History and Purpose
Established in 1974 by the Consumer Protection Code (Code), Sections 37-1-101 et seq., the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA or Department) is the state consumer protection agency. SCDCA is the administrator and enforcer of the Code, as well as other regulatory statutes outside the Code. In this capacity, the Department helps to formulate and modify consumer laws, policies and regulations; regulates the consumer credit marketplace; resolves complaints arising out of the production, promotion or sale of consumer goods or services in South Carolina, whether or not credit is involved; and promotes a healthy competitive business climate with mutual confidence between buyers and sellers. Overall, the agency protects consumers while giving due regard to those businesses acting in a fair and honest manner.
The Department is governed by the Commission on Consumer Affairs who appoints the Administrator. Carri Grube Lybarker serves as SCDCA's current Administrator. The Administrator also receives assistance from the Council of Advisors on Consumer Credit.
SCDCA is organized into five divisions: Administration, Consumer Services, Consumer Advocacy, Public Information and Education and the Legal Division.
Over the last 3 fiscal years, SCDCA saved consumers and businesses approximately $39 million. Almost $7.7 million stemmed from SCDCA's complaint mediation and enforcement programs while the remaining $31 million resulted from the agency's intervention in insurance rate filings.
Other highlights from 2008-2011 include:
- processing over 71,000 licensing/ registration applications and filings for regulated businesses,
- handling more than 17, 000 complaints
- reviewing nearly 3,000 insurance filings,
- conducting 1,500 compliance reviews and inspections of regulated businesses.
- posting 18 videos on YouTube garnering more than 70,000 views.
For more information on SCDCA's operations, click here to view agency Accountability Reports or contact us.