File a complaint with a government agency if available:

If your complaint directly to the business has not resulted in the matter being resolved, a complaint to the government agency that licenses or regulates the business or profession is likely to step up a response.   Even mega companies, such as banks and insurance companies, take complaints to their licensing agency seriously.   You may not be important to them, but their license is.  
  1. Check our Agency Page to see if the business or profession is on our list of licensed and regulated businesses.   The list has most businesses and professions that are licensed or regulated by New York City or New York State agencies.

  2. If you find the business or profession on our Agency Page, go to the "info/Laws" link for that buisness/profession to see if there is a specific rule or regulation that covers what you are complaining about.

  3. Write out a draft of your complaint before entering it online.   For the most effective complaint, follow these tips in drafting the complaint:

    • Write out a simple explanation of your chief complaint.   Avoid complaining about every thing said or done.   If your chief complaint, for example, is that a car repair shop did repairs without first telling you how much they would cost and getting your permission, it does not help your complaint to argue that the workers were rude.   The most convincing complaint is one that is simple and straight forward.
    • Briefly describe how the problem arose in chronological order, including the names of any employees you dealt with.
    • List any rules you believe they have violated from your review of the applicable info/Laws on our Agency Page.   Do not try to sound like a lawyer or explain the rules to the agency.
    • Briefly explain how the problem affects you financially, personally, etc., and what you have already done to try to solve the problem.
    • Most importantly, in a separate paragraph explain what you expect the company to do to make it right.   Your proposed resolution  should be realistic.
  4. Click on the "Complaint" link for the business/profession on our Agency Page, and follow the directions for filing the complaint.   Most can be filed online.

  5. Always make sure to include your contact information.   Anonymous complaints will usually not be considered.

  6. Follow up and provide any information the agency requests, being careful to protect things such as your Social Security number or birth date.   It can take several weeks for you to hear from someone from a government agency, and you may get a resolution from the business/profession as a result of filing the complaint before you ever hear from the agency.
If you do not find the business/profession on our Agency Page but believe that they have been unfair, discriminatory, fraudulent or deceptive, file a complaint with the New York State Attorney General's office.   There are some cases where the Attorney General may directly help you to resolve a problem.   A good example of this would be a "lemon law" complaint for a defective car.   For most consumer complaints, however, the Attorney General will not represent you directly.   Your complaint to the Attorney General, however, is still likely to get serious attention from the business you are complaining about.   If the Attorney General gets enough complaints about a particular business or industry, its office can take action directly against the business on behalf of consumers such as you.

The following are some other government agencies where you can file complaints about businesses: Return to File a complaint page



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