Find Your Attorney General Or Better Business Bureau

Bookmark this: MSNBC has a nice interactive map you can click to find your state Attorney General and/or Better Business Bureau. If a company is being really bad, it’s important to file an official complaint so it’s on the record. If a company gets enough complaints, it can move an AG’s office to investigate. The BBB will sometimes open a hearing in the event of a dispute, and your complaint goes into a publicly searchable database, although the anecdotal evidence supplied by our readers doesn’t paint a very encouraging picture of their dispute resolution process.

(Thanks to Bob!)

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  1. Yoooder says:

    I’m a big fan of my local BBB, they’ve helped me in a number of situations and their presence in a dispute typically makes the company I’m dealing with pull an about-face. It’s great to have a group like them on your side, even if only to buddy-up and not be the sole-little-guy against a company.

    I do have a question for the Attorney General side of things however, typically I’ve held that I should only contact them if a company has done something that I would presume to be flat-out-illegal. Just when should they be brought in?

    Also when dealing with either, is it better to try and paint the full picture if there have been ongoing issues; or is it better to just stick to the precise issue that needs resolution–even if the other issues seem somewhat relevant?

  2. azntg says:

    I guess I’m one that knows my AG by heart. My AG is Andrew Cuomo, my former AG was Eliot Spitzer, who is now our state’s governor.

    So far, every attempt I’ve made to contact my local BBB has been fruitless, telling me that they don’t deal with the specific business problems I happened to have submitted to them. Gee thanks! It’s not like I submit petty arguments and frivolous stuff to them. They’ll only take on only million dollar problems? Good lord. Even a paperweight is more useful than they are.

  3. winstonthorne says:

    The BBB has no regulatory authority whatsoever. Unless the business is a “member” (and pays dues) they don’t have any control over that business. The BBB is simply a consortium of businesses which got together and decided to uphold mutual standards for customer satisfaction, not a government agency.

    Chances are if you’re really getting ripped off, the business you’re dealing with doesn’t care about its reputation, and reputation is the only thing the BBB can influence at all.

  4. fdx3k1 says:

    I’ve had nothing but problems out of the BBB. Someone sent in a complaint about my business and they “attempted” to contact me at info that was on a DBA that was filed 3 years ago and we have since moved. I tried contacting them after the fact and was told that I can only have it removed now if I join the BBB. Sounds like a scam to me.

  5. andymadrid1 says:

    The better business bureau has been no help to me either. Next time I’m am calling the AG. Thanks for the tip.

  6. alhypo says:

    I was having some difficulties with my credit card company as a result of them canceling my account due to “suspicious” activity, so I filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General. This resulted in my account being restored and all interest charges and fees being dropped.

    Even though Attorney Generals will not take legal action on behalf of any individual consumer, companies are eager to have these complaints resolved so they don’t accumulate and possibly open the door for an investigation later on.

  7. matto says:

    Ben, the BBB is a merchant association whos sole purpose is appearing to be a recourse for consumers. Please reconsider endorsing them as a legitimate, consumer-friendly option on Consumerist.

  8. AmericaTheBrave says:

    MSNBC’s list is badly out of date. In Illinois they list Jim Ryan as the Attorney General. Jim Ryan left office in 2002. Lisa Madigan has been the Illinois Attorney General since then.

  9. rikkus256 says:

    BBB is useless in most cases. They are non-profit organization that has absolutely ZERO authority, so companies can totally ignore their mails and there is nothing BBB can do. And the worst part is that BBB is sponsored by companies with bad names such as eBay (probably the reason why eBay has a “satisfied” record the last time I checked).

  10. geoffhazel says:

    I have a complaint with local auto repair shop that offered 90 day
    same as cash for the repair I said I couldn’t afford, but when it came
    time to pick up the car, it was through a third party finance company
    who has declined me for reasons yet unidentified. Meanwhile the company
    won’t release the car without full payment.
    I complained to the BBB, who forwarded my complaint to the business,
    who replied with the same line they gave me, namely “Hey, don’t blame
    us, we just want our money.” BBB submitted their answer back to me, and
    I rejected it, and that’s the end of it. BBB will not intervene, take
    sides, offer arbitration, or any further effort to resolve the dispute.
    The only thing they will do is to record that there was an unresolved
    dispute against the company. I still don’t have my car.
    Would I go to the trouble to submit a complaint with the BBB again? I
    suppose so, it doesn’t cost money and it’s pretty efficient, takes
    about 15 minutes, but I wouldnt’ get my hopes up on getting results.

  11. Felipe Alonso says:

    has anyone being hit by the cancellation notice and not received their tv.