December 28, 2006
Jefferson City, Mo. — The Consumer Protection Division of Attorney General Jay Nixon's office returned a record $5.2 million to consumers through informal mediation in 2006. Nixon says the money was recovered for consumers in Missouri and other states without the need for filing legal action. The previous record recovery for consumers through informal mediation was just over $3.4 million in 2005.
"Our mediation efforts are quite successful in resolving consumer complaints and obtaining restitution, without the need to set foot in a courtroom," Nixon says. "Our track record of helping consumers get their money back by mediating their complaints is another example of how we're continuing our work to make state government more effective and efficient."
The total amount recovered through mediation efforts by the Attorney General's Office in 2006 was $5,205,826. Since Nixon became Attorney General in 1993, his office has returned more than $33 million to consumers through informal mediation.
In addition to the $5.2 million returned to consumers through informal mediation, Nixon recovered $5,510,655 in consumer restitution through legal action brought by the Consumer Protection Division. Division attorneys obtained nine criminal convictions, 22 injunctions, 22 assurances of voluntary compliance and 37 judgments in 2006. On top of the consumer restitution, those legal actions resulted in orders for $2,205,000 in civil penalties for Missouri schools, $550,000 for antitrust law enforcement efforts, and $823,845 for consumer law enforcement and consumer education.
Nixon also credited the addition in 2006 of a complaint form that can be submitted online with enhancing the efficiency of attorneys, investigators, complaint analysts, hotline operators and other staff within the Consumer Protection Division.
"Missourians can go online to ago.mo.gov at any time of the day or night to send us a consumer complaint form," Nixon says.
In addition to the Web site, Missourians also can contact the Attorney General's Office with a consumer complaint or question through the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.