Handling your own complaints can be a very easy process. If you are dissatisfied with a product or service, a fast and efficient way to get your complaint resolved is to express this dissatisfaction to the retailer or the manufacturer. Refer to the section on Remedies: Effective Negotiation to help you with that method. You may also need to write a letter explaining the problems to the company. The following are suggestions on how to write an effective letter of complaint.
Before You Begin
Check to see if the company has a toll-free 800, 888 or 877 number for its customer service department. Look on the package labeling, in the toll-free number directory (available at your local library) or call the toll-free number directory assistance (1-800-555-1212). If there is a customer service toll-free number, follow the suggestions in Remedies: Effective Negotiation when talking with the service representative.
Sometimes a letter of complaint is the best route to achieve your goal. Check the product label or warranty for the name and address of the manufacturer. Also, your local library might have reference manuals listing corporate addresses and officers, such as Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, which lists 37,000 American business firms. If you have the brand name but not the manufacturer, your local library may have the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, which lists product lines and their manufacturers. The Thomas Register can also be accessed online (you will be asked to complete a free registration to search). You should direct your letter either to the customer service department or to the company's president.
A complaint letter is important because it:
What to Say
There are some important points to cover in writing your letter:
A sample letter appears on the last page of this chapter.
If you are unsuccessful in getting your complaints resolved directly with the company and must contact other sources for assistance, refer to your letter. Remember that if you have to contact other sources such as the New Hampshire Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, the Better Business Bureau, or a trade association, be sure to give information about what you have done thus far to get your complaint resolved.
Where To Go If You Have A Problem
The NH Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau has a mediation program and is willing to assist consumers with their disputes with businesses:
NH Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301-6397
The Better Business Bureau offers help with filing a complaint through its Web site. Or you can contact the local office. You can file a complaint with the BBB regarding a business, a charity, or about a new can:
Better Business Bureau
48 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
603-224-1991 or 603-228-3789 or 603-228-3844
Click on "file a complaint"
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Microsoft Word format. You can download a free reader from Microsoft.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301