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Filing a Consumer Complaint

Find out what steps to take and who you should contact if you need to file a complaint against a company about a purchase.

Infographic: How to File a Consumer Complaint

Filing a consumer complaint may seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Use this graphic to learn the steps to take.

How to file a consumer complaint infographic

Steps to File a Complaint Against a Company

If you have problems with an item or service you purchased, you have the right to complain. Start your complaint with the seller or manufacturer. If they don't help, seek help from your local government or a consumer organization. Use these steps to get started.

1. Collect Your Documents

  • Gather your records: sales receipts, warranties, contracts, or work orders.

  • Print email messages or logs of any contact you've had with the seller about the purchase.

2. Contact the Seller

Use USA.gov's sample complaint letter to explain your problem. 

  • Send your complaint to a salesperson or customer service representative. You can find a company’s customer service contact information on their website. Look for links that say "contact us," "customer service," "about us," or "privacy statement."

  • Take your complaint to the management team if a salesperson didn't help,

3. Contact Third Parties If the Seller Doesn't Fix Your Problem

If the seller doesn't resolve the issue, a government office or a consumer organization may be able to help:

4. Seek Legal Help

If other options don't work:

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Last Updated: March 23, 2021

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