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What happens when a consumer files a complaint with the Wyoming Attorney General's Office?

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Sep 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

What happens when a consumer files a complaint with the Wyoming Attorney General's Office?

Each state has its own system for dealing with consumer complaints made to the Attorney General's Office. A state develops a complaint intake system and handling procedures based upon (1) its population and volume of complaints; (2) the types of complaints it handles; (3) the degree of emphasis on mediation efforts to resolve the complaint; and (4) any statutory or legal requirements for handling complaints.

Wyoming's system is relatively straightforward. When a consumer files a complaint with the Wyoming Attorney General's Office (Office), the complaint is reviewed. If the complaint raises any issues under the Consumer Protection Act, the Office usually forwards the complaint to the business complained against and requests a written response to the complaint. Some consumer complaints just seek information. In those cases an appropriate response is made. Some consumer complaints are misdirected. They are sent to the Office when another state or federal agency is the more appropriate agency to review the complaint. In those cases, the complaint is forwarded to the correct agency or the consumer is referred to the appropriate agency.

When the Office sends a complaint to a company, the company is typically given thirty days to respond. This is an informal, but important step in the process. The company's response is usually scrutinized by the Office. If the company's written response fails to address an obvious consumer protection violation, the Office may pay closer attention to the company, and even initiate an investigation into the practices of the company. It is very important that the company handle the response appropriately.

The Office forwards the company's written response to the consumer. If the matter appears to be resolved by the company response, or if it is a matter that falls outside the scope of the Consumer Protection Act, the Office may close the file on that consumer complaint and advise the consumer accordingly.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Prior to opening Harmony Law, Mr. Hutchins worked in the Wyoming Attorney General's Office for several years where he developed a strong consumer protection enforcement unit. In that position he led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions under the Consumer Protection Act. He worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado, on consumer protection matters. Mr. Hutchins is also a contributing author to Consumer Protection Law Developments, Second Edition. Previous to his work in the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Hutchins was in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska where he was the chief litigator for a firm. Mr. Hutchins represented municipalities on various matters. Mr. Hutchins provided counsel to businesses and investment advisors regarding compliance with securities laws. He was also a bond lawyer and worked on municipal financing matters. Prior to that, Mr. Hutchins practiced civil litigation with a law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mr. Hutchins devotes his spare time to his family, traveling and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Harmony Law is one of the few law firms in Colorado and Wyoming that focuses on consumer law. Mr. Hutchins is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and state chair for Wyoming. If you have a consumer law issue, please feel free to call 970-488-1857 and speak with Mr. Hutchins.

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