The Savvy Vermont Consumer -- From the VT Attorney General's Office

Information from Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to assist all Vermonter’s to become savvy consumers!

Consumer Alert:
          Data Privacy: CAP is warning consumers with in-home wireless internet to protect themselves from internet snoops by ensuring that they have set the encryption on their system to require a password and to block outside “snoopers”.  Read more about the steps to take to protect your information at

Entitled to a Refund?
          DIRECTV:  Under the December 2010 settlement with DIRECTV, Vermont consumers may be eligible for a refund if they had a DIRECTV billing problem as a result of charges for service, including differences in advertising and actual billing for programs, cancellation fees, or extended contract charges.  The charge must have occurred after January 1, 2007 and not already been refunded.  To be eligible, consumers must file a Refund Request Form by June 9, 2011, if they have not previously filed a complaint with CAP.  Information and a Refund Request Form can be obtained by calling CAP at 800-649-2424.

CAP Monthly Motto:
“To save a dime, take the time, and check your monthly billing statements”
CAP has seen an increase in complaints of unauthorized charges being added to consumer’s monthly bills.  Unauthorized charges are appearing on telephone bills, fuel bills as well as credit card statements.  Savvy consumers review their billing statements regularly, even those they receive on line, to check for unauthorized charges and billing errors. Find unauthorized charges? Call CAP at 800-649-2424 or file a complaint at

Updates- Pyrofax
CAP received a number of complaints in December and January regarding a minimum usage fee assessed by Pyrofax. The company has agreed to refund any fees paid and does not have plans for an assessment in 2011.  Consumer Fraud Rule 111 places requirements on Vermont’s propane gas suppliers, including the disclosure of fees and adequate notice of fees. Consumers with questions about propane service fees, disconnections and refunds can contact CAP at 800-249-6464. NOTE: The price of propane gas or other heating fuels is not regulated.  

Consumer Information
          Considering buying a car, hiring a contractor, signing up with a debt settlement company, giving to a charity or wondering if a phone call, letter or email is a scam?  The CAP website has important information for consumers on all of these consumer topics and can answer consumer questions.  To access information or file a complaint go to:

CAP Monthly Top Complaint Areas:
1. Fuel    2. Motor Vehicles    3.  Credit  4.  Entertainment    5. Housing