Thinking of filing an FTC complaint? Don’t bother. Yes, the FTC is the federal agency charged with helping consumers resolve complaints but the simple fact is that they will not actually help any individual consumers. Indeed, they will not help you.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. The FTC shouldn’t be handling individual consumer complaints — no government agency should. Government simply shouldn’t have that kind of authority or control over our daily lives. Instead, consumers should be in charge of advocating their own disputes whether on their own or by hiring a private attorney. Indeed, numerous state and federal laws empower consumers to act as private attorneys general for that very purpose. Consumers are simply better at advocating their own interests than the government could ever be.
Filing an FTC complaint is not a total waste of time however. The FTC complaints filed by consumers each year are helpful to consumers as a whole so it may be worthwhile to file one if you want to help other consumers as a group. Don’t be fooled however, the FTC will do literally nothing to help you in your individual complaint.
Filing an FTC complaint is only a waste of time if you are trying to get a refund or other monetary compensation for a deceptive sales practice. In that case, the far better approach is to hire an experienced consumer protection attorney. A lawyer with experience in consumer complaints will be able to obtain results where filing an FTC complaint will lead nowhere.
The bottom line is that if you are a victim of a deceptive sales practice and you are considering filing an FTC complaint because you think it will help you get a refund, think again. If you want a refund hire a consumer protection attorney or file a consumer complaint in small claims court. You are your own best advocate. Filing an FTC complaint will not help you get a refund or other compensation you deserve.