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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > April 2018 > How to File a Consumer Complaint

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How to File a Consumer Complaint

The Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section helps resolve consumer complaints. Learn about how and when to file a consumer complaint.
In 2017, the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section received about 22,000 consumer complaints. Some of the most common complaints involved used car sales, cable services, collection calls, identity theft, wireless phone services, vehicle repairs, appliances, and home improvement. Complaints included everything from advertising issues to disputes about prices, services, auto titles, or repairs.
If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly, first contact the business directly. Consider writing a letter that explains your concerns and how the business could resolve the problem within a reasonable timeframe. If that fails, consider filing a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Complaints can be filed online or by calling 800-282-0515.

Be sure to include as much information as possible, including the name and location of the business, your own contact information, a description of the problem, and what you would consider to be a reasonable resolution. Keep in mind that consumer complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office are public records, and they may be released in a public records request. They also generally will be provided to the organization against which you file your complaint.

Typically, after receiving your complaint, a specialist will attempt to resolve the dispute by working with you and the business. The specialist will send an initial letter to the business asking the business to respond. From there, the specialist will try to help you and the business reach an agreed-upon resolution.

In some instances, another agency may be better able to address your concerns, and a specialist may suggest contacting another organization. For example, insurance complaints generally should be filed with the Ohio Department of Insurance, complaints about investments with the Ohio Department of Commerce, and complaints about public utilities with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
In other cases, complaints provide details about a potential scam or deceptive sales practice. Such complaints can be an important source of information. If there appears to be a consistent pattern of bad behavior that violates consumer protection laws, the Attorney General may investigate further and possibly take legal action.
Consumers who would like to file a complaint or report a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at  or 800-282-0515.