December 29, 2005
Jefferson City, Mo. — Consumers in Missouri and other states received more than $3.4 million through mediation by Attorney General Jay Nixon's Consumer Protection Division in 2005. The $3,436,458 brought in by the office is a record amount recovered for consumers through informal mediation outside the courts. The previous record recovery was $2,839,184 in 2003.
For 2004 and 2005, the consumer complaint unit brought in more than $6.1 million in informal restitution. Since Nixon took office in 1993, his office has returned more than $27.9 million directly to consumers.
"Our consumer protection team has been very successful at resolving disputes between consumers and businesses without having to resort to taking formal legal action," Nixon said. "Of course we are always prepared to go to the courts if necessary, but informal mediation helps to expedite the process of returning money to consumers."
The office received approximately 88,993 complaints and inquiries through the mail, through e-mail and through the Consumer Protection Hotline. Complaints about telephone slamming, cramming and billing topped the categories of complaints to the Attorney General in 2005.
Nixon added that 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.