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Area Agency on Aging

Posted on: January 14, 2013

Solving Consumer Problems

Disappointed by a product or service you have paid for? You don’t have to settle for shabby performance. Here are a few strategies that can help.
• Return to the store or Website
• Call Customer Service
• Write a letter
• Get outside help

You generally can resolve your problem by talking to a store employee or, if you bought the item online, by returning to the website. Do this as soon as possible because some retailers have time limits on returns and refunds. If an employee doesn’t have the authority to assist you ask for the supervisor.

Online retailers should provide instructions on their site or on the receipt. When shopping online be wise to consider the company’s reputation and return policy before you buy.

Sometimes you may need to speak to someone at the company’s national headquarters or to the manufacturer of the product. Many companies provide toll free numbers or their address, for their customer service, on the product packaging. If this is not the case, most have a website with links to contact them.

If a call does not help, write a letter and use these tips to draft an effective complaint.
• Be clear and concise. Describe the item and the problem, include serial numbers,
model numbers, etc. and the seller’s information.
• State exactly what you want done and how long you are willing to wait for a response.
• Don’t write angry, sarcastic or threatening letters.
• Include copies of relevant documents like receipts, warranties but only send copies.
Always retain the originals.
• Provide your current name, address and phone numbers and an account number if one
is involved.

If a letter or a phone call does not do the trick you may need to file a complaint with an outside agency.

You can file a complaint with your state attorney general office or local consumer protection office. You may also file a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau. Keep in mind that no one can guarantee you a refund, but there is no charge for filing a complaint with a government agency.

Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging Information LIne
200 South Main St
Greensburg, PA 15601
Contact: Marguerite Patterson
Ph: 724-830-4444
Toll Free: 1-800-442-8000

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