January 19, 2005
Jafferson City, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon returned more than $2.7 million to consumers in 2004 through mediation outside the courts. The consumer complaint unit of Nixon's office recovered a total of $2,739,628 for consumers last year.
For 2003 and 2004, the consumer complaint unit brought in more than $5.6 million in informal restitution. Since Nixon took office in 1993, his office has returned more than $24.5 million directly to consumers.
"Our consumer protection team tries to resolve disputes between consumers and businesses without the need to take formal legal action, and has been very successful in doing so," Nixon said. "We are always prepared to go to the courts if necessary, but informal mediation helps streamline the process of returning money to consumers."
The office received approximately 82,000 complaints and inquiries through the mail, through e-mail and through the Consumer Protection Hotline, resulting in 19,000 formal complaints. Complaints about cramming and slamming topped the categories of complaints to the Attorney General in 2004.
Nixon said consumers should feel empowered to contact his office with complaints about misrepresentations in the sale of goods and services. Consumers can get a complaint form online or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.