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Here to Serve You

June 30, 1995|CONNIE KOENENN

San Francisco's Consumer Action, which has long been distributing educational materials to about 600 social service agencies in Los Angeles, now has an outreach office here.

"We opened our office at 523 W. 6th St. about a year ago, but we are just starting to establish a presence for community action," says director Cher McIntyre. "It's difficult when you are starting from scratch in a city this size, where the needs are so great."

She and her four-member staff are concentrating on telecommunications problems for non-English speaking people, she says. "I am also doing advocacy work, focusing on utility deregulation and following several telemarketing bills. And our East Los Angeles Project concentrates on credit and finance."

Recently, the office opened a consumer hot line at (213) 624-8327. "People are beginning to find us," says Nelson Santiago, who is running the hot line. "The common complaints so far have been about telephone 'slamming,' when your long-distance carrier is changed without your permission.

"And we've had some inquiries about telemarketing offers. We are giving quite a lot of 'Buyer, Beware,' advice."

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