How to File a Complaint Against a Company

If you have problems with a product or service you buy, you have a right to complain and seek a fix or correction. How you go about it will make a huge difference in how suvccessful you are, and how happy you are with the results. Here's the best approach:

  1. Be prepared:
    A few common sense steps before you buy something can make a big difference after the same:
    Receipts: Use your cell phone or tablet to take a photo of the receipt for any substantial purchases you make. If you take a photo of the receipt the moment the cashier hands it to you, you won't have to worry about losing the paper copy later, or it fading or becoming damaged. Do this for anything you think you might want to return or is expensive.
    Communications: If youhave any commmunications about the product or service, such as about a warranty, color, condition, etc., document them and save them.  Better still, if you live in a 1-party recording state, use a phone app like Automatic Call RTecorder to record the conversations and save them, should you later need proof.  See this page for information about when and how you can legally record phone conversations
  2. Gather and save supporting documents:
    Such as sales receipts, warranties, contracts, and work orders from the purchase.
    Also, print out email messages or logs of any contact you've had with the seller about the purchase.
  3. Contact the seller, preferably in writing.
    You may be able to solve the problem by contacting a salesperson or customer service representative. If this doesn't work, contact a supervisor or manager. If this still fails, try going higher up to the national headquarters. Use this sample complaint letter (DOC, Download Word Reader) as an example.
  4. Contact consumer protection agencies,
    If the seller refuses to fix your problem adquetely.
    File a complaint with your local consumer protection offices or the state regulatory agency or licensing board that has jurisdiction over the seller.
    Notify the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your area about your problem. The BBB tries to resolve your complaints against companies. There are, however, complaints that sometimes the BBB acts in the interests of the companies.
    Some federal agencies accept complaints about companies.  While these agencies may not resolve your problem, your complaint helps them investigate fraud.
    If the purchase was made online across international borders, you may also file a complaint with econsumer.gov.
  5. Seek legal help.
    If none of these options work, you may seek to resolve your problem through the legal system or through an alternative dispute program, such as arbitration, conciliation, or mediation.

 

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