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Consumer Action Handbook

The approach of December means that millions of Americans will soon be shopping, shipping, printing, mailing, baking, eating, traveling, and/or simply hiding at home and watching cable TV or DVDs. Whatever the case, most people will spend the last month of the year consuming a wide variety of goods and services.

Therefore, this is an excellent time to think about being a wise consumer. Two sources that can help you in this quest are the Consumer Action Handbook and the Consumer Action Website.

Both are produced by the General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center. Both provide a wealth of advice on what to consider before and after making a purchase. They also provide information about the proper way to file a complaint if the item or service you purchased was unsatisfactory, in addition to a long list of consumer contacts at major corporations.

One feature available on the website that isn’t replicated in the Handbook is the Consumer News box. This very useful little box provides links to consumer alerts and announcements from a number of different federal agencies.

To paraphrase both the Coneheads and Sergeant Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues, go forth and consume mass quantities, but hey, let’s be careful out there.

P.S. Thanks for letting me be the Blogger for November. It was fun!