Department of Consumer Protection Reaches Out to Licensees, Business, and Consumers with Post-Hurricane Guidance and Advice
HARTFORD, October 31 -- Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein announced today that certain license-holders will have until November 15th to renew their licenses without penalty, due to Hurricane Sandy.
“All licenses and registrations due to expire by October 31st will have a grace period to November 15th to pay their renewal fees without incurring a late fee,” Rubenstein said. “Due to the harsh conditions imposed by this week’s hurricane, we are extending a brief extension for those who need the extra time.”
The Department is following up with gasoline retailers and other licensees in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as well. Agency fuel inspectors have thus far confirmed more than 500 gasoline retailers that have power, and will update this listing as the situation changes. The town-by-town list of open gasoline retailers is posted at www.ct.gov/dcp/gasoline, and is also available by calling 2-1-1.
The Division of Liquor Control is alerting retailers and distributors that liquor retailers may order October 2012 product through Sunday, November 4, 2012, and that those products may be delivered through Thursday, November 8, 2012.
Consumers who have complaints about suspected price gouging are encouraged to file a complaint at dcp.foodandstandards for gasoline and fuel complaints. Persons who suspect price gouging on any other product should file a complaint with the Department online at www.ct.gov/dcp -- see “Complaint Center,” or by calling 1-800-842-2649.
Homeowners are reminded that all home improvement and repairs should be done only by a home improvement contractor registered to do work in the State of Connecticut. It’s safest to avoid doing business with contractors who show up uninvited. Workers such as plumbers and electricians require a professional license. The Department offers complete home improvement recommendations on its website at www.ct.gov/dcp.
The Connecticut Bar Association has established a free emergency hotline service to provide insurance advice on a pro bono basis to disaster victims in Connecticut. A free emergency hotline service is staffed by members of the Connecticut Bar Association who are knowledgeable in insurance matters. As an initial matter, calls or email inquiries will be answered by CBA staff and then referred to attorney volunteers. These inquiries can be made at any time and the CBA will attempt to have an attorney respond within 24 hours. The call-in number is (866) 209-5099 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persons interested in giving to charitable solicitations for hurricane recovery efforts are encouraged to review “Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis,” available online from Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org in order to avoid charities fraud. Charity Navigator has also prepared specific web page with tips for making smart giving decisions in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as well as a list of highly-rated charities responding.