How to Complain and Get Results
Would you like to feel more in control when dealing with businesses about consumer issues? Here are some tips to empower:
Make sure you are talking to the right person.
Ask the person you are dealing with if they have the authority to rectify the situation. Does it appear that he or she wants to accept the responsibility for resolving your problem? If they tell you their hands are tied or they are following company policy, then they are not the right person, even though they claim to be a supervisor or store manager.
Make note of the reasons they give for saying “no.”
Do the reasons seem fair or do you feel you are being taken advantage of? In Massachusetts unfair or deceptive business practices can be a violation of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 93A, the Consumer Protection Act. Sometimes companies new to Massachusetts are not aware of our laws and regulations, especially those involving defective merchandise, return policies and gift certificates to name a few. Even if the company claims that’s been their policy for years, it doesn’t mean their practices are permissible under current Massachusetts laws and regulations.
Do the research.
The Internet provides the consumer with the ability to research a particular practice and the company. If you are concerned about the company itself, do a Google search. (In the search box, enter: “name of company” AND scam or scams). This can be particularly revealing if the company is an Internet-only business or one that you do not usually do business with. To check out a particular practice, visit the website for the Massachusetts Office of Business Affairs and Regulations. In its section “For Consumers,” brochures on most consumer-related topics can be found. Just click on a general topic for a list of specific issues. Their hotline number is: (617) 973-8787 or toll free in Massachusetts at (888) 283-3757. Also, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office maintains a hotline (617) 727-8400, which can be helpful. Lawyer referral services, some of which let you chat with a lawyer for free or for a reduced charge, are also a good resource.
Contact the company.
Now that you have done some background work, you are in a better position to contact the company and present your complaint with confidence. This time, contact the office of the president of the company. The name of the company’s president, the corporate address and phone number can all be found by a Google search. (In the Google search box, enter “name of the company" AND "president"