CONSUMER COMPLAINT STEPS
• Step One: Complain as soon as possible. This increases your chance
for a satisfactory settlement. If you postpone complaining, the company may
not be responsible for solving your problem.
• Step Two: Contact the merchant who sold you the product or service
by phone. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have. Clearly present
your problem, and make sure relevant information is on hand, including: a
description of the item model and/or serial number, account number, receipt,
billing statement or canceled check. Have a clear, brief explanation of what
the problem is and how you want the merchant to respond.
• Step Three: If phone contact is unsuccessful, try to go to the merchant
in person and ask to speak to the manager or a supervisor.
• Step Four: If your first two attempts result in failure, it is time
to put your complaint in writing. The letter may be sent to the merchant or
the manufacturer. Complaint letters are important because a business may ignore
a complaint if it is not in writing. Sometimes the person who has the authority
to solve the problem may not be aware of your complaint, and a letter brings
it to their attention.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A COMPLAINT LETTER
• Your name, address, home and work phone numbers, including when you
can be reached
• Your account number, if applicable
• A brief explanation of the problem and important facts
• The model, make, and serial number of the item
• A description of what you have done to resolve the problem
• How you would like the problem resolved
• Copies of all related documents (keep the originals for future reference)
• If your complaint is concerning a service, include a description of
the service and the name of the person who performed it.
In most cases, a letter will result in a satisfactory settlement. However,
if the manufacturer or business does not cooperate, you may want to take additional
Contact the Better Business Bureau. Their services are free and they may be
able to assist you in finding a resolution to your problem. You may contact
the Consumer Protection Agency of your state's Attorney General's office to
file a formal complaint, or you may file in Small Claims Court.