Every year consumers file business consumer complaints in droves. The FTC receives millions of consumer affairs complaints every year. In Utah, the attorney general also receives thousands of similar consumer affairs complaints. Other consumer bureaus receive complaints each year in similar numbers.
The shocking part of this story is not how many consumer complaints are filed each year. No, the shocking part is that almost all of these millions of consumers who file consumer affairs complaints do nothing to actually resolve their complaint. Sure, they asked for a refund from the company who scammed them but filing an FTC complaint, attorney general complaint, or other business consumer complaint is simply a waste of time. These agencies will rarely, if ever, help individual consumers. Consumers should stop wasting time with these business complaints and start helping themselves.
Small Claims Courts
Small claims courts are one excellent way consumers can help themselves to resolve a business consumer complaint. Small claims court is easy and affordable. Most consumers can even represent themselves in a small claim without hiring an attorney. Excellent information on filing a small claim is also readily available online to help. Even the FTC and Utah’s Attorney General would agree that small claims court is an excellent venue for pursuing a consumer affairs complaint.
Consumer Protection Attorneys
For consumers who are uncomfortable filing a small claim court case on their own, consulting with a consumer protection attorney is a good choice. Most will consult for free and handle cases on a contingency basis so consumers pay nothing out of their own pocket. Instead, the company who scammed the consumer pays the bill. A good consumer protection attorney can also generally get a consumer more money to compensate them than a consumer can get on by filing his own consumer complaint. Consumer laws and common-law legal theories exist that attorneys can use to increase awards beyond merely getting a refund. Savvy consumers will at least consult an attorney to discover whether or not they have a legitimate consumer complaint to pursue.
In some consumer complaints a class action lawsuit is the best way to solve the problem. For the individual consumer these cases often yield lower results than individual lawsuits but for consumers as a group and for the class representatives these lawsuits can be very fruitful. In the never-ending pursuit of maximizing profits businesses frequently abuse consumers in small dollar amounts making it impossible or difficult for one consumer to pursue a consumer complaint on his own. As a class representative, however, the consumer serves everyone harmed the deceptive practice and literally changes the world by protecting consumers everywhere from the same abuse.
A savvy consumer will carefully weigh his options before filing any consumer complaint. Whether it is with the FTC, an attorney general, some other consumer bureau or agency, or in court, consumers can get refunds and additional compensation for being a victim of an unfair or deceptive sales practice. Don’t give up. Do it right. Talk to an attorney or research your consumer complaint online but don’t let a company get away with a consumer scam against you.