Dutchess County
- Frequently Asked Questions -
  • Consumer Affairs
  • How do I find out if a business has a complaint history?

    Our Office can assist Dutchess County residents with histories of retail businesses before making any transactions.  You can also find out if your home improvement contractor or other service provider has a complaint history by calling the New York State Consumer Protection Board Helpline at:  1-800-697-1220

    Who do I call to report a faulty meter on a gas pump?

    Report suspected inaccuracies or violations to:
    Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs Weights and Measures (.pdf), 98 Peach Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, (845)486-2949; Fax (845)486-2947; e-Mail consumeraffairs@co.dutchess.ny.us

    How do I file a complaint against a business?

    Dutchess County Consumer Affairs provides mediation and/or legal action when a business has engaged in false, misleading or deceptive practices.  A Complaint Form (.pdf) can be downloaded, completed, then mailed to Dutchess County Consumer Affairs, 98 Peach Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601,  or you can contact our office at (845) 486-2949.  You can also lodge a complaint via the New York State Consumer Protection Board: http://www.nysconsumer.gov/complaint.htm.

    Where is the nearest Better Business Bureau?

    The Better Business Bureau that serves Dutchess County is located at 99 Lafayette Avenue, White Plains, NY 10603-3213,  (212) 533-6200; Fax (914) 428-6030

    What do I do if a contractor has failed to complete a job or has done shoddy work?

    Our Office enforces New York State laws as they pertain to transactions between homeowners and home improvement contractors. You can also lodge a complaint via the New York State Consumer Protection Board: http://www.nysconsumer.gov/complaint.htm.

    Do I need a license to do home improvement work in Dutchess County?
    Dutchess County has no licensing requirements, however, the cities of Poughkeepsie and Beacon have restrictions.  For more information call the municipalities where you are going to work.  Consumer Affairs does act on complaints when a home improvement contractor is involved in an unfair or deceptive trade practice as defined by Local Law.
    What is the Role of the County's Consumer Affairs Department?
    To serve Dutchess County residents by preventing and responding to illegal acts and practices in the sale of consumer items.
    Whom do I contact to have someone speak to a group about identity theft and other consumer-related topic?

    Contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at (845) 486-2949; Fax (845) 486-2947; email consumeraffairs@co.dutchess.ny.us to schedule a time and place.  Brochures and other informational material are available.

    How can I get information about consumer law in New York State?

    The New York State Website provides an on-line Consumer Law Help Manual.  This is a very thorough and user-friendly resource that provides consumer law information in an A to Z format.  Click Here to access this information.

    Do I need a license to purchase and sell gold, silver and other precious metals?

    Yes.  All establishments in Dutchess County engaging in the purchase of gold, silver, and other precious metals are licensed through the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs.

    Whom can I call to get help with my debt?
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service.  The nearest member can be reached by calling (800) 388-2227.