Common Problems: Who to Contact

In some cases, the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is not the correct place for consumers, businesses or nonprofit organizations to seek assistance. The OCP cannot act as your private attorney. State law prohibits the office from giving individual citizens legal advice or opinions, or acting as their private attorney.

If you believe that you need legal advice, you will have to turn to another source such as a private attorney, legal aid society or other organization. The State Bar of Montana or Montana Legal Services Association may be able to offer referrals or other information.

If you believe you have been the victim of an unfair or deceptive business practice, you may file a complaint online.

Issue Concerning Agency Responsible Phone Number (406 area code)
Advertising, deceptive and misleading Prohibited forms of marketing including false claims and bait and switch. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Antitrust Antitrust issues, including price fixing, monopoly abuse and restraint of trade. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Banking Title loans, payday loans, credit unions, finance companies, state banks, mortgage broker and loan originator licensing. Commissioner on Banking 841-2920
Business registration Whether a business is properly registered in Montana. Secretary of State 444-3665
Car and truck sales and repair Problems with new and used cars and trucks, including repair, towing, warranty and New Vehicle Warranty Act (Lemon Law) violations. See the Vehicles and the Lemon Law page. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Charities and nonprofit organizations Registration requirements. See the For Nonprofits page for a summary of the laws relating to nonprofit corporations and charitable trusts. Secretary of State 444-3665
Telemarketing, solicitation and advertising restrictions/regulations. See the Telemarketing page. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Contractors registration Requests for registered contractors. For tips on how to find the best contractor, see the Choosing a Contractor page. Employment Relations Division, Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) 444-7734
Credit management services Debt consolidation, debt settlement, credit counseling and pre-bankruptcy counseling.See the Credit Counseling Services. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Digital Television 2009 switch to digital-only television transmission, ending analog broadcasting. See FCC’s digital television website. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (888) 225-5322
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Discrimination Discrimination based on race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sex (pregnancy) familial status (in housing), and political belief in both public and private settings, such as work, housing and access to government services. Human Rights Bureau, DLI 444-2884;
(800) 542-0807
Door-to-door sales Any sale that did not take place at a location owned by the business involved. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Foreign lotteries To report phone calls, e-mails or mail indicating that you have won a foreign lottery. U.S. Secret Service or File a Consumer Complaint 245-8585
Gas pricing Complaints about gas prices, including price fixing or gouging, and illegal dealing in the gas trade. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Gas pumps Accuracy of gas pumps. Weights & Measures Bureau, DLI 443-8065
General state government Questions about government agencies other than DOJ. Citizens’ Advocate (800) 332-2272
Health care professionals Services provided by state-licensed health care professionals, including doctors, dentists, chiropractors, alternative practitioners, hearing aid medical examiners, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists, etc. Healthcare Licensing Bureau, DLI 841-2300
Identity Theft Steps to take if you suspect that someone has stolen your identity. Also see the Identity Theft page. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Insurance and securities Car and house insurance, securities fraud, multi-level marketing, title companies and pyramid schemes. State Auditor’s Office 444-2040;
(800) 332-6148
Internet Online sales, including e-Bay; Internet fraud, including phishing; buying prescription drugs online, and spam. See the Internet Security page. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Landlord/Tenant Tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, rental agreements, security deposits and eviction. Go to For Tenants and Landlords for referral to appropriate agencies.
Money orders To verify a money order or report fake money orders received as contest “winnings.” U.S. Secret Service 245-8585
Nonprofit organizations See Charities and nonprofit organizations above.
Phone services and utilities Telephone charges or changes such as slamming and cramming; power and utility companies. Public Service Commission 444-6150;
(800) 646-6150
Professional and occupational licensing Services provided by state-licensed professionals, including architects, cosmetologists, electricians, outfitters and guides, plumbers, private security officers and investigators, real estate agents, etc. See Health care professionals above. Business & Occupational Licensing Bureau, DLI 841-2300
Telemarketing Phone solicitation, Montana’s do-not-call list, unwanted faxes and business registration. See the Telemarketing page. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Unfair acts by a business Changing a contract after a sale, abusive arbitration and debt collection misconduct. Office of Consumer Protection 444-4500;
(800) 481-6896
Wage and hour disputes Overtime pay, withholding paychecks and minimum wage violations. Labor Standards Bureau, DLI 444-5600
Workers compensation Workers’ compensation claims assistance. Claims Assistance Bureau, DLI 444-6543
Water wells Problems with a well’s operation, including contamination. Water Resources Division, DNRC 444-6643