Not all complaints and consumer issues fall under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection.  Additionally, state law prohibits the Office of Consumer Protection from giving individual advice or opinions, or acting as their private attorney.  There are numerous links below to websites for legal advice, general consumer information, and specific consumer issues.

LEGAL ADVICE:
If you believe that you need legal advice, you will have to turn to another source such as a private attorney, legal aid society or other organization. The State Bar of Montana or Montana Legal Services Association may be able to offer referrals or other information.  Also, you can check with National Consumer Law Center.

GENERAL CONSUMER INFORMATION:
The websites below contain a wealth of information on numerous consumer concerns, provide help with consumer complaints and educate consumers to make better choices in the marketplace.

SPECIFIC ISSUES:

Issue Concerning Agency Responsible
Business registration Whether a business is properly registered in Montana. Secretary of State
Contractors registration Requests for registered contractors. For tips on how to find the best contractor, see the Montana Contractor page. Department of Labor and Industry (Montana Contractor)
Discrimination Discrimination based on race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sex (pregnancy) familial status (in housing), and political belief in both public and private settings, such as work, housing and access to government services. Department of Labor & Industry (Human Rights Bureau)
Foreign lotteries To report phone calls, e-mails or mail indicating that you have won a foreign lottery. U.S. Secret Service or File a Consumer Complaint
Gas pumps Accuracy of gas pumps. Department of Labor & Industry (Weights & Measures Bureau)
General state government Questions about government agencies other than DOJ. Citizens’ Advocate
Health care professionals Services provided by state-licensed health care professionals, including doctors, dentists, chiropractors, alternative practitioners, hearing aid medical examiners, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists, etc. Department of Labor & Industry (Healthcare Licensing Bureau)
Insurance and securities Car and house insurance, securities fraud, multi-level marketing, title companies and pyramid schemes. State Auditor’s Office
Money orders To verify a money order or report fake money orders received as contest “winnings.” U.S. Secret Service
Phone services and utilities Telephone charges or changes such as slamming and cramming; power and utility companies. Public Service Commission
Professional and occupational licensing Services provided by state-licensed professionals, including architects, cosmetologists, electricians, outfitters and guides, plumbers, private security officers and investigators, real estate agents, etc. See Health care professionals above. Department of Labor & Industry (Business & Occupational Licensing Bureau)
Wage and hour disputes Overtime pay, withholding paychecks and minimum wage violations. Department of Labor & Industry (Labor Standards Bureau)
Workers compensation Workers’ compensation claims assistance. Department of Labor & Industry (Claims Assistance Bureau)
Water wells Problems with a well’s operation, including contamination. Department of Natural Resources (Water Resources Division
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