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Deputy Secretary Vigil Offers Consumers Important Holiday Tips

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Garden City – Deputy Secretary for Business and Licensing Marcos Vigil and staff from the Division of Consumer Protection met with consumers at Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island on December 2 as part of the Department of State’s ongoing consumer outreach efforts.

Deputy Secretary Vigil was also joined by Ted Potrikus, executive vice president of the Retail Council of New York.  They offered shoppers holiday safety tips, shopping advice and the latest information on toy safety and recalls.

“Given today’s tough economic climate, many families are operating on tight budgets.  That’s why it’s so important to be properly armed with information that will help make your holiday shopping less stressful and more rewarding,” explained Deputy Secretary Vigil. “We want to make sure all shoppers understand their rights and know the rules pertaining to gift cards, refunds and layaway policies. We also want to make sure that consumers are properly informed about toy and other product recalls so they can help reduce the risk of injury.”

“The advocacy and oversight of the Department of State gives the public more access than ever before to information about the products they want to purchase and about their rights as shoppers,” said Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council. “We’re pleased to work with the Department to help our customers make good shopping choices, and to remind shoppers about the positive impact they can have on New York’s economy by shopping locally during the holiday season.”

Division of Consumer Protection staff was present to provide shoppers with information on timely consumer topics including budgeting, refund policies, layaway plans and rebates, understanding the fine print of advertisements, online shopping tips, and rules surrounding gift card purchases. The event at the Roosevelt Field Mall is part of the Department’s outreach efforts taking place around the state during the 2011 holiday season. For a list of helpful holiday tips, please visit our website at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/pdf/holiday_shopping.pdf.