OPC’s mission to advocate on behalf of consumers includes not only advocacy before regulatory bodies, but also mediating resolutions for individual consumer complaints. OPC’s comprehensive consumer complaints resolution process ensures utility ratepayers are adequately represented in their disputes with utility service providers.
The steps of the complaints resolution process include:
- Consumer Services Division (CSD) staff receives complaints by phone, email, fax, community meetings, referrals from non-profit organizations, government agencies and the DC Council.
- CSD staff interviews the consumer to gather information about their complaint and provide them with a description of OPC’s informal complaints resolution process.
- CSD initiates an investigation with the utility company.
- CSD staff contacts the consumer to review the investigation findings.
- If the consumer is dissatisfied, CSD staff informs the consumer that they can ask the Public Service Commission (PSC) to open a complaint investigation. Based on the findings of the PSC investigation, the consumer can request a PSC informal hearing and, subsequently, a formal hearing if the consumer is not satisfied with the decision. OPC can formally represent the consumer at a formal hearing convened by the PSC.