Many of us have been faced with an unpleasant customer service experience.  Maybe we were met with a rude or unhelpful representative, or did not get the service that we expected.

When faced with a customer complaint, a consumer has several options available.  First, it is important to consider the type of business from which the complaint is being filed.  Each industry has its own customer complaint process. If the complaint is against a construction company, then it is important to know if the contractor is licensed.  If the contractor is licensed, then a complaint can be filed directly with the state licensing board, which will aide in the dispute against the contractor.  Complaints against banks may be filed with the Federal Reserve, or the Office of Comptroller.  Prior to initiating a complaint, it is important to have all documentation in order, and a clean case to present to the board.

However, filing with a state or government agency is not the only option to an unsatisfied consumer.  Businesses know that word-of-mouth advertising is an important aspect of any business.  Using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter to voice a complaint can be an important aspect in the complaint process.  Many website also offer reviews of products and services where consumers can voice a concern.

Using the online consumer complaint filing process through agencies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), or the Attorney General’s Office are also important avenues to consider when filing a complaint.  Most agencies require that all complaints are filed online, or in writing, so it may save time to consult the agency’s website prior to filing a complaint.

Another option is to use an online dispute resolution company to handle the complaint.  This option is becoming a popular choice for those who wish to have assistance when dealing with a grievance, and wish to have the guidance and support of a third party.  During this dispute process, parties can state their cases to a neutral, third-party who is able to help to resolve the issue or complaint.

If all other options fail, filing a grievance or complaint with local and state courts is a final option.  Small claims courts are able to handle complaints for smaller dollar amounts, which may vary state by state.  However, this may be an effective option if other choices have failed to achieve results.

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