That’s what it says on the front of the 2009 Consumer Action Handbook, and that’s what this book is trying to help us all become. Created by the GSA ( U.S. General Services Administration) Federal Citizen Information Center in conjunction with several other federal agencies and corporations, the book offers a multitude of useful information and resources for the in-the-know and the wanting-to-know consumer.
The book breaks into IV sections. The first gives detailed tips for consumers on subjects that range from buying a car or TV to choosing health insurance and a doctor to how to protect oneself against identity theft and how to handle wills and funerals. The subjects are too numerous to completely list here, but each topic is addressed fully. The second section offers advice for filing a complaint, how to use Dispute Resolution Programs, and covers Small Claims Court as well as contacts for reporting fraud and safety hazards. The third part lists additional sources for consumer information, and the fourth is a long list of direct contacts for assistance from the government and corporate America.
We have two circulating copies of this little gem as well as a reference copy here at Central. Or, since those of you reading this obviously have computer access, if you prefer you can get the same information from the www.ConsumerAction.gov website. If the website’s information seems too chaotic and you’d prefer the information displayed the same way it would be in the book, you can use the PDF from the website instead. One nice little extra on the website is the Consumer News section. It’s a box situated on the right hand side of the main page and offers links to events of consumer interest like “Kolcraft Recalls 1 Million Play Yards Due to Fall Hazard” or “Five Tax Facts About Summertime Child Care Expenses.”