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alert.gif - 1.97 K Here's some great Internet resources for the smart shopper alert.gif - 1.97 K
plus sites that can help you fight back if you're dissatisfied with a company or service.

Federal Consumer Agencies | State Agencies |Better Business Bureaus |
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Consumer Organizations | Internet Consumer Resources |
Our Consumer Tips | Legal Resources | Home Page

 

Federal Agencies

You pay your taxes right? Why not use some of Uncle Sam's best consumer resources. While most government agencies won't resolve individual consumer disputes, by filing a complaint you can help them spot a pattern of law violations requiring action as well as alert them to new scams that the public should know about. Many agencies also have a wide variety of consumer brochures and buying guides available. A must have is The Consumer's Resource Handbook, one of many great booklets published by the Consumer Information Center and available on-line. Some other government consumer agencies listed by topic:

General Consumer Sites

Automobiles

Banking

Communications

Health

Product Safety

Travel



These agencies conduct investigations, help resolve complaints, license and regulate certain types of businesses, promote consumer protection legislation, and provide information to consumers. These sites are great places to access consumer information, warnings, and shopping tips, and even file a complaint online. If you have a question or complaint about a local business, your city or county consumer office is probably your best bet. Obviously, we don't have the space to list every county, regional, and smaller city consumer agency out there but you'll find them in on this page of the The Consumer's Resource Handbook or look in the blue pages of your phone book. We recommend calling any agency before you send in a complaint. That way, you can be sure you're contacting the appropriate office and following the correct procedures. Even if they can't help you with your specific problem, they should be able to refer to someone who can. Some states have great consumer sites with loads of information and we hope the links below are helpful.

Please choose a state or scroll down below for a list:

(See the lower status bar on your browser for geography help) Click the state you want

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alabama


Alaska


Arkansas


Arizona


California


Colorado

Connecticut


Delaware


Florida


Georgia


Hawaii


Idaho


Illinois


Indiana


Iowa


Kansas


Kentucky


Louisiana


Maine


Maryland


Massachusetts

Michigan


Minnesota


Mississippi


Missouri


Montana


Nebraska


Nevada

New Hampshire


New Jersey


New Mexico


New York


North Carolina


North Dakota


Ohio


Oklahoma


Oregon


Pennsylvania


Rhode island


South Carolina


South Dakota


Tennessee


Texas


Utah


Vermont


Virginia


Washington


West Virginia


Wisconsin


Wyoming



Better Business Bureaus

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) system was founded in 1912. Each BBB is a non-profit organization funded primarily by memberships dues from local businesses.

Consumers can use the BBB to:

There are more than 100 BBB offices in the U.S. Each local office maintains files on companies headquartered in its service area. But BBBs also carry some reports on companies that conduct business nationally. You can contact your local BBB first to see if they have the company report you are looking for, and if they can't help you they'll refer you to the office that can.

You can get the report right over the phone, although a few BBB's charge a small fee for the service to help pay for operating costs. The BBB will not recommend any service or company, but they will gives a firm either a satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating. From the report you can also learn how long the company has been in business, how many complaints have been filed against them, how many complaints are unanswered or unsettled, and if they are pre-committed to a dispute resolution program. The report will also note if the company has been the subject of any enforcement actions taken by a government agency such as the Federal Trade Commission or State Attorney General office. A few BBBs have their database available to do your own search right over the Internet

If you have had a problem with a company and could not resolve it by dealing with them directly, you can register a complaint with the BBB. You should submit your complaint in writing or on the BBBs Internet site. If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved through communication with the business, the BBB may offer an alternative dispute settlement process, such as mediation or arbitration. However, keep in mind that BBBs are not consumer advocates, they are committed to acting as a neutral third party.




Consumer Organizations and Associations



Consumer Internet Resources

Our Top 10 Tips (from our book)

More tips coming soon

 

Legal Resources


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