US government department for consumer complaints?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Petebass, May 20, 2005.

  1. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I bought something from a well known store in the USA and it's faulty. I've emailed them twice about the problem and they're just ignoring me.

    At this point I usually go and complain in person but that's obviously not an option, so I want to send an email threatening to dob them into the appropriate government agency. Obviously I have to have my facts straight or I won't scare them into fixing the problem.

    From what I can tell, the US government department for consumer complaints is the Federal Trade Commission. Is this correct, or is there a govt department with bigget teeth ?
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Here in the States, that kind of governmental function is handled by the individual State. Where did the sale occur, and where is the company based?
  3. There is always the better business bureau as well.
  4. I would definitely say that the Better Business Bureau is the best group to talk to.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    They're based in Ohio. A quick google of "Ohio Consumer Protection" showed a lot of hits for Attorney General's office and Better Business Bureau.

    Which one is scarier to a business owner? I hope I won't have to go as far as making a complaint, but I will if I have to.
  6. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I would recommend the Better Biz Bureau first.

    If you don't receive satisfactory customer service soon, maybe sharing the name of this store with the rest of us would be a second best proposal. I'm thinking maybe a boycot in the name of solidarity. We bassers have to stick together and watch out for each other! (without basses we'd all be *GASP* guitar players!). Nothing prompts business like threatening the coffers.

    Nice mullet! You a footballer as well?
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's not me. Your homework is to find out who it is. Tip - there's a bit clue in my sign-off :)

    OK here goes the email. I'll mention better business bureau first. Thanks guys.

    As for boycotts etc, I really don't think a few bass players could hurt this place, but I'm prepared to find out. But to be fair, I'll only name names of they continue to give me the run-around.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Pincer movement. :D

    Hit them with "all" the relevant agencies.

    They exist at the federal level, the state level, and the local level.

    One of the scariest things, though, is to simply call the local police department and file a charge. That'll force them to justify themselves. And usually, the cops can hook you up with any other available agencies you might need.

    The cops are good people, when they're not too busy, and when there's enough of them. :)
  9. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    The biggest teeth, in many cases, is your own credit card company (assuming the purchase was made with one).

    Over here in the US, American Express is absolutely the best in hearing their cardholders' story, reversing the charge when justified, and forcing the merchant to justify themselves to have payment restored. Plus they have (at least on the card I use) a 90-day theft/breakage purchase protection plan - the time the dog chewed up those week-old shoes, for example, I simply Emailed them a scan of the receipt and a digital picture of the shoes, and they credited the account.

    I make all my major purchases (and a pretty good number of minor ones) this way.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    The Attorney General is probably scarier than the BBB...The BBB is more of a watchdog group, while the AG is an actual governmental entity...who has the ability to press charges etc.

    Do them all. I'd also send an email stating that you're gonna do it and include the contact info for both. From there, make sure they get duplicates of your submissions to each group.
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk

    I have had this happen to me before, and I simply call Citibank and file a dispute. They handle the rest, and the merchant has the burden at that point. I make all online purchases this way.
  12. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Thanks for the tip on the credit card company. I wouldn't have thought to do that.

    But the BBB scare seemed to work. I have an email this morning which contains some advice as to how to fix the problem, and a list of phone numbers, one of them for the guy who invented the device.

    I guess it means I'll have to fix this via international phone calls. Email would have been cheaper, but as long as I get what I pay for, I'll be happy.