How to File a Complaint Against a Business

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When entering a business or other establishment where goods and services are traded, the customer should feel welcome. The products offered should be satisfactory to the customer and the customer's experience in the establishment should be positive. There are times when this isn't the case. In that situation, it's important that the customer stand up for what he believes in and file a complaint against the business. The process for filing a complaint may seem easy, however, it requires diligence and determination to have the complaint heard by the right people.

Find out everything you can about the parties involved in the incident. Write down any names and positions you can gather. Relevant information for filing a complaint involving a store or restaurant includes the time of the incident, parties involved, an explanation of the incident, what should have happened and what actions, if any, were taken to try to fix the problem. In a situation where a manufacturer or another business you don't physically enter is involved, note the date of the incident, serial numbers of all products purchased, warranty information and what, if any, actions were taken if the customer attempted to contact the original manufacturer or business owner.

Read More: How to Report a Bad Business

File a Better Business Bureau complaint. Go to the BBB website and file a complaint. Be sure the complaint fits the BBB's Complaint Acceptance Guidelines. Once you are sure that it does, click the "Next" tab in yellow at the end of the paragraph on the front page. Follow the prompts to the end of the process.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is tasked with protecting U.S. consumers. Go to the FTC's Complaint Assistant service to issue a complaint against a business. Follow the prompts on the website to finish the complaint and send it to the FTC.

File a complaint with your state's attorney general. Find your state attorney general's phone number, email, or website to file a complaint on the list at Many attorneys general have forms for business complaints ready to be filled out by consumers.


  • When filing a complaint with the BBB, it's important to remember that the business must be a member of the BBB. If the business isn't a member, move on to steps 3 and 4.


  • These agencies are all in place to assist the consumer. If a consumer is wronged, it's important for these entities to be informed of the damage done so that assistance can be given to the consumer and to ensure the business doesn't allow the same type of incident to happen again. Filing a complaint can assist the original party and keep countless others from being hurt in the same way.