June 28, 2004
OBTAINING COMPLAINT INFORMATION
By: Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst
You asked how the departments of consumer protection and motor vehicles respond to inquiries about consumer complaints.
A consumer can contact the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) by telephone, post, and Internet and ask whether a license holder has had any complaints lodged against him and for the disposition of those complaints. DCP provides complaint information immediately through its website and by telephone. It also responds to written inquiries.
A consumer can also contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in three ways. However, it provides complaint information about a dealer or repairer only in response to written requests sent on DMV forms.
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION
A consumer can contact DCP in three ways: telephone, post, and Internet. Through all three means a consumer can find out quickly whether a license holder has had any complaints lodged against him and the disposition of those complaints.
For example, a consumer can go to DCP's website (www.state.ct.us/dcp), click on “License lookup,” select the business type of the license holder, type in his last name, and then click for more details. The window that appears allows a consumer to see what, if any, complaints have been filed and what, if any, disciplinary actions have been taken.
DCP's toll-free hotline is 1-800-842-2649.
Its postal address is:
Department of Consumer Protection
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
A consumer can also contact DMV in three ways, but DMV provides complaint information about dealers and repairers only in response to written requests. Its telephone number has a phone tree that informs a consumer how to file a complaint (using Form K-35) but does not make it clear how to obtain complaint information. Its website (www.ct.gov/dmv) informs a consumer that complaint information may be obtained by written request.
A consumer can obtain a list of complaints filed against a specific dealer and or repairer within a certain time period by submitting a letter to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Dealers and Repairers Division
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161
According to DMV's website, the letter should include the name and address of the business and the timeframe in which you are interested.
A consumer can also request copies of specific complaints against a dealer or repairer. To do so, a consumer must obtain a Copy Records Request (Form J-23). A consumer must indicate on the form that he wants a copy of a specific dealer or repairer complaint and include the names of the dealer and complainant, the approximate date the complaint was filed, and the case number, if known. The request may be sent to the above address.