How to File a Consumer Complaint

  • Amy

Do you feel like you have a voice if something goes wrong with a product or service you bought? Filing a consumer complaint may seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be.

First step you need to take is to gather all your paper work related to the purchase. Such as receipts, contracts, warranties, or confirmations.

The second step 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. To find the company's customer service contact information, look for "contact us", "customer service", "about us", "terms and conditions" or "privacy statement" on the company's website.

If the seller fails to fix your issue you can move on to step three contacting third parties. 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. 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.

If none of the above steps worked out you might want to Seek legal help. You may seek to resolve your problem through the legal system or through an alternative dispute program, such as arbitration, conciliation, or mediation.

File a Complaint About Online Purchases

If you have problems during an online transaction, try to work them out directly with the seller or website. If that does not work, file a complaint with:

If you made your online purchase using your credit card, you can dispute your charges with your credit card company.