How to File a Complaint on a Company for Bad Service

When a person receives bad service from a company, it can inflict physical, mental or financial harm. Bad service may involve discrimination, customer service problems, product repair issues or failure of a company to address or resolve a previous complaint. Contacting the company's corporate office or owner may or may not resolve the issue. If you've already complained to the company, or you feel this is a companywide issue, you can file a complaint against a company through federal, state and other channels to bring attention to the company's bad business practices.


Step 1

Organize all of your documentation regarding the bad service such as receipts, contracts or written communications before filing your complaint.

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Step 2

Call the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection at 877-382-4357 to file a complaint with a representative. Complaint examples include privacy infringement due to a company data breach, unwanted solicitation, product or service misrepresentation and bad telemarketing, debt collection or other business practices. You can also file a complaint with the Federal trade Commission (FTC) online via its Complaint Assistant webform. Go to the FTC Complaint Assistant website, click the "Complaint Assistant" image and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the form.


Step 3

Go the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry's File A Complaint website, click the "Continue" button and then follow the on-screen instructions to file a phone-related bad service complaint. For example, you can file a complaint if you received a call from a telemarketer 31 days after you placed your phone number on the DNC Registry.

Step 4

Contact your local Better Business Bureau (BBB). Go to the main Better Business Bureau Homepage and then enter your city and state or postal code in the field and click "Go" for a redirect to your local BBB's website. Use the online contact information to call your local BBB or click the "File a Complaint" button and follow the on-screen instructions. If you file online, a BBB representative will contact you by phone or email to acknowledge receipt of the complaint or request additional information. As of October 2011, the BBB will forward your complaint to the company and advise you of the outcome within 30 days.


Step 5

File a complaint with your Attorney General's office. Go to the National Association of Attorneys General website and click your state's name on the left sidebar, or scroll down the page to your state and retrieve contact information for your state's Attorney General (AG). Call or visit your AG's office or go to the state's AG website and file your complaint via an online form. The office will review your complaint and then contact you to ask for additional information, provide you with an outline of the complaint resolution process or refer you to a different government agency for assistance.


The FTC will not help resolve problems you have with a company. Information you provide helps the FTC and law enforcement to perform investigations and build cases against law-breaking companies.

You may not receive any response to complaints filed with the FTC or on the DNC Registry website.

The BBB doesn’t handle complaints involving quality of legal or health services, issues currently or previously litigated or discrimination issues.


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