How To File A Consumer Complaint
Before you file a consumer complaint:
Before you file a complaint, it is important to understand whether the Consumer Protection Office can help in your situation. The office acts to protect the public from unlawful business practices. The office handles a variety of complaints, including, but not limited to; new and used automobile sales and service, furniture sales, landlord-tenant disputes, home improvements, debt collection and credit, marketing and advertising scams, pet sales of dogs and cats, store pricing, store return policies and much more. You can always call our office if you have questions on a certain complaint. If we do not handle your type of inquiry, we may be able to suggest an agency that can help you. Call us at 856-384-6855.
One of the most important things to know is: The business must be located within Gloucester County.
The Consumer Protection Office most often takes action pursuant to state and federal laws against organizations and businesses that repeatedly deceive consumers, and we intervene in instances in which the rights of many consumers are at stake. Although we often assist with the mediation of an isolated dispute, we do not have the authority or resources to act as a lawyer for consumers in such disputes. We strongly encourage citizens to forward us any information about suspect practices. This will help us identify businesses with persistent problems.
Instructions for Filing a Consumer Complaint:
- Be sure to visit other parts of our Home Page before you file. The information provided is designed to help consumers resolve disputes and protect themselves from future problems.
- This form cannot be filed electronically. You must either enter the information on the standard complaint form through your keyboard and print the completed form, or print a blank form and complete it in ink. If you do not have access to a printer, please call the Consumer Protection Office at (856) 384-6855 and request a Consumer Complaint form.
- Please provide all the information requested on the form. Explain your complaint in the "EXPLANATION" section. You may attach as many additional sheets as necessary. Try to be brief, but thorough. Be sure to tell what happened, when it happened and where it happened, and be very specific about any oral statements the business made to you, ESPECIALLY those which influenced you to deal with the company. It is also IMPORTANT to send us any photocopies of written contracts, receipts, warranties, advertisements or any other documents pertaining to your complaint.
- Special instructions for Automobile Complaints: Include with your complaint the following documents and information:
Vehicle Sales Complaint:Please submit photocopies of the bill of sale, credit contract, and any correspondence relating to the problem.
Used Vehicle Warranty Complaint: Please submit photocopies of the warranty, and describe in your explanation any oral warranties or promises made about the condition of the vehicle.
All Vehicle Repair Complaints: Please submit photocopies of any and all repair orders, written estimates and warranties oral or written.
- You must date and sign your name on the completed form.
What Happens to your Complaint? When we receive your complaint, the complaint will be routed to an Investigator with experience in your area of concern. The Investigator will review the complaint and in most cases forward a copy to the business named in the complaint. If the business does not respond within ten business days, we will contact the business again. If we do not receive a response after the second request, the Investigator and the Department Director will determine, on a case by case basis, what further action this office may take to help resolve the dispute.
If we receive a response from the business, which we do in a vast majority of complaints, we will forward the response to you. You may want to submit additional information after reviewing the response, or the original letter from the business may in fact settle the dispute. Copies of all correspondence will be mailed to you to keep you apprised of the steps we have taken to resolve your complaint. The process outlined above may require 4 to 6 weeks.
If we determine that another agency is better suited to handle your complaint, we will forward the entire file to that agency. You will receive a copy of that correspondence.