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Office of Consumer Protection Offers Mediation Services for Businesses

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 16, 2016

Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is offering expert mediation services to businesses to help resolve a variety of disputes.

 

In conjunction with County Executive Ike Leggett's "Culture of Solutions" initiative, expert mediation services currently used to resolve consumer and common ownership community disputes are now being extended and made available to businesses in Montgomery County for free.

 

Mediation serves as an alternative to expensive and protracted litigation in court, and enables the parties to structure their own settlement agreements. Mediation sessions will be offered in Rockville on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Each confidential session may be scheduled for 1 to 4 hours, and a written agreement will be prepared at the conclusion of each successful session. The parties generally meet together and separately with OCP’s volunteer expert mediator.

 

Disputes between a business and a supplier, between a business and a landlord, or between two businesses, may be appropriate for these mediation services.

 

"Expert mediation is a superior method of resolving some disputes, because both parties retain the power to craft a resolution without declaring a winner or a loser," said OCP director Eric Friedman.  "Our volunteer expert mediator has a proven track record of helping parties develop creative settlements to seemingly unresolvable disputes."

 

Montgomery County recognizes the importance of a thriving business community to the quality of life for its residents, and continually seeks to enhance government services.  Businesses are attracted to Montgomery County and consumers are more likely to make purchases in Montgomery County when there is a local source of information and resources dedicated to ensuring integrity in our marketplace.

 

Merchants interested in learning more about mediation services should contact OCP by calling (240) 777-3636 or by email at ConsumerProtection@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov

 

OCP, the County’s consumer protection agency, investigates thousands of complaints each year involving automotive sales and repairs, new home purchases, home improvements, credit issues, retail sales, internet services and most other consumer transactions. OCP provides pre-purchase information to consumers, as well as speakers to the community on consumer issues. For more information and to check any merchant’s complaint record, call 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/consumer.

 

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Release ID: 16-439
Media Contact: Lorraine Dirscoll 240-777-6507