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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > May 2015 > Before a Purchase: Do Your Homework

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Before a Purchase: Do Your Homework

Before signing a contract or providing payment, do some homework on the products and services you are planning to buy. Two helpful resources are the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Whether you are considering the purchase of a vehicle, planning to sign a home-improvement contract, or being targeted by a potential scam, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office can help.
The office provides an online search where you can find a list of complaints filed against a business to learn about others’ experiences. By calling the office or searching online, you also can learn if legal action has been taken against a business, or if a suspicious call, letter, or message is a potential scam.
Additionally, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office provides a free, informal dispute resolution process to resolve complaints, and it offers free services for victims of identity theft. Learn more or get help by calling 800-282-0515, or by visiting
Have you ever had a concern about a consumer product in your home or one that you’re intending to purchase? Have you had an appliance, outdoor power tool, or even a child’s toy that caused an injury or a potential injury? If so, visit, a one-stop consumer safety website, to search for consumer product incident reports, file an incident report, or check for recalls. is run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency responsible for keeping you and your family safe from hazardous consumer products in and around the home. Since the website launched in 2011, there have been more than 23,000 reports of incidents or potential incidents in homes across the nation.
You can sign up here to get email notifications from the commission sent directly to your inbox.
In 2015, the Consumer Products Safety Commission will launch a safety campaign regarding safe baby sleeping habits, pool safety, furniture anchors, and poison prevention. The campaign will launch and be piloted in Ohio, so watch for updates on the program.