Call, write or e-mail your local consumer affairs office or your state attorney general's office and request information about a company's complaint history. Know the exact name and the business address of the company you're inquiring about.
Be specific about what information you request. It isn't enough to know the number of complaints that were filed.
Find out the nature of the complaints if you can.
Ask to look at the actual complaint files to learn more about the complaints and see how the company responded to them.
Inquire about any special investigations of the company.