The Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO) is the enforcement arm of over forty-five professional boards, commissions, and programs administratively attached to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. RICO receives complaints, conducts investigations, and prosecutes cases against licensed and unlicensed individuals and businesses.
Additionally, RICO assists the public by providing information about license status. RICO also provides limited information about complaints received and legal actions taken in both licensed and unlicensed cases.
To check to see if an individual or business is licensed, or to check for prior complaints call 587-4272. or visit. IThis information is also available online at www.hawaii.gov/dcca/quicklinks/online/business_online.
Please note that anyone can file a complaint with RICO. Not all complaints are valid or true, and some complaints simply cannot be substantiated. Therefore, we encourage consumers to note and consider the disposition of the complaints filed with our office. For example, a complaint may be inactivated because RICO determined there was no violation. Similarly, a complaint may be inactivated because there was insufficient evidence to prove a licensing law violation. While disposition information does not provide a complete picture of a complaint, it does indicate what action, if any, our office was able to take based on information it had obtained.
Lastly, our office encourages all consumers to do their own research…check with industry associations, the Better Business Bureau, friends, neighbors, and relatives who have used specific services. Never feel pressured into signing a contract or making a down payment. And, to protect yourself, always deal with licensed people and businesses. .
For more information on these and other topics, visit the State’s website at www.hawaii.gov/dcca/rico or call the Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272.