Complaint Process

complaint

Division of Public Utilities
Marialie Wright
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 may file an informal complaint with the Division of Public Utilities (DPU). There are three options for filing an informal complaint.

  1. 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

  2. Contact the DPU during regular business hours at 801-530-7622 or 800-874-0904.
  3. 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 may take up to thirty days. If you are unsatisfied with the result of your informal complaint, the DPU will provide you with a form you may use to file a 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 may not 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 the DPU’s efforts to investigate, mediate, and resolve the complaint are concluded without the customer’s satisfaction, 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 on that office’s website at ocs.utah.gov or 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 powers expressly granted to the PSC in state law. 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. While the PSC may direct a utility follow the law, the PSC does not have authority to award damages to customers who believe they have been harmed because a utility violated the law.

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.

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 after 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. There may be 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 or gwiderburg@utah.gov.