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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: How to file a consumer complaint in New Hampshire or Maine

April 15, 2009

On occasion, we all have bad consumer experiences. Whether the experience involves purchase of a defective product for which the store refused to accept a return or unprofessional sales people, it may warrant further action. When the conduct reaches a level where a consumer believes that something should be done, there is a simple process which can be pursued.

Both the New Hampshire and the Maine Attorney General’s office have a consumer protection division designed to handle all in-state consumer complaints. The applicable Attorney General’s office will review your complaint and may refer you to mediation or tell you to get a private attorney to pursue an action. If warranted, the Attorney General’s office may even file an enforcement action against the offender.

The process is fairly simple. First, you must file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. In New Hampshire, you can obtain forms online at http://www.egov.nh.gov/consumercomplaint/ or you can request a complaint form through the mail at the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer and Antitrust Bureau, 33 Capitol Street, Concord, NH 03301. The telephone number is (603)271-3641. In Maine, the process is slightly different, but also satisfactory. You can find information at http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/index.shtml. In Maine, contact the Consumer Information & Mediation Service, 6 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0006. The contact numbers are 1-800-436-2131 (In Maine Only) and 1-207-626-8849.

In New Hampshire, after your complaint is received, it will be read and reviewed by a paralegal and an attorney. Be aware that the Attorney General’s office receives many thousands of consumer inquiries per year, so it will likely take some time before your complaint is reviewed. After your complaint is reviewed, you may be advised to pursue the matter in small claims court or to contact a private attorney. You may also be directed to the Attorney General’s mediation program. On occasion, the Attorney General’s office may even pursue an enforcement action against the offender. In any event, the Attorney General’s office will keep your complaint on file in the event that it is needed for future reference. In Maine, like New Hampshire, filing a consumer complaint is a free and simple process with information easily accessible at the above website and address.

In conclusion, if you have a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General’s office. It is free. You may receive complete satisfaction after a review. At very least, your complaint will be kept on file. There is no downside to contacting the Consumer Protection Bureau of the Attorney General’s office and there may be a large upside.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay