Published: July 17, 2007
Nancy Johnson, president of the Professional Show Managers Association (PSMA), joined by members of the antiques and collecting world, including Dordy Fontinel, Mark Gillespie and Larry Krug, took their battle against fakes, fantasy items and reproductions to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on June 29.
Armed with statistics and surveys demonstrating the financial impact the antiques business has on the US economy, the group met with Jeanne Bumpus, director of congressional affairs, and directors of the planning and information division at the FTC.
Discussed was the website of the FTC’s Office of Consumer Protection. Currently, the FTC website offers a “File a Complaint” form through which consumers can submit information on consumer fraud in more than 25 categories, including automobiles, computers and food. No specific category for antiques and collectibles presently exists.
Johnson and the group requested that the FTC add such a category to the present list. David Torok, associate director of planning and information, conceded that the form was “decades old” and not necessarily “user friendly.”
Torok indicated that the FTC website is scheduled to be revamped by early next year and that the information presented by the PSMA group would be used in the development of the new form.
However, consumers wishing to file a complaint through the form about fraudulent antiques and collectibles can certainly do so now. Log on the website www.FTC.gov, click on the “File a complaint” button on the upper right corner of the home page. Fill out contact information, go directly to the “Explain your problem” box at the bottom of the form. The word “antiques” must be included in the complaint.
Those who do not have computer access can call the FTC directly at 877-FTC-HELP to file a complaint.
Larry Krug, founder of the National Association of Collecting Clubs, requested that the PSMA group be allowed to work with the FTC in developing consumer information about purchasing antiques and collectibles. This was agreed by the FTC representatives.
PSMA said it considered the progress made at this first meeting a significant step toward its goal of protecting buyers of antiques and collectibles.
For information, 860-243-3977 or 515-262-6714.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm