Attorney General DeWine announces top consumer complaints of 2017


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced the top consumer complaints his office received in 2017, when more than 22,000 complaints were filed.

“We’re committed to protecting Ohio consumers, and addressing their complaints is an important part of what we do,” Attorney General DeWine said. “In many cases, complaints are the result of a misunderstanding, and we try to bring both sides together to solve the problem. In other cases, complaints provide important information about the issues affecting people.”

In 2017, ten of the most common types of complaints reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section were:

  • Used car sales (about 3,750 complaints)
  • Shopping online and in stores (about 1,170 complaints)
  • Cable or cable bundling (about 1,120 complaints)
  • Collection calls (about 840 complaints)
  • Identity theft, requests for assistance (about 780 complaints)
  • Wireless phone services (about 740 complaints)
  • Vehicle repairs (about 550 complaints)
  • Appliances (about 470 complaints)
  • Renting and landlords (about 440 complaints)
  • New car sales (about 430 complaints)

The Consumer Protection Section tracks complaints in several general categories for reporting purposes, and in 2017, the top overall categories were:

  1. Motor Vehicles
  2. Utilities, Phone, Internet, or TV 
  3. Shopping, Food, or Beverages
  4. Professional Services
  5. Collections, Credit Reporting, or Financial Services
  6. Home or Property Improvement

Consumer complaints generally are handled through the office’s dispute resolution process, where specialists work with the consumer and the business to reach a resolution. Complaint resolution may involve, for example, a refund for the consumer or an adjustment of charges or services. In 2017, over $2.7 million was adjusted or recovered for consumers through this process, according to complaint information.

The office also takes complaints from small businesses and nonprofits. In 2017, the office logged more than 680 complaints from small businesses or nonprofits and provided dispute resolution similar to the services offered to consumers.

Consumers who want to file a complaint or learn more about consumer protection topics should visit or call 800-282-0515.

Posted on January 12, 2018 .

Some interesting statistics

via Safer Ohio

Posted on July 21, 2017 .

Applications now available for $3 million in Ohio law enforcement grants to address opioid epidemic

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today the application process is now open for Ohio law enforcement teams to apply for $3 million in new state grant money that will replicate or expand Drug Abuse Response Teams (DARTs) and Quick Response Teams (QRTs) to address the opioid epidemic in Ohio. 

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will distribute the $3 million over FY 2018 and 2019, as designed by a budget amendment sponsored by Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) and signed into law last month. The grants will be awarded to local law enforcement agencies and must include a partnership with a treatment provider.  Preference will be given to applicants that include other partners such as a mental health recovery board, peer specialists, fire department, emergency management system agency, faith-based organizations, children’s services organizations or other appropriate agencies. 

“The goal of Drug Abuse Response Teams and Quick Response Teams is to save lives by getting those addicted to opioids into treatment and leading them to resources so they can stay clean,” said Attorney General DeWine. “The teams established now have a collaborative partnership in their community to address addiction and help Ohio families.  That’s what we will see more of with this grant money, and it’s something Ohio desperately needs.” 

Specifically, the grant funding will support efforts similar to the QRTs in Colerain Township (Hamilton County) and Summit County, as well as the DART in Lucas County. 

Lucas County DART provides 24-hour assistance to overdose survivors and their families.  Since 2014, DART has assisted nearly 2,300 opioid survivors and has had a 74 percent success rate in getting survivors into detox and linked to treatment programs.

Colerain Township in Hamilton County estimates that their Quick Response Team has conducted 250 investigations with nearly 80 percent of the overdose survivors they have encountered entering treatment. Summit County’s QRTs are based on the Colerain Township model and are now operating in Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Barberton, Norton, Tallmadge, Stow, Munroe Falls, Akron, Coventry, and Hudson.

The application process for this law enforcement grant program can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website at The application deadline is 5pm EST on Friday, August 18, 2017.   For technical assistance with any requirements, contact    

Grant recipients will be notified on Thursday, August 31, 2017. 

Posted on July 19, 2017 .

Summertime is peak time for thunder and lightning storms

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 18-24

In an annual coordinated effort with the National Weather Service (NWS), the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness is promoting June 18-24 as Lightning Safety Awareness Week and encourages all Ohioans to know what to do before, during and after thunderstorms, and to practice severe weather safety and preparedness throughout the summer.

Summer begins on June 21, and summertime is the peak season for thunderstorms in the United States.

So far this year, according to the NWS, there has been one lightning-strike fatality. Last year, there were 38 lightning fatalities in a total of 17 states, including an 8-year-old boy from Coshocton, Ohio.

Although lightning fatalities in 2016 were above the average of about 30 per year, overall, the reduction in lightning-related deaths has dropped. The NWS attributes this reduction (from about 50 deaths per year) to greater awareness of lightning danger, and people seeking safety when thunderstorms threaten.  

There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. Lightning safety is an inconvenience that can save your life. So, “When thunder roars, go indoors!” Stop outdoor activities and seek safe shelter immediately.

The NWS and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourage Ohioans to prepare for thunder and lightning storms – and all severe weather events.

If thunder and lightning storms are happening in your area, you should do the following:

  • Listen to current weather reports on local TV or radio stations, or use a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones and devices, including those plugged into electrical outlets for recharging. Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you can do so safely, unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers, and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing and water. Do not wash your hands, take a shower. Do not wash dishes or do laundry. Water and plumbing conduct electricity.

