Resolving Consumer Complaints

The ICC's Consumer Services Division provides assistance to consumers in the resolution of informal complaints with regulated utilities and other entities. Informal complaints, as the name implies, are those handled by the Staff that works for the ICC, and are not formally considered by the Commission itself. The informal complaint process is a required step that must be taken before a formal complaint can be filed at the ICC. It is important to note, however, that the informal complaint procedure does not serve as a placeholder when it comes to the 2 year time limit for a utility customer to seek relief for the product or service performed or for an incorrect billing(refunds). Under Illinois law, only the formal complaint can do this, so when you make your informal complaint, please be certain to let us know how far back in time this matter extends. If the informal complaint process cannot secure the resolution you are seeking or the utility fails to respond in a timely fashion, then you may file a formal complaint. Once filed with the Commission, the formal complaint will be given a docket number and assigned to an Administrative Law Judge. If the formal complaint proceeds to a hearing, the process is similar to a court hearing.

Filing an Informal Complaint

Counselors in the ICC's Consumer Services Division are available to provide assistance to consumers in the resolution of informal complaints with public utilities and other entities. The Consumer Counselor handling your case will work with you to try to resolve your concerns with the utility as quickly as possible -- typically within 1 to 14 days. You may file your complaint in one of three different ways:

  1. Online
    File an informal complaint online
  2. By Phone
    You can reach us between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday by calling 1-800-524-0795, 1-217-782-2024 outside the State of Illinois, or TTY at 1-800-858-9277. If you are contacting us regarding an urgent matter (such as a disconnection notice) please call.

  3. By Mail
    You can send us your comments or complaint by US Mail:

    Illinois Commerce Commission
    527 East Capitol Ave
    Springfield, IL. 62701


Filing a Formal Complaint

If a resolution is not reached through the informal complaint process, the consumer may pursue the matter by filing a formal complaint to be considered by the Commission. The necessary forms for filing will be sent to the consumer by the Chief Clerk’s office. Once filed with the Commission, the formal complaint will be given a docket number and assigned to an Administrative Law Judge. If the formal complaint proceeds to a hearing, the process is similar to a court hearing. Consumers may use a lawyer's service, though it is not required. This Reference Guide link offers information for preparing for a formal hearing. After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will consider the testimony presented; review the evidence; and recommend a decision on the case to the Commission. In accordance with Section 9-252 of the Public Utilities Act, a formal complaint must be filed with the Commission within two years from the time the product, commodity or service as to which the complaint is made was furnished or performed. In accordance with 9-252.1 of the Public Utilities Act, a formal complaint related to an incorrect billing must be filed with the Commission no more than two years after the date the customer first has knowledge of the incorrect billing.