File a complaint to get your money back: 15 steps (with pictures)

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File a complaint to get your money back: 15 steps (with pictures)
File a complaint to get your money back: 15 steps (with pictures)

If you are dissatisfied with goods or services, you must protest and request a refund. Find the receipt and explain to the retailer why you are not happy with the goods or services. If necessary, work your way up the hierarchy, starting with a store clerk, then ask to speak to a supervisor. Even if the store doesn't give you your money back, you still have options. You may be able to reach a compromise in the dispute or ask your credit card company to refund your money.


Part 1 of 3: File a complaint with the company

Reduce Your Student Loan Payments Step 6
Reduce Your Student Loan Payments Step 6

Step 1. Find out why you are dissatisfied

Before submitting a complaint, you should know why you are dissatisfied with the product or service you received. The reason you want a refund may determine whether you get one.

  • Was the product defective? If so, then the retailer should give you your money back.
  • Was the product not as advertised? If yes, then you should get your money back.
  • Did you just change your mind? If so, your refund will depend on the store's policy. In the Netherlands you have up to 30 days to change your mind if you bought something online or over the phone.
Make a Sale Step 15
Make a Sale Step 15

Step 2. Contact the company

Call or visit the company and tell them you are dissatisfied with the product or service. If necessary, you can send an email instead of calling. Don't wait too long, some retailers have time limits for returns (e.g. 14 days).

  • Be clear with your complaint. State why you are dissatisfied. For example, you can say, "This coffee pot isn't working."
  • Also say you want your money back. The company may try to give you something else, such as a voucher, if you're not clear.
  • Realize that the first person you meet may not be able to help you. Chances are they are reading from a script and have little authority to issue refunds.
Get a Job Fast Step 4
Get a Job Fast Step 4

Step #3. Work your way up the hierarchy

Ask to speak to a supervisor if an employee is unable to assist you. Politely say to the employee, "Is there anyone else I can talk to?" Wait patiently for the employee to call in the supervisor or manager.

  • Explain again that you want your money back and why. Be consistent with your story. Don't tell one person and then tell another person.
  • When you complain, be as brief as possible. Longer stories sound suspicious.
  • Write down the name of each person you speak to and give a brief summary of what they tell you.
Make a Sale Step 8
Make a Sale Step 8

Step 4. Stay polite but firm

You'll get the best results if you don't get too angry. Yet you must remain steadfast in your beliefs. Remind yourself, 'I'm entitled to quality service' and don't be put off by a 'No'.

  • Avoid personal insults or comments if you spend a lot of money in the store. The staff probably won't take you seriously, and you could be evicted.
  • Calm yourself, if necessary. It helps to remember that the clerk you're talking to is probably eager to help you, but doesn't have the authority.
  • If possible, try to empathize with the person on the other end of the phone. You can say something like, "I bet you've had a lot of complaints today." The employee may see you as a friend and want to do a little more for you.
  • You may catch a blunt and not get your money back. If so, thank the person you spoke to and plan your next step.
Apply for a Marriage Certificate in Dwarka Step 10
Apply for a Marriage Certificate in Dwarka Step 10

Step 5. Get to know your rights

Your rights will depend on the law of the country where you purchased the item. Before proceeding, you should analyze whether you are entitled to the refund. Consider the following:

  • Does the store have a return policy? It must be clearly marked, on a sign in the store or on your receipt. Check it to be sure. Some retailers do not allow returns unless the item is defective.
  • Does the law allow the seller to provide the service again instead of giving a refund? This is the law in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, unless it is impossible to provide the service again, or it would take too long, or is otherwise inconvenient.
  • Is there a warranty? If so, take it out and find out if the defect is covered by the warranty.
  • Are there automatic guarantees? In the US, every product you buy is guaranteed to work as expected. Also, it should work as promised if you bought it for a particular purpose.
  • Does the seller disclaim any warranties? For example, he may have sold the goods 'as is'. If so, you may not be entitled to a refund depending on your region.
  • Did the seller lie to you? This is quite different from buying defective goods or inadequate services. If someone is lying, they have committed fraud and you can sue for the financial loss you suffered.
Announce Your Retirement Step 5
Announce Your Retirement Step 5

Step 6. Write a letter of complaint to the company

If you don't get help over the phone or in person, write a letter to the company. Don't forget to get to the point. If you are legally entitled to a refund, state this in the letter.

