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A Consumer's Guide: How to File a Complaint Against a Dealership in Wisconsin

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Aug 25, 2023

Purchasing a vehicle from a dealership is a significant financial transaction, and consumers rightly expect fair and transparent dealings. However, issues can arise, and if you believe you've been treated unfairly or faced deceptive practices by a dealership in Wisconsin, you have the right to take action. Filing a complaint against a dealership can be an important step in protecting your rights as a consumer. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of filing a complaint against a dealership in Wisconsin, ensuring you're well-equipped to address any grievances you may have.

  1. Gather Evidence and Document the Issue

Before proceeding with a complaint, gather all relevant information and documents related to the issue. This may include:

  • Purchase or lease agreements
  • Repair invoices and receipts
  • Emails or correspondence with the dealership
  • Photos or videos of the vehicle's condition (if applicable)
  • Notes on conversations and interactions with dealership staff
  1. Contact the Dealership

Prior to filing a formal complaint, it's a good idea to communicate your concerns with the dealership's management. They might be able to address the issue and resolve the matter amicably. Be clear and concise in explaining your complaint, and request a written response or resolution plan.

  1. Research the Wisconsin Lemon Law

If your complaint involves a new or used vehicle that repeatedly exhibits defects affecting its safety, value, or use, you might be protected under Wisconsin law. This law provides remedies for consumers who purchase vehicles with substantial defects. These laws are complex and you may need a legal consultation to understand them. 

  1. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)

If your complaint remains unresolved after contacting the dealership, you can file a formal complaint with the WisDOT's Dealer and Agent Section. Here's how:

  • Online: Visit the WisDOT Dealer and Agent Section's website and fill out the online complaint form. Provide all relevant details and attach supporting documents.

  • By Mail: You can also download a complaint form from the WisDOT website, fill it out, and mail it to the Dealer and Agent Section along with copies of relevant documents.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Dealer and Agent Section 4802 Sheboygan Ave., Room 201 P.O. Box 7909 Madison, WI 53707-7909

  1. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

For issues related to deceptive practices, misrepresentation, or unfair business practices, you can file a complaint with the DATCP. The Consumer Protection Bureau handles these complaints. You can file a complaint online through the DATCP website or contact them directly for assistance.

  1. Consider Legal Assistance

If your complaint involves complex legal issues or significant financial harm, you might want to consult an attorney specializing in consumer protection or automotive law. An attorney can provide guidance on your legal rights, potential remedies, and options for pursuing legal action if necessary.


Filing a complaint against a dealership in Wisconsin is a vital step in protecting your consumer rights and seeking a fair resolution to any issues you've faced. Remember to gather evidence, communicate your concerns with the dealership, and explore the options available through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. By following these steps and staying informed about your rights, you can navigate the process of filing a complaint with confidence and work towards a satisfactory resolution.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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