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Mediation tried for consumer complaints
The Kansas Attorney General’s office has started a new consumer mediation program to resolve some matters without having to bring the parties to court.
“Through my new mediation program we can return money to consumers without stepping foot in a courtroom,” Attorney General Steve Six said in a news release. “This program will help us efficiently assist Kansas consumers while saving on the cost of expensive litigation.”
People who contact the AG’s consumer protection division about a problem may have a chance to resolve the matter more quickly and it could limit costs to the state and to the businesses complaints were filed against, Six said.
The Douglas County District Attorney’s office also has a consumer protection investigator. District Attorney Charles Branson said his office doesn’t try to compete with the attorney general, but offers county residents with consumer complaints the opportunity to get help locally or at the state level.
“We both can handle any of the things that could go on through consumer complaints,” Branson said. “If we refer anything to them typically its going to be somebody who’s acting outside the county also. The AG’s office has a wider jurisdiction across the state.”
Branson said his people also try to mediate a consumer dispute.
“Typically the way ours work, a complaint made to our office is sent on to the business and it has an opportunity to get a response back,” Branson said. “We may mediate it at that point or we may decide there is no violation or we’ll decide it is a clear violation. A lot of times we’ll look at mediation, but we don’t have a mediation program just for that purpose. We mediate everything.”
If you want to call the attorney general’s consumer office, call 1-888-428-8436. If you want to call Branson’s office, the consumer number is 330-2849.