DATCP's fan base
Bill Lueders is right on the money in his analysis of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: "These regulators politely ask a company that's ripping people off for its side of the story, before throwing up their hands and saying there's nothing more they can do" ("The Problem with Regulators," 6/4/10).
The only time I've had DATCP meaningfully intervene was two decades ago, after I got the staff of Russ Feingold (then still a state senator) to lean on them. I was dealing with a phenomenally bad landlord who, after DATCP's intervention, offered me two Christmas hams as compensation (I'm vegetarian).
I stupidly decided to try DATCP again last year. A cable company mistakenly billed me for someone else's service (at an address where I'd never lived!), then cut off my service when I wouldn't pay the overcharge. In the end, the company gave DATCP a nonsensical response and DATCP said okay, case resolved. Nothing more we can do!
Bill Lueders: Your column on DATCP was spot-on. I've been following Dan Cassuto's reporting on the agency [on WKOW Channel 27] with great interest, because our office exclusively represents Wisconsin consumers taken advantage of by predatory businesses.
We've been doing this for more than six years and still have a difficult time letting people know we are here to help victims of predatory businesses. So your point about lawyers doing a better job than regulators at protecting the public really hit home.
Ivan Hannibal, Archibald Consumer Law Office
Insurance safeguards needed
I am appalled that American Family Insurance Company dumps an elderly woman for needing her insurance and that they can get away with this ("Two Claims in a Year? Get Lost!" 6/11/10). The state needs tougher laws and to have safeguards against that happening.