RICHMOND — Every day, Virginians conduct transactions
that require them to make informed decisions. Whether it involves shopping for a
mortgage or other loan, comparing insurance policies, understanding utility bills,
or planning for retirement, it is important to know how to protect your interests
and where to turn for help if you have a question or complaint.
The State Corporation Commission (SCC), in recognition of the 13th annual National
Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 6-12, encourages Virginians to make the most
of their money by understanding how to find the products and services best suited
to their needs and knowing where to turn should a problem arise.
The SCC oversees insurance, state-chartered financial institutions, securities,
franchises, and investor-owned utilities (electric, natural gas, water, sewer, and
telecommunications) doing business in Virginia. It provides useful information and
assistance to help consumers make informed choices and file a complaint if they
are not satisfied with the responses they receive from regulated industries. It
offers numerous consumer guides and other information and has specially trained
staff that can assist consumers with their questions and concerns about regulated
individuals and entities.
“The SCC is a valuable resource for people who want to stretch their paychecks,
protect their families and their assets, and find legitimate products and services
that suit their particular needs,” said Ron Thomas, director of the SCC’s Division
of Securities and Retail Franchising.
“Our consumer services operations are a key component of the SCC’s overall mission,”
said E.J. Face, Jr., Virginia Commissioner of Financial Institutions. “We can help
consumers arm themselves with the information they need to successfully navigate
today’s increasingly complex marketplace.”
“We encourage consumers to work with the regulated company or individual, should
a problem arise. Then, if you still consider the matter unresolved or receive an
unsatisfactory result, contact the appropriate SCC division by phone, mail, or e-mail
using the online complaint form,” said Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham.
The SCC offers the following tips in securing products and services:
- Shop around for products and services that are competitively provided.
- Make sure that a product or service is suited to your particular needs.
- Verify that an individual or company is licensed or registered with the SCC.
- Thoroughly evaluate any offer and keep written records of any transactions.
Consumers who have complaints regarding regulated entities can turn to the SCC for
assistance. The Commission encourages consumers to complete a written complaint
form relating to their specific area of concern. This ensures an accurate description
of the nature of the complaint. The complaint process and forms are available by
going to the SCC website at www.scc.virginia.gov and clicking on the appropriate
For more information, call the SCC toll-free in Virginia at 1-800-552-7945 or contact
the following divisions:
- Bureau of Insurance – (804) 371-9741
- Bureau of Financial Institutions – (804) 371-9657
- Division of Securities and Retail Franchising – (804) 371-9051
- Division of Energy Regulation – (804) 371-9611
- Division of Communications – (804) 371-9420
Even if the Commission does not oversee a particular firm, individual, or product,
SCC staff will assist consumers by referring them to the appropriate local, state,
or federal authority for assistance.