  • In the U. S. the Federal Trade Commission has a sample letter for you to use. It is available here:
  • In the UK you can use a sample letter from Citizens Advice, available here: -about-the-poor-standard-of-a-service/. This letter applies to services or goods purchased after October 1, 2015.
  • If you live in another country, don't forget to include the following information in your complaint letter: details about the purchase (date, amount, etc.), why you are dissatisfied, and what you want (a full refund).
  • When you send your letter, ask for a signed receipt. Always keep a copy of the letter for your records.
Report 1099 K Income on Tax Return Step 5
Report 1099 K Income on Tax Return Step 5

Step 7. Contact the manufacturer instead

You may need to notify the person who manufactured the product. You can find the phone number on the product packaging or on the receipt. You may also need to go online to verify the number.

Tell the manufacturer what is wrong with the item and when you bought it. Also ask for a full refund

Part 2 of 3: Other methods

Prepare a Power of Attorney Step 11
Prepare a Power of Attorney Step 11

Step 1. Dispute the payment with your credit card company

If you paid with a credit or debit card, you should contact the company and tell them what happened. Perhaps the money can be refunded (a chargeback). In effect, a chargeback undoes a credit card transaction. In general, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The amount must be more than a certain maximum (eg: €50).
  • You must have purchased the item in your home country or within a certain distance from your postal address.
  • Major credit card issuers will waive both of the above requirements.
  • Call your credit card company immediately (or arrange this online). You cannot get a refund once you have paid the bill.
File Bankruptcy in the United States Step 6
File Bankruptcy in the United States Step 6

Step 2. Consider mediation

The company may be willing to participate in mediation. In mediation, you meet a mediator, who is a neutral third party who listens to both parties. The mediator does not act as a judge. Instead, he guides the discussion and tries to get both parties to reach a compromise.

  • If you are willing to compromise, state this in your letter of complaint to the company.
  • The consumer association may have more information about mediation. Check their website for more information.
File for Emergency Custody Step 17
File for Emergency Custody Step 17

Step 3. Consider arbitration

Arbitration is like a lawsuit. Each party presents information to an arbitrator rather than a judge, who decides the case. The TV program 'The driving judge' is a form of arbitration. The company may be willing to arbitrate the dispute.

  • In general, you sign an agreement to arbitrate. As part of the agreement, you waive the right to sue or appeal the arbitrator's decision.
  • You may have already agreed to resolve a dispute when you purchased the product or service. Check your receipt and other paperwork you received. Investigate arbitration or a mediator.
File for Emergency Custody Step 11
File for Emergency Custody Step 11

Step 4. If you live in the US, you can file a case with a 'small claims court'

Every state has a small claims court that hears small cases. The dollar limit varies depending on the state. For example, Alaska has a limit of $10,000, while Arkansas has a limit of $5,000.

  • The 'Small claims courts' in the US are ideal for people who do not have a lawyer. Usually the process is streamlined and you can use pre-printed forms.
  • If you have a large claim against a company, you should consider going to regular court. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options. Civil lawsuits can take a long time, but you can get more money back.

Part 3 of 3: Exposing scams to the world

Patent an Idea Step 19
Patent an Idea Step 19

Step 1. Complain to the Consumers' Association

Complain to the Consumers' Association about the trader. You can find the address by going to the website of the Consumers' Association: Name the company and your complaint.

  • Provide details of the dispute. The consumer association will possibly contact the company about your complaint. Your complaint can also be placed on the website of the consumer association.
  • You cannot complain anonymously. Instead, you should include your name, address, phone number, and other contact information. For this reason, always use appropriate language in your complaint.
Buy Stocks (for Beginners) Step 1
Buy Stocks (for Beginners) Step 1

Step 2. Contact a consumer protection agency

Your region or city may have a consumer protection agency. These agencies investigate consumer complaints and can enforce a violation of consumer protection laws.

  • Search online for the nearest agency to you. For this, go to the Authority for Consumers & Markets:
  • The agency may be able to sue the retailer or take other enforcement action against it.
Build Trust in a Relationship Step 14
Build Trust in a Relationship Step 14

Step 3. Go to a legal counter

If someone has committed fraud, you can seek advice from your regional office or through legal aid insurance. You can find the phone number online. There may also be an online complaint form.

  • The legal counter is only for advice and will not represent you in a lawsuit. However, you can report the company to the Authority for Consumers & Markets and, if necessary, an enforcement action can be initiated.
  • The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets collects information about fraudulent companies, so that they can find and tackle scammers.
Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer Step 14
Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer Step 14

Step 4. Report fraud to other government agencies

Many agencies collect information about fraud. you must file complaints with as many authorities as necessary. For more information, visit the government website:

  • The Fraud Help Desk. You can report a scam through the government fraud helpdesk.
  • You can report international internet fraud on this website:
  • IC3. The Internet Crime Complaint Center accepts complaints about Internet fraud. Both the victim and a third party can file a complaint.

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