ALEXANDRIA, Va. – BoatU.S. has created the only online nationwide consumer affairs agency database that gives definitive information on regional consumer affairs bureaus and what assistance they may be able to offer the boater, the organization said in a statement today.
"When something doesn't go right, the first step for many boaters is to contact their local or state consumer affairs agency," said Caroline Ajootian, director of the BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau. "Unfortunately, we found that boaters across the country routinely get conflicting information or sometimes no information at all when they ask regional government offices for assistance with boat-related matters. This new online database will cut through the red tape and minimize the shuffle from one agency to the next.”
Ajootian said she decided to create the database after writing an article in the March 2004 issue of BoatU.S. Magazine that depicted a Florida boater's fruitless search for consumer agency help with his marina's three-month delay in making simple repairs. The state was found to have no consumer affairs services available to resolve boating-related issues.
Boaters looking for help can go to http://www.BoatUS.com/consumer for the new state and local consumer departments database. There they will find a list of government agencies that may provide consumer affairs assistance related to boating, such as offering complaint databases or formal complaint and remediation services, according to BoatU.S. Direct links to the agencies are also included.
"As we found in Florida, not every state or county will have a solution, but you will know for sure in just minutes if someone can help," Ajootian said.
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