Who We Are

 

 

Having knowledgeable consumers is South Dakota's first line of defense against fraud and deception.

The Division of Consumer Protection is your resource for important consumer information. We have strengthened our laws and have dedicated resources to guard against scam artists seeking to take advantage of South Dakotans. We encourage you to contact us before you act on what appears to be a good deal or an urgent call requiring your immediate attention. These offers are sometimes designed to take your hard earned funds.

Whether you feel like you have been scammed by a business or you are just confused by a bill you received, we are here to help. Our Investigators are here to help mediate and find a resolution to your consumer complaints.

The South Dakota Division of Consumer Protection consists of an Assistant Attorney General, a Director, five Investigators, and one Complaint Intake Specialist, all of whom work under the direction of the South Dakota Attorney General.

Major responsibilities of the Division of Consumer Protection:

Complaint Process

It is not only your right to complain to a business when you have a consumer problem; it is also your responsibility. Complaining is never easy, but is sometimes necessary. To help resolve consumer frustrations, the following recommendations are offered for your assistance:

If, after a reasonable length of time, you haven't received a satisfactory response to a complaint, you may need to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection. Make sure you have copies of bills, contracts, canceled checks, warranties and correspondence you have sent or received regarding the problem.

Whether you download the consumer complaint form or fill out the online complaint form, please make sure to keep copies of your completed form and copies of any relevant documents. If you would like a form mailed to you, please call 1-800-300-1986 (in-state) or 1-605-773-6585 for the hearing impaired.

Once we receive your complaint, the following steps are taken:

Your complaint will be kept in our files and will aid in determining the need for further action by our office. Your time in submitting this information is appreciated, and we hope our office can aid in resolving your complaint.

The law can provide only so much protection. The rest is up to you. Know your rights ahead of time. Wise buying can prevent consumer problems. Remember that the best consumer protection against fraud is an alert, informed consumer.

Taking Legal Action

If you decide that taking action on your own behalf, you can sue in small claims court for damages up to $12,000.00

The small claims court is an informal court which allows people to sue for small losses of money or property. The procedures are simple enough so that an individual can file and handle his own claim in court. Information on this website will explain how to bring about a small claims suit: http://ujs.sd.gov/uploads/pubs/small_claims_brochure.pdf

The parties (plaintiff and defendant) of the action must be at least 18 years old. If one of the parties is under the age of 18, his parent or guardian must represent him in the action. If there are a number of plaintiffs bringing action against one defendant, one of the plaintiffs may be authorized to act for all of them. A corporation may be represented by one of its officers, and a collection agency may act for a client who has made proper assignment of a debt.

Complaint Form

This website is for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice or as a policy of the South Dakota Attorney General. If you need advice on a particular issue, you should consult a private attorney or other experts.