About the Consumer Counsel
Please Note: The Consumer Counsel is not able to represent individual consumers, nor does the office participate in unregulated utility matters, such as those involving electric cooperatives. See related links below for other consumer assistance resources.
With minor exceptions, Consumer Counsel advocacy is limited to regulated utility services. These do not include electric cooperatives or wireless communication services, for example. Please call our office if you are unsure about the regulated status of a particular service.
For consumer issues that are not utility-related, he Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection offers assistance regarding some. They can be contacted at Department of Justice - Attorney General - Office of Consumer Protection
If you do have a complaint about a regulated service, it is usually a good idea to start by contacting the utility providing that service.
The Public Service Commission also has an office that will assist with unresolved utility consumer complaints. They can be reached at 800-646-6150, or http://psc.mt.gov/For-Consumers/Request-Assistance.
While Consumer Counsel does not represent individual consumers, we are interested in issues that have broader applicability and that might be pursued on behalf of consumer interests generally. We can also offer information concerning the process for pursuing individual complaints with the Public Service Commission. The formal complaint process is detailed at this link: http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/Subchapterhome.asp?scn=38%2E2.21
You can provide informal and formal comment on rate cases and other Commission proceedings in several ways.
General comments can always be submitted using the contact information on the Commission website at http://psc.mt.gov/
Written comments regarding a particular proceeding can be offered at the following link: http://psc.mt.gov/Documents-Proceedings/Comment-On-A-Proceeding
Most rate cases involve lengthy “technical” hearings which can be attended in person or observed via webcast through a link on the Commission’s website noted above. Formally intervening parties’ witnesses offer testimony and are cross examined at these hearings. Opportunities for public comment are also offered at times during the technical hearings. Around the same time as the formal hearing, the Commission often also holds separate public information hearings that provide an additional opportunity for public comment. Notices for dates and times of these hearings can be found on the Commission website.
The Commission website also provides further information on public participation: http://psc.mt.gov/Documents-Proceedings/Public-Participation