Nessel reissues consumer alerts while areas deal with flooding, outages

Following yet another round of significant rainfall, flooding and power outages, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding Michigan residents of important consumer alerts to avoid additional hardship. 

Nessel is reminding people to research contractors if home repairs are needed before paying for a project and alerting drivers to beware of water-damaged vehicles being sold on the used car market. Additionally, Nessel has a consumer alert on vehicle towing that explains the process to complain about reasonable fees for necessary towing.

As the fall season sets in and residents prepare for colder months, Nessel is also reissuing her Utility Imposter Scams Consumer Alert. These types of scams often involve a threat to turn off a utility unless the resident pays a certain amount of money in a short amount of time. But scammers can also impersonate a utility company to convince a consumer a utility—like electricity—can be fixed sooner if they pay an additional fee.

“Michigan residents have endured tremendous hardship due to severe weather in recent months, and unfortunately this week brings flooding and power outages once again,” Nessel said. “Our Consumer Protection team remains committed to investigating complaints from anyone who believes bad actors are looking to take advantage of devastating situations.”

Those experiencing power outages are encouraged to share their outage experience online through the Department’s Outage Feedback Form found at www.michigan.gov/ag. Last month, Nessel launched the feedback initiative to begin gathering information focused on the state’s power companies. The Department has received nearly 4,500 responses to date. 

The feedback provides valuable insight as she continues to advocate for consumers before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), which regulates utility companies. 

As part of that regulatory oversight, MPSC announced a technical conference on Emergency Preparedness, Distribution Reliability, and Storm Response to be held on October 22. Last
Friday, Nessel submitted recommendations for that conference, which primarily focused on prioritizing the protection of customers during extreme weather events and improving benchmarks for grid upgrades meant to address frequent outages – such as tracking tree trimming. The input also provided MPSC with the National Association of Statute Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) 2019 resolution regarding emergency disaster preparedness.

Nessel launched her Power Outage Listening Tour this week and held the first in-person public event Monday night in Novi. Additional stops are still in the planning process and will be announced once they’re solidified.

To file a complaint with the Department of Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:

Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
517-335-7599
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll free: 877-765-8388

Online complaint form: https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx.

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