National Consumer Protection Week – Learn How to File a Consumer Complaint

This week marks the 2013 NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK. According to the official website, the aim of National Consumer Protection Week, is to encourage consumers “to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.

To kick off this year’s National Consumer Protection Week, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office released a list of the top ten consumer complaints it received in 2012. With a 10% increase from last year, the number of Colorado consumer complaints filed with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office in 2012 totaled 7,911. According to the COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S WEBSITE, among the most frequent were:

 

  1. Fraudulent or Unwanted Telephone Calls
  2. Utility Complaints

  3. Financial Planning – Management Consultants
  4. Internet Shopping Services

  5. Telephone

  6. Schools – Academic College & Universities
  7. Automobile Dealers

  8. Fraudulent or Unwanted Email
  9. Roofing and Guttering Contracts

  10. Health and Medical Services

 

Over the past several years, consumer complaints in Colorado have been on the rise, increasing by 55% in 2010, 13% in 2011 and another 10% in 2012.

In order to aid in enforcement of the provisions Colorado’s consumer protection laws against companies engaging in fraudulent or deceptive practices, consumers should file these consumer complaints with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Complaints can help identify patterns of fraudulent or deceptive conduct, and help focus the investigation and prosecution efforts of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

Before filing a complaint, there are several things consumers should consider.

First, consumers should try to resolve the issue directly with the company’s management. If resolving the issue directly is not possible, consumers should then gather any documents relating to the alleged violation, such as receipts, copies of contracts, written estimates, warranties, or repair orders. Copies of any helpful documentation can be uploaded and attached to the online complaint, so consumers should scan any documents prior to filling out the form. Additionally, consumers should make sure to remove any account, credit card, or social security numbers as well as medical information from any documents that accompany a complaint.

Although filing a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office is not the only way to remedy a consumer protection statute violation, it can be a quick and easy method of reporting a company for engaging in deceptive and fraudulent conduct. 

Online consumer complaints can be filed on the COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S WEBSITE. 

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