Do you have a complaint and you don’t know where to begin to resolve it? CUA will help guide you, and in some instances, will help you directly to resolve your problem.
First, follow these steps to determine your best course of action:
Note: In everything you do, keep records of when you called, the name, title and department of the agent who assisted you.
1. Determine if your complaint involves illegal acts on the part of the company involved.
Examples of this may be, but are not limited to:
- Discriminatory credit practices
- False advertising
- Fair Debt Collections Practices
- If your complaint does involve an illegal act, please refer to our Consumer Information page to find the appropriate authority to contact. In many cases, that will be the Attorney General or Federal Trade Commission. If you are not certain who to contact, call or e-mail us.
2. Assess what you are trying to gain by making a complaint. If your complaint concerns customer service issues, for example:
- Was the customer service agent treating you in a derogatory fashion?
- Were you forced to take time off work to deal with the problem?
- Did you feel you had to buy another product at a higher price because this company treated you unfairly somehow?
- If the customer service complaint involves technical support of a product, what still needs to be done to resolve your problem?
Sometimes this type of complaint only helps people who use this product or service after you. You are basically letting the company know that they are losing a valuable customer and potentially everyone you tell.
A complaint of this nature can usually be handled by:
- Talking to a manager or owner of the company. Be polite but make your point.
- If you don’t feel you have resolved the problem, send a written letter of complaint by registered, return receipt mail.
- If the problem is still not resolved, contact the Better Business Bureau. (See Consumer Information page).
3. Does your complaint involve a company collecting a debt from you?
The first question to ask yourself is: Do I truly owe the debt? Your course of action will depend on the answer to this question.
Sometimes people have trouble answering that question! You may owe a debt if:
- You signed a credit agreement saying that you would make payments on the debt.
- Services were provided to you with on condition that you would pay (such as medical bills).
- You cosigned a debt for someone else.
- You are a joint user on an account.
- If you do owe the debt, but are having trouble making payment arrangements with your creditor, see the Consumer Information page) and contact Consumer Credit Counseling for advice.
If you do not owe the debt, there are several steps you may need to take. You may not owe a debt if:
- Someone falsely used your identity.
- The debt was paid to an original creditor and was turned over to collections in the interim.
- There has been a case of mistaken identity. (Someone with the same name as yours, for example)
- You filed bankruptcy on the debt.
To resolve these problems:
- Send a letter of dispute to the creditor by certified return receipt mail.
- Obtain copies of all three of your credit bureau reports (see Consumer Information page). Once you receive them, utilize the dispute forms provided and dispute the debt on your credit report.
- Always follow up your disputes with a phone call.
- Ask for written confirmation form the company that your dispute has been resolved and ask that it be removed from your credit report.
- Follow up with the credit bureau at least 30 days after the dispute is resolved to ensure that the item has been removed. Check your credit report regularly.
4. Does your complaint involve getting a refund or for services paid for but not provided? These type of complaints can be the most difficult to resolve. Examples may be:
- Paying for a contractor to do repairs on your home that never get done
- Paying and up-front fee for a service that is never provided
- Faulty products