How to solve your post-holiday consumer problems
The holidays are over. Hope you had a grand time! I know I did, but I also know a few people who are experiencing a bit of post-holiday frustration with products and services they bought. But never fear, the FTC is here with some tried and true tips to help resolve your problems. The fact is, most businesses want to keep you happy so you'll keep coming back.
- You can solve most consumer problems by talking to a store employee — or if you shopped online, by checking the website. Retailers have time limits on returns and refunds, so reach out to them as soon as possible.
- You may need to speak to someone at the company’s headquarters. Many companies include a toll-free number or email address for their customer service department on the product packaging, warranty, or receipt. If that’s not the case, visit the company's website and look for a "Contact Us" link, or call 1-800-555-1212 for toll-free directory assistance.
- If a call or email doesn’t work, use this sample letter to write an effective complaint. Describe what you bought and the problem. Include serial or model numbers, and the name and location of the seller. Say exactly what you want done and how long you are willing to wait for a response. Include copies of relevant documents, like receipts, repair orders, and warranties. Include your name, address, email and phone numbers. If an account is involved, be sure to include the account number.
If these strategies don’t do the trick, try an alternative dispute resolution program. You also can file a complaint with the FTC. While the agency doesn’t resolve individual disputes, your complaint helps law enforcement detect patterns of wrong-doing and may lead to an investigation. Many other federal agencies regulate consumer products and services. If you’re not sure which agency to contact, call 1-800-FED-INFO for help.
Hope our tips help you get the results you’re looking for.