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 six divisions: Administration, Consumer Services, Consumer Advocacy, Public Information and Education , Identity Theft Unit and the Legal Division.
Over the last 3 fiscal years, SCDCA saved consumers and businesses approximately $34.5 million. Almost $4.5 million stemmed from SCDCA's complaint mediation and enforcement programs while the remaining $30 million resulted from the agency's intervention in insurance rate filings.
Other highlights from 2011-2013 include:
- processing over 69,000 licensing/ registration applications and filings for regulated businesses,
- handling more than 14, 000 complaints
- reviewing over 2,400 insurance filings,
- conducting 900 compliance reviews and inspections of regulated businesses.
- received over 90,000 calls through our toll-free number with staff assisting callers for nearly 200,000 minutes.
For more information on SCDCA's operations, click here to view agency Accountability Reports or contact us.