If you’re caught outside:

  • Take shelter in a sturdy, substantial building. Avoid isolated sheds or small structures in open areas, such as baseball dugouts.
  • Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area. Also avoid hilltops or open fields.
  • Avoid being in or near bodies of water such as the beach, a swimming pool, fishing, or on a boat.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal – tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
  • If driving during a severe thunderstorm, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency hazard lights until the heavy rain stops.

To minimize the risk of being struck by lightning, just remember “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” and stay indoors until at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder or crack of lightning.

For additional information on lightning safety, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness site at or the NWS site at

OCSWA is comprised of 16 organizations and state agencies that are dedicated in teaching Ohioans severe weather safety and preparedness.

Posted on June 16, 2017 .

PUCO offers electrical safety tips

In recognition of National Electrical Safety Month this May, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers tips to stay safe when working around electricity, indoors and outdoors.

Electricity plays a vital part in everyday life. Using electricity, you can turn on lights, prepare meals and complete home improvement projects. However, electricity is a very powerful force, and if proper safety measures are not taken, can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.

You can prevent accidents by practicing safety around electric appliances, tools and power lines.

Indoor safety

  • Check to make sure all electric cords are free of fraying or cracking. Replace any cords that may be damaged.
  • When unplugging appliances, always pull from the plug, not the cord.
  • Avoid using extension cords, especially for a long period of time. Do not string extension cords together, and make sure the appliances do not exceed the amperage capability of the extension cord.
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
  • Keep all electric appliances away from sinks, baths and other water sources. If an appliance falls into water, never reach in to get it.
  • Never use a metal object to dislodge something from an electrical appliance.
  • Make sure all electric plugs fit securely into the outlet. Never try to force a plug into an outlet, or use another object to make the plug fit.
  • Avoid overloading an outlet with too many appliances.

Outdoor safety

  • Thunderstorms or other severe weather can often cause downed power lines. Always treat a downed power line as if it were live, and do not touch it or any objects around it. If you see a downed power line, immediately contact local emergency responders and the local electric utility.
  • Keep all ladders, scaffolding and tools at least 10 feet away from any overhead power lines. For high-voltage lines, allow even more clearance. Remember that overhead power lines may not be insulated like normal electric cords, so you should never touch an overhead line.
  • Use clean, dry wood or fiberglass ladders around electric lines instead of metal.
  • When installing a satellite dish on a roof, allow a distance of at least 1.5 times the length of the dish away from any power line. If the dish falls during installation, do not attempt to catch it.
  • Before beginning a project that requires digging, call the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) at 8-1-1 to have underground electric and utility wires marked. Call at least 48 hours before digging.
  • Select low-growing plants and shrubs that will not grow high enough to touch overhead power lines. If you are landscaping near an electric transformer, plant at least 10 feet away from it.
  • Do not attempt to trim trees or shrubs that are growing near power lines. Call the local electric utility if there are trees growing too close to a power line.
  • Do not use electric powered lawn tools in wet conditions.
  • Always wear rubber-soled shoes or boots when using electric lawn tools. Never operate an electric tool barefoot.
  • Never allow children to climb trees that are touching electric lines.
  • Never allow children to fly kites, balloons or other toys near power lines. If a flying toy becomes tangled in a power line, do not attempt to retrieve it. Instead, call the local electric utility for assistance.


  • If someone receives an electric shock, do not touch the victim because you could receive a shock. Immediately turn off the power source and call for medical assistance.
  • If an electrical appliance catches on fire, do not try to put the fire out with water. Unplug the appliance, turn off the fuse or circuit, and use a fire extinguisher approved for use on electrical fires.
  • If you are in a car and come in contact with a downed power line, stay in the car and call for help. If you need to get out of the car, jump away from the car and do not touch both the car and the ground at the same time. Immediately call for help, and do not provide physical assistance to anyone who may still be in the car.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can prevent electrical accidents from happening and be prepared to respond if an accident occurs.

Posted on May 4, 2017 .

More than 500 law enforcement agencies in the process of implementing Ohio’s new standards to improve community-police relations

More than 500 agencies – employing about 80 percent of Ohio’s law enforcement officers – are in the process of implementing Ohio’s first-ever statewide minimum standards on use of force, including deadly force, and hiring and recruitment according to a report issued today by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS). The standards were developed by a diverse group of Ohioans from law enforcement and community leaders as part of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich’s efforts to improve community and police relations.

“We are pleased so many law enforcement agencies have adopted Ohio’s first-ever statewide standards,” said Karhlton Moore, OCJS Executive Director. “While this report demonstrates the progress we have already made together, we recognize there is more work to do in strengthening the relationship between communities and law enforcement.”

The report showed that as of March 31, 506 agencies are either certified or in the process of becoming certified by meeting those standards that will help improve community-police relations.  And, 79 percent of Ohio’s population, including all 88 Ohio counties, is served by an agency engaged in the certification process.

Since 2014, Ohio has been working to create a national model to strengthen the bond between communities and police, including building a database that law enforcement agencies can use to better track the use of force, study common, contributing factors, and formulate ways to prevent them.  New grants have also been provided that require both law enforcement and the community to collaborate and participate in projects. Last year, Ohio launched a new “Change Starts Here” education and outreach campaign.

Ohio’s Community and Police Advisory Board Collaborative is co-chaired by John Born, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and former state Senator Nina Turner. The standards were established by the Ohio Collaborative on August 28, 2015, and the state partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s law enforcement agencies. 

To view the Law Enforcement Certification Public Report, which also lists agencies not participating in the certificating process, please visit:

Posted on March 31, 2017 .