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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. Mr. Hutchins started his career as a lawyer in Cheyenne, Wyoming. First gaining experience as a law clerk for the district court judges, Mr. Hutchins entered private practice with a Cheyenne firm focused on civil litigation, business law and some general practice law. Later, Mr. Hutchins went to Alaska, where he was the chief litigator for a firm that engaged in bond law, corporate law, securities law, and the broad reach of municipal law. Mr. Hutchins returned to Cheyenne to represent the State of Wyoming in the national tobacco arbitration. While in that position, he developed the consumer protection unit for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. He led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions in Wyoming and worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado. Mr. Hutchins relocated to Colorado in 2016 and founded Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins has established Harmony Law in three principal areas of law. First, it is a general practice firm in the areas of business law, estate planning and family law. Secondly, it is a civil litigation firm, practicing law in state and federal courts throughout Wyoming and Colorado. Finally, it is one of the few firms in Wyoming or Colorado that focuses on consumer protection law.

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