Consumer Assistance Program : University of Vermont

University of Vermont

Consumer Hotline:  Toll Free In VT (800) 649-2424 or (802) 656-3183


Filing a CAP complaint:  Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

Can I speak with someone on the phone? 

You can contact us by phone on our hotline toll free in Vermont at (800) 649-2424, or from outside of Vermont at (802) 656-3183.  The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm.  If you wish for us to contact a business about your complaint, we will require a complaint from you in writing before we do so.

Can I stop by your office to discuss my complaint?

The Consumer Assistance Program is not set up for in-person appointments.  We require complaints in writing.  If you are unable to write your complaint or need assistance doing so, please call us at 800-649-2424 (toll free in VT) or (802) 656-3183.

What additional information should I send to you?

CAP's mediation process is not a court or legal proceeding.  We do not require "proof" of your claim to process your complaint.  Please send us only the materials that will better assist the business in understanding and responding to your complaint.  

Also, since information sent to our office becomes public record, we are not able to return documents to you.  Please send only copies of documents to our office, do not send originals.

What happens when I file a complaint?

When you file a complaint in writing with CAP, we forward your complaint to the business with a request from our office that they contact you to resolve your complaint.  

While we are not a court of law, we find that a majority of complaints we send to businesses get resolved in some manner.  Complaints received by CAP are housed in our database and are available to the public for up to six years.  Additionally, the attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General use data from the CAP complaint database to help identify trends and issues as they work to enforce Vermont's consumer laws.

What is letter mediation?

When you submit a written consumer complaint, CAP forwards your complaint to the business involved to request a response.  This is an attempt resolve the issue without involving an attorney, or the court system.  Because the Attorney General's Office is the attorney for the state of Vermont, our office does not represent either party as their attorney.  

What happens if my complaint is not resolved?

If the business is not able or willing to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction after they have been contacted by CAP, we will close your complaint as unable to be resolved.  This status stays on record with your complaint for six years.  If CAP closes your complaint as such, and you still wish to pursue your complaint, we will refer you to small claims court, a private attorney, or another governmental agency, where appropriate.

On occassion, unresolved complaints filed with CAP will support further legal action by the Attorney General on behalf of Vermont consumers.  This kind of action would not be brought on your individual behalf.  In such cases, an investigator may contact you regarding a complaint you previously filed with CAP, even if CAP has closed your complaint.  These actions may sometimes result in some remedy for consumers with similar complaints, and the Office of the Attorney General will contact you with any important updates.  Neither CAP nor the Office of the Attorney General will comment on any ongoing investigation or pending litigation.  These processes take time and you may not hear from the Office of the Attorney General until a resolution, if any, has been reached.

Last modified April 06 2017 01:56 PM

Contact UVM © 2018 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131