MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, or DATCP, provided public documents on Friday after WKOW submitted a formal legal request.
DATCP produces a highlights brochure that claims the average savings after filing a consumer complaint through its hotline is $968.
Documents reveal that average is based on responses from 66 people.
More than 15,000 people submit written consumer complaints to DATCP every year. It is unclear how many of them receive a response.
WKOW has investigated the department since last fall for promising results to consumers when it doesn't have the staffing to possibly deliver what consumers expect.
WKOW asked the department to explain how many consumers it surveys for the "$968 average savings," but the department's spokesman and public information officer, Lee Sensenbrenner, would not tell us the number of consumers included in the average after more than a week of requests.
The documents also reveal that while more than 800 people received a copy of the survey asking how much money they saved after filing a complaint, 611 of them either said they recovered no money at all or didn't answer the question.
DATCP does not include these "$0" responses in its average; instead, it only bases the $968 average savings promoted in its brochure on the 66 people who said they saved money after calling the hotline.