Montana consumer complaints

Troy Carter filed this request with the Montana Department of Justice of Montana.


From: Troy Carter

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Montana's Constitution, Article II, ยง 9, I hereby request the following records:

A report showing the names and number of complaints made against businesses from May 23, 2008 until the date this request is processed that are used to populate the Montana Dept. of Justice's Office of Consumer Protection "Supplier Search" accessible online at, preferably in a common electronic format .csv, .ods, or .xls

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.


Troy Carter
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

From: Barnes, John


Because we were able to fulfill this request within 1-2 hours, fees have been waived per our standard practice.

Attached is an Excel file containing the data you requested. Please note the following:

1. This information shows only the number of complaints the Office of Consumer Protection has received concerning a business. The information does not show how many of those complaints resulted in actual violations by the business.

2. This is a raw data file based strictly on the information submitted to the agency. Consequently, there are misspellings and duplicate entries.

3. A few businesses will be listed followed by a zero. In such cases, no complaint was made. Perhaps there was a discussion with an OCP staff member, and the would-be caller decided not to pursue the matter but we logged it nonetheless.

If, after reviewing the data keeping the aforementioned caveats in mind, you have additional questions, please contact me directly.

John Barnes
Director of Communications
Montana Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General