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This profile was last updated on 8/8/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Jim Rabbitt

Wrong Jim Rabbitt?

Director of Government Relations

Local Address:  Madison , Wisconsin , United States
Cooperative Network

Employment History

  • Senior Analyst
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
  • Bureau Director
    State of Wisconsin
  • Senior Analyst
    Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Director of the Consumer Protection Division of the State Department of Agriculture
    Trade and Consumer Protection
  • Administrator
    Trade and Consumer Protection
  • Director of Government Relations
    Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Affairs
  • Head
    Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Affairs

Board Memberships and Affiliations

135 Total References
Web References
A third of phone numbers on no-call list to drop off on Dec. 1 [cached]
Jim Rabbitt is the director of the state Bureau of Consumer Protection.
He says about 573-thousand of the one-point-six (M) million numbers on the list will slide off it December first.
NACAA - National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, 23 Feb 2012 [cached]
Jim Rabbitt is the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection where he directs the work of four offices across the state. A twenty-year career in sales management and manufacturing was the perfect training ground for his responsibilities in consumer protection. He has co-authored consumer protection laws regulating auto repair, telephone and cable television sales, and door-to-door and mail order sales. He produces the state's "top ten" list of consumer complaints. Most recently, Jim was in charge of writing the rules that enabling Wisconsin's No-Call program. He is currently developing an Office of Privacy Protection to address issues around identity theft and privacy. Jim loves touring Wisconsin on his Harley in his spare time.
Jim Rabbitt, Director Bureau of Consumer Protection
News: State gears up for telemarket no-call (, 27 Dec 2002 [cached]
That's 41 percent of the 2.4 million residential lines, according to Jim Rabbitt, senior analyst for the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
But there is one big gap in the law - cellular phones.
Currently, cell phone numbers are hard to acquire, but telemarketers may find a way.
"The concern we have been hearing is that there are more people, mostly young people, who use the cell phone as their main phone, and then they have a computer line," Rabbitt said."As they start registering that cell phone number where they do business, at stores and financial institutions, those numbers may be available."
The no-call statute was written based on an old definition that only applies to hardwired phones into the residence, which can include computer lines, if people thought of registering them.
"Several legislators have expressed some concern about this," Rabbitt said."We will watch to see if that is a problem."
And state Sen.
"Telephone solicitors are working on their compliance systems, how to get their computers programmed so they are in compliance," Rabbitt said."We spent a fair number of days in December doing educational seminars for people who do telephone soliciting, so they know how they can comply."
And how well will enforcement work?
"We are looking at our counterparts in other states that have been doing this longer than we have.They have had mixed reports.
Those who enforce quickly and aggressively seem to have a better situation with fewer violations," Rabbitt said.
"Some telemarketers get a sense of which states will do something to enforce this.So we have a philosophy of progressive enforcement.If we have a violator. we will do what we can to get them to comply.If they will not, we go after them."
The workload may be significant for the 5.5 people on the enforcement staff.
"If you have a question about what is a violation, call us and we will do some research," Rabbitt said.
Some situations are tricky, he said.
"If you and I are talking at the ballgame and I say 'can I call you some day about the products I sell?' If you say 'yes,' you have exempted me," Rabbit said.
Regarding nonprofits, state officials look at tax codes.If a nonprofit has to pay sales tax or federal income tax on a particular activity, that is treated like a regular business."Say if AARP were selling hearing aid batteries, for example, they are not nonprofit at that point," Rabbitt said.
"The issue with insurance agents is whether you are a current customer.If you do business with them, they can call you about that business.But if an insurance company is offering a new, unrelated product, they cannot call.A lot of insurance agents do an annual review of your property insurance policy, so they could say then, 'can I call you about life insurance?' They cannot call unsolicited by you."
Published: 10:24 AM 12/27/02
Jim ..., 14 Oct 2011 [cached]
Jim Rabbitt
Jim Rabbitt is the Director of Government Relations for Cooperative Network, the trade association of cooperative businesses in Minnesota and Wisconsin. His area of responsibility includes Telecommunications, Credit Unions, Health Care, and Consumer Cooperatives.
Prior to joining Cooperative Network, Jim directed the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection's administration of more than sixty consumer fraud and unfair trade practice laws and was a primary author of several administrative rules most notably the Wisconsin No-Call rules.
Beginning with 1993 Act 496, that responsibility included creating and enforcing administrative rules ensuring fair practices in the subscription and billing practices of the telecommunications industry.
Jim brings the perspective that cooperative businesses are different from investor-owned businesses because their member-owners determine the goods and services they deliver and they return excess revenue to their local community in the form of patronage rebates or reinvestment into their cooperative.
But Jim Rabbitt, director of government relations at Cooperative Network and former director at the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection, said his members are worried that government action will undercut existing telecom services they already provide in rural areas by the customer-owned cooperatives he represents.
"If there is competition, so be it. But not supported with government dollars," said Rabbitt.
Marshfield News Herald - To combat crime, stores stiffen exchange policies, 29 Dec 2002 [cached]
There are no such state laws, said Jim Rabbitt, senior analyst for the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection.However, the state does require that stores honor their return policies, whatever they are, and advises retailers to post them to protect themselves, he said.
Rabbitt noted that most stores now request or require a receipt for any kind of return.In some cases, stores won't issue a cash refund even with a receipt, or will only give back the lowest sale price on an item.That makes it easier for retailers to control fraud and theft but can be a hassle for consumers.He suggests purchasing with a credit or debit card when possible, since most chains will agree to credit an account for the original price.
Target and Best Buy are two of a few chains that charge a 15 percent restocking fee to return major electronics, such as big-screen televisions or computers.On the other hand, Circuit City stores eliminated their restocking fee after customers complained, and now advertise a computerized system that keeps purchase records and makes it easier to return merchandise. Yet another consideration for shoppers is whether the store has a return deadline.Many stores want items returned within anywhere from 14 to 90 days from the date of purchase.When Rabbitt's wife purchased a piece of jewelry for a Christmas gift in November, she got the manager to hand-write an exception to the 30-day return deadline on the receipt, guaranteeing the gift could be returned after Christmas if necessary, he said.
But the costs of those policies have come back to haunt retailers, Rabbitt said. "These things kind of come and go with the economy.Instead of raising prices, some stores will do these things to cut costs a little bit," Rabbitt said."We advise consumers that the return and refund is part of the bargain you're making."
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