Where to Get Help
Here’s a list of places that might be able to help you with a consumer
issue. Even if they can’t solve your specific problem, it’s always a good
idea to file a complaint. This is how law enforcement agencies and consumer
groups find out about a problem. Most of these places also have a variety of
on-line educational materials available.
BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
The BBB is not a government agency. It’s a private, not-for-profit
organization that “promotes intelligent buying through consumer and business
education.” The bureau provides “reliability reports” on businesses and
charities throughout the US and Canada. The BBB can help mediate or
arbitrate disputes between buyers and sellers. This
will also help you locate a Better Business Bureau office near you.
YOUR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
The National Association of Attorneys General website will help you locate
the office in your state. In most cases, you can file a complaint online.
Click here for
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
The FTC enforces a variety of federal consumer protection laws which are
designed to eliminate unfair or deceptive business practices. In general,
the Commission’s efforts are directed toward “stopping actions that threaten
consumer’s opportunities to exercise informed choice.”
While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint
will help them investigate fraud and could lead to law enforcement action.
To file a complaint on line, click
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
The FCC regulates radio and TV broadcasters, cable TV and satellite services
and telecommunications companies (including interstate long distance,
cellular and PCS phones, pagers and two-way radios).
The Consumer Information Bureau handles all consumer-related
telecommunications issues from requests for information to filing
complaints. You can e-mail the Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-225-5322. To file a complaint on line,
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
This federal regulatory agency works to save lives and keep families safe by
reducing the risk of injury or death from consumer products. The CPSC has
jurisdiction over more than 15,000 kinds of consumer products, but not
automobiles, tires, boats, cosmetics, pesticides or medical devices.
This is where to report a dangerous or potentially hazardous product. You
will also find an extensive database of recalls, plus tip-sheets on all sorts
of safety issues.
To report an injury, death or unsafe product online, click
here or call the toll-free safety hotline at 1-800-638-2772.
NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY
Auto Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236
Go here to get the latest information on vehicle recalls and
to find out about government crash test results. The site also has
information on safety equipment, from airbags to children’s car seats.
safety information and recalls or to report a vehicle safety defect.
U.S. POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
Postal Inspectors target criminals who steal mail or misuse
the nations’ postal system to defraud consumers, threaten people or
otherwise endanger the American public. The Inspection Service cannot
resolve routine business disputes with companies, it can go after a company
or individual it believes is intentionally trying to commit fraud.
here to file a mail fraud complaint on line.
NATIONAL FRAUD INFORMATION CENTER
The center’s mission is to give consumers the information they need to avoid
becoming victims of telemarketing and Internet fraud and to help them get
their complaints to law enforcement agencies quickly and easily. The
information you provide is automatically sent by electronic means to local,
state and federal law enforcement agencies. They will handle it just as if
you had contacted them directly.