About the Consumer Protection Bureau
The Consumer Protection Bureau provides a basic health and safety service to the public. Through a dedicated staff, the Bureau maintains a high standard in the marketplace in order to protect the rights of the consumer. The office focuses on establishing a confident environment where consumers can learn which businesses will treat them honestly and fairly. This effort is achieved through:
Testing, Examining, and Sealing
As recommended by the National Bureau of Standards of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Law, the bureau inspectors examine, test and seal all weighing and measuring devices found in supermarkets, delis, jewelry stores, laundromats, and cleaning establishments. They also check expiration dates, net weight, and the labeling of items sold in retail establishments. The sale of solid fuel, petroleum products, gasoline, propane and the delivery of fuel oil is also tested and approved by our inspectors. In total, approximately 1,000 scales and 300 pumps are examined each year.
The Bureau issues over 2,300 licenses per year to businesses in the City. They include home improvement contractors, food vendors, peddlers, general vendors, home/ commercial/ non-commercial solicitors, transient businesses, cabarets, movie theatres, auctions, auctioneers, sidewalk and end-of business sales, pawnbrokers, pay phones, amusement devices, laundromats and others in order to protect consumers.
Consumer Complaint Investigation
Each year, approximately 200 complaints are investigated and mediated between consumers and businesses. Investigations often lead to the uncovering of false or misleading advertisements and/or unconscionable trade practices conducted by some merchants. Penalties may be assessed for such violations of the Code of the City of Yonkers. Stopping these kinds of business practices that prey on our consumers is a priority of this bureau.
Through an administrative code enforcement process, fines and penalties may be assessed for individuals that violate the penal code. Hearings may be scheduled for all violations issued by inspectors. The adjudication process is handled by the Director.
Consumer Information and Education
The office makes recommendations, conducts research and develops programs for consumer education and protection. In consultation with other departments and agencies, federal and state officials, commercial and business interest, the bureau facilitates the exchange and dissemination of information relating to consumer protection.