Steps In Filing A Complaint Against A Company
In cases that you have problems with purchases you made, you should know that you have the right to file a complaint. Here’s a step-by-step process of what you can do:
- Complete all documents
These documents are receipts, warranties, contracts and work orders, also you should print out e-mails or conversation logs with the seller.
- Contact the seller
Initially and preferably through a letter. Sometimes, these issues can be resolved if you are able to contact the sales person or the customer sales representative. If they are unable to resolve your problem, you can call the manager or supervisor and if still not resolved, you can now approach the national headquarters. Here is a sample complaint letter (DOC, Download Word Reader).
- Contact third parties
If despite the moves you made and the seller is still not able to resolve your problem, you can file a complaint at your local consumer protection offices or licensing board that has the authority over the seller or the state regulatory board. Aside from these agencies, you can contact the Better Business Bureau or any appropriate federal agency. If the transaction was made online, you can contact econsumer.gov
- Seek legal help
If you did all the steps and nothing was successful, you can raise your concerns through the legal system or other dispute programs like arbitration, mediation or conciliation.
Dispute Resolution Programs
There are companies who offer programs that help people solve disputes without going to court. If you are having a hard time finding a dispute resolution program, you can call your state’s attorney general or consumer protection office, law school clinics or the Better Business Bureau.
- Mediation is when the two parties meet together with a third party who will be the mediator as the two sides make a mutual agreement.
- Arbitration is when the third party decides for both sides
- Conciliation is similar to arbitration but it is not a group meeting. Both parties meet with the third party separately
Before you participate in any of these programs, make sure you understood the rules and ask yourself the following questions:
- How much will the program cost you?
- Are the decisions necessary?
- How was the program chosen for your case?
File A Complaint
If your transaction with the seller was made online, here is a list where you can file a complaint:
- Consumer protection agency
- Better Business Bureau
- Federal Trade Commission
- State Attorney General
Purchases involving credit cards can be disputed to your credit card company.
Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
Mandatory Arbitration Clauses prevents you from filing a case against a company. These are phrases found within a contract that states in cases of dispute, you are only allowed to settle it tgrough arbitration. This is one of the few things to find when purchasing things because they can appear as fine print and can be easily missed out. Although this may seem like a cheaper option when disputes happen, some say its unfair because you are no longer given an option on how to resolve your problem even if it is a severe case.