Division of Public Utilities
801-530-7622 or 800-874-0904
Informal Complaint Process
If you have a complaint against a utility company regulated by the Public Service Commission you should first try to resolve the problem directly with the company by calling the phone number listed on your utility bill. If you have tried to resolve the problem with the company and are not satisfied with the results, you can file an informal complaint with the Division of Public Utilities (DPU). There are three options for filing an informal complaint.
- File a written complaint with the DPU. This can be done by mailing a simple letter with the needed information to the DPU. If you choose to file a written complaint, please be sure your complaint is complete and legible. Incomplete or illegible complaints will be returned. Please state your complaint in simple, straightforward, non-technical language. Decide what you want to accomplish in complaining (e.g., Do you wish to express concern about rates? Do you want your telephone fixed? Do you want to make sure you are being charged the proper rate?). Be specific in stating your complaint.
The DPU’s address is:
Utah Division of Public Utilities
P.O. Box 146751
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6751
- Contact the DPU during regular business hours at 801-530-7622 or 800-874-0904.
- Submit a complaint electronically by clicking here.
The DPU will investigate and attempt to mediate a consumer complaint. You will receive a response from either the utility company or the DPU usually within five working days from the day the complaint is received by the DPU, however, some responses can take up to thirty days. If you are unsatisfied with the result of your informal complaint, the DPU will provide you with a form that will be used to file your formal complaint with the Public Service Commission.
Public Service Commission Formal Complaint Process
Formal complaints filed with the Public Service Commission (PSC) are the last resort in the complaint process. A customer cannot file a formal complaint unless the customer has first attempted to resolve the complaint through the informal process, administered by the DPU, described above. If, after the DPU’s efforts to investigate, mediate, and resolve the complaint are concluded, the customer is dissatisfied with the outcome, the customer may file a formal complaint with the PSC.
The DPU will provide the customer with basic instructions concerning submission of the formal complaint. Additional written instructions about the content and filing of formal complaints, as well as the complaint litigation process, are available from the Office of Consumer Services. This information may be obtained by writing or visiting the Office of Consumer Services at: Heber M. Wells Bldg., 2nd floor, 160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6782.
The PSC’s ability to resolve disputes between customers and utilities is confined to those powers expressly granted to the PSC by the State Legislature. In general, the PSC’s jurisdiction involves assuring the rates utilities charge are just and reasonable, and the service provided is safe, adequate and reliable: in other words, the utility is providing service in accordance with its approved tariffs. While the PSC has authority to direct a utility follow its tariffs, the PSC does not have authority to award damages to customers who believe they have been harmed because a utility violated its tariffs.
The formal complaint process is much like a civil trial. The complaint, the utility’s answer, and other documents filed with the PSC become part of a case file, or docket, which is a public record. These materials may be available for public inspection under the Government Records Access and Management Act (Utah Code Ann. § 63G-2-101 et seq.). Under certain circumstances, however, information that is personal or confidential may be protected from public disclosure.
When a customer files a formal complaint, the affected utility is notified and given an opportunity to respond in writing to the allegations in the complaint. The period for response is usually 30 days. The utility will file the response with the PSC and mail a copy to the customer. The customer is then given an opportunity to reply. This reply generally must be filed within 15 days of the filing date of the utility’s response. Please note: Complaints filed with the PSC are public documents and will be published on the PSC’s website.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) will review the filed documents and notify the customer and the utility in writing concerning the schedule for the proceeding. That notification from the ALJ will include basic instructions on how the customer can participate in the proceeding. Many formal complaint proceedings include a hearing before the ALJ during which the complaining customer and the utility present sworn testimony and other evidence for the PSC’s consideration. The PSC’s decision on the complaint will be presented in a written order.
Questions concerning the PSC’s formal complaint process should be directed to PSC Secretary Gary Widerburg at (801) 530-6716.