigators "that can move into any area needed where a consumer fraud scheme is currently being operated." The most adequately protected consumer is an informed consumer. Therefore, Carlson believes the introduction of mandatory consumer protection classes into Iowa's school system "from kindergarden all the way through college" is a pressing need in the state. The consumer protection division, he said, seeks to protect the consumer by acting in a number of different areas. Beside prosecuting those companies and individuals who violate the Iowa consumer fraud act, the division engages in a number Times Herald, Carroll, la. Tuesday, April 16,1974 10 of additional consumer protection related activities, such as: mediation of consumer complaints, consumer education programs, and consumer protection legislation. The consumers' dollar loss in consumer fraud schemes is "utterly staggering," he asserted. "Prior to the passage in 1973 of our tough new Iowa subdivided land sales act we estimated that land developers were signing lowans up to about $50 million worth of purchase contracts per year and that approximately $35 million per year was being paid out by lowans. "Unfortunately, most of these monies were monies being poured down the drain for desert and undeveloped properties. Many individual companies have come into the state of Iowa and perpetrated schemes of fraud and deception which have been successful in fleecing lowans out of up to several million dollars in only a few months or a year's time." Carlson said it's unfortunate that today's marketplace "is so fraught with fraud, deception and misrepresentation as an accepted norm of business practices. Companies we "prosecute for consumer fraud are shocked to find that industry-wide long-time accept e^d sales and advertising practices will no longer be tolerated." The consumer, he continued, does have rights, just as all citizens of the United States have rights under our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Although the consumer's rights are not contained in any written statute or constitution, they are nonetheless real, according to Carlson. What are the consumer's rights? In Carlson's opinion, the consumer basically has five specific rights: To be able to make an intelligent choice among products and services. To accurate information on which to make his choice. To expect that his health and safety are taken into account by those who seek his patronage. To be able to believe and rely upon what is told him about a product being sold or advertised. To have his complaint heard, weighed and acted noon. PRENGER FURNITURE "Quality Nairn Brandt you know at always Low Prices." — Carroll Wttt on Hwy. 30 WAREHOUSE CLEARANCE OF FAMOUS SEALY MATTRESSES REGARDLESS OF PREVIOUS PRICE! AHD . Discontinued tickings . Limited quantities each group wrappings Original Perfect Box Spring Same Low Price « TICKING STYLES HAVE CHANGED-BUT THE QUALITY IS GENUINE SEALY! OPEN: Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday & Friday till 9 p.m. CONVENIENT TERMS AVAILABLE

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