Tips to File a Formal Complaint Against a Business
There are various goods and services available in the market. It is true that not all of them are genuine and authentic products. If you are affected by such frauds committed by a business, you can complain against it.
Before you register a complaint against a company, which you think has scammed you and sold you some bogus purchase, talk to the business authorities and request for the refund of the item that you purchased. Also, tell them that, you will pass on your experience (good or bad), to the concerned authorities. If the business group doesn’t comply with your request for a refund, then go the organization, recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Requirements Before Lodging a Complaint
- Conversational records
- Receipt of the product you purchased
- Copy of the letter that you sent to the firm that scammed you
- Complete information about the business
Filing a Complaint
Federal Trade Commission is United States government agency, which promotes consumer protection by taking measures against fraud and deception. established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. Jon Leibowitz is the current chairman of the FTC agency. FTC keeps track on the scams and scammers, with the help of the following authorities. It also warns the public about the latest scams. Federal Trade Commission recommends the following organizations to file your complaint.
Attorney General’s Office
Depending on the state you belong to, you need to contact the Attorney General’s office through telephone or email. The complaint form will be available in the official site of the Attorney General’s office, and there you fill all the required details about yourself, company and a message explaining the fraud committed by the company against you. The Attorney General office will require the copy of the complaint letter that you have sent to firm or a person you are complaining about.
Points to be Mentioned in the Letter to the Business
- Name of the product purchased or repaired
- Serial and model number of the product
- Details of the transaction
- State of problem
- Requirement of a specific action
Enclose the copies of the pay receipts, guarantees and warranties, etc., in your letter to the business authorities for their reference. DO NOT sent the original documents even if asked for.
Local Better Business Bureaus
Better Business Bureau program is a good avenue to register the complaint. BBBOnline and Better Business Bureau system have made the process of complaint registration easy and fast. Though BBB system has limited power, but it registers the complaint, and maintain a listings of companies that cheat consumers. It gathers information from the consumers who complain about the service and get the consumer feedback. There are various categories in which the complaint can be filed. You can make your complaints about,
- General company complaints
- New cars
- Non-profit or charitable organizations
- Identity theft
- Advertising (websites too) directed at children
- misuse of personal information BBBonline authorities themselves.
Local Consumer Protection Office
Go to the consumer protection office website to register your complaint. They also alert the people about such fraudulent business firms and keep a track on the latest scams. To know your respective consumer protection office of your state, you can visit federal consumer action website, from where you can get the details of your local consumer protection office. On the federal consumer action website, you just need to click on Where to File a Complaint and State Offices and get the details.
The U.S. Postal service, is a government agency which will investigate the fraudulent mails sent by the scammer, in correspondence with your complaint. The offender will be prosecuted, if any such fraudulent mail practices are found.
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
If the scam was committed via Internet, you need report it to the federal government agency, IC3. It can be filed in the IC3 website, by providing the additional data required by them. If the scam is found to be significant, the perpetrator will be prosecuted in the federal court.
In case you want to lodge a complaint against any advertisement, then you can directly contact the advertising manager of the company that ran the advertisement. The advertising manager, may find out the problems you’ve had with the advertisement and he may cancel the future publications from the particular offender’s company.
Depending on the intensity of the issue and strong authenticated evidences, you need to deal with the issue. If you feel that the scam is highly offensive, then you can file a police complaint against the business and also notify the local media. By filing the right complaint, it would also help others, as they would not get deceived by the firm in the future.