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How to Resolve a Problem

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Have you ever wondered what you should do if you are not satisfied with a product or a service?

If you are not satisfied with a product or service that you received, the best way to resolve your issue is to follow our list of recommended steps:

  1. Contact the store or business yourself
  • Keep a record of your conversations. Write down the name of the person you spoke with, the date and time of the conversation, and any actions promised.
  • Deal with the owner or manager whenever possible. If the problem cannot be resolved on this level, try contacting a company headquarters or manufacturer.
  • Look for toll-free numbers on packages, or call 1 (800) 555-1212 for toll-free directory assistance.
  • Most of the time businesses will try to be hospitable, to keep you as a customer.
  1. Write a complaint letter
  • If telephone calls are not productive, try writing a complaint letter. Include copies of any helpful documents regarding the complaint.  We've provided a template and some guidance for writing an effective complaint letter here.
  • It is a good idea to send the letter by both regular and first class or certified mail. Sending the letter with attached documents via certified or first class mail with return receipt requested ensures that the letter is received and can document who signed for it.
  1. Involve a third party
  • The Albany County Department of Consumer Affairs will only handle consumer complaints or concerns with residents of and businesses in Albany County.
  • All New York State residents needing assistance with a complaint, concern or consumer question can contact the NYS Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds line at: 1 (800) 771-7755; or the NYS Better Business Bureau at 1 (800) 828-5000.
  • For a listing of useful New York State phone numbers please see our Consumer Telephone Directory
  1. Take Legal Action
  • If your dispute remains unresolved, you may want to seek legal advice or action in small claims court.
  • Check your local telephone directory for county bar associations that can provide a lawyer referral service.