PhillyClout has learned that one victim of Monday's budget cuts was the Office of Consumer Affairs. Director Lance Haver's lone staffer was laid off this week. As a result, the office will no longer field consumer complaints.
The office will remain open, but will focus on studying consumer issues, according to the mayor's press office.
We caught Haver on the phone, who said that, at least for now: "we can’t take complaints because we’re not sure we’re going to be able to resolve them."
The Office of Consumer Affairs was created by Mayor John Street in 2003. Haver has run the office since then. Here's a description of the office's duties:
The responsibilities of the Office of Consumer Affairs include receiving complaints of consumer abuse and unfair commercial practices, working with the City's Law Department to determine which matters deserve investigation and referring those that do to the appropriate authorities. The OCA will also study issues related to insurance rates, utility rates and consumer prices and practices in Philadelphia.