How to file a complaint with the attorney general

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How to file a complaint with the attorney general

We offer an informal complaint resolution service to Washington state residents, and to consumers with complaints about businesses located in Washington state. Through this process, we contact businesses to determine their response to consumer complaints. If a business refuses to respond or to make an adjustment, we cannot compel them to do so. We inform consumers of alternatives if our complaint resolution service is not successful.

The Attorney General’s Office is authorized to bring legal action only in the name of the State of Washington, and is prohibited from serving as an attorney for individual consumers. We are further prohibited from giving advice, rendering opinions or interpretations, or conducting research on behalf of individuals or businesses.

Each month our office receives more than 2,000 emails asking for help or information. We have found that many of the constituent inquiries fall into the same categories. In some cases, these inquiries can more efficiently be handled by the agency that specializes in the area of the complaint. In order to help serve you in a more timely manner, we have provided answers to the most asked questions in each of these categories in Help by Topic.

  • en Español
  • Online
  • By Mail
  • Call with questions
  • The complaint process

Online

  • General Consumer Complaint Form
    • Una Forma en Español
  • Manufactured Housing Complaint Form
  • Pregnancy Accommodations
  • Medicaid Fraud Control Unit ComplaintForm
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Complaint Form
  • COVID-19 Tenancy Proclamation 21-09 Question Form
    • Formulario Para Preguntas Sobre La Proclamación 21-09 Tocante al Arrendamiento Durante COVID-19

By Mail

Download a PDF file or call to request a form by mail.

  • Una Forma en Español (PDF)
    • Una Forma en Español (PDF)
  • Lemon Law Cars/Trucks (PDF)
  • Lemon Law Motor Homes (PDF)
  • Then send to:
  • Seattle
    800 5th Ave. Suite 2000
    Seattle, WA. 98104-3188

    Call with Questions

    Our call centers are open M-F 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    • 1.800.551.4636 (in Washington only)
    • 206.464.6684
    • 1.800.833.6388 (Washington State Relay Service for the hearing impaired)

    Complaint Process

    Our staff will evaluate your complaint.

    • If your complaint is within our area of responsibility:
    1. The complaint will be assigned to a staff member.
    2. In most cases that person will send a copy of your complaint letter, and supporting documents, to the business and ask for a response.
    3. We will let you know the name of the staff member handling your complaint and what has been done. Should you have any new information, you should send it to the attention of that person.
    4. Most firms will respond, but it may take three weeks or more from the time you first register your complaint.
    5. If we don’t get a response within a reasonable time, we will attempt to contact the firm again.
    6. In many cases the business will respond with a satisfactory solution, that we will forward on to you, and the case will be closed.
    • In some cases there may not be a basis for action by this office; however, in that event, we may be able to suggest other options available.
    • Some consumer problems can be handled most efficiently by another agency. If this is the case with your complaint we will refer you to that agency.

    What if the business does NOT cooperate?

    If the business disagrees with your information or they believe you are not legally entitled to an adjustment, this office cannot compel a firm to resolve a complaint. In such a case, we will inform you of your options. The main option in such disputes is to bring a legal action, such as in Small Claims Court. If the amount claimed by you is over the limit handled by Small Claims Court, a private lawsuit may be necessary. The state Consumer Protection Act provides a remedy for individuals who have been harmed by unfair or deceptive business practices. If you are successful in such a suit you may also recover the costs of bringing suit, including your attorney’s fees.

    When does the AGO bring a lawsuit?

    Whether or not your individual complaint is resolved to your satisfaction, the basic information on your problem will be retained along with all other complaint information we receive. This information helps us to identify patterns of illegal activity which require enforcement action by the Attorney General’s Office. When such a pattern occurs, we may take more formal action which can include meeting with the firm and their attorney to attempt to resolve the issues. If this fails to resolve our concerns, we may file a lawsuit. Typically, when we file legal action, we may ask that consumers harmed by the practice be compensated, and we may ask that the court order the defendant to pay a civil penalty.

    One criterion we use in selecting cases for legal action is the extent to which the activity harms the public as a whole. Another consideration is how likely our action will be in discouraging unfair practices in the future.

    Contact for File a consumer complaint

    Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy & Response Division

    Phone

    Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    Online

    The Details of File a consumer complaint

    What you need for File a consumer complaint

    You should file a complaint if you are having a problem with a business and need help to resolve that problem.

    The Attorney General’s Office can help with most consumer issues. The most common consumer issues include:

    • Defective products;
    • Car sales and financing;
    • Auto repossession issues;
    • Debt collection;
    • Mortgage servicing and loan modification;
    • Home improvement contracts;
    • Business closures;
    • Utility bill disputes;
    • Shut off of unregulated utilities; and
    • Issues specific to immigrants, veterans, homeless, and elderly residents.

    You can also file a complaint to report anti-competitive mergers, price-fixing agreements, and other illegal practices.

    If you just need information or would like to better understand a consumer issue, you should review the information on our website or call our Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400.

    If you are looking for complaint information about a particular business, you should review the Consumer Complaint Information online.

    How to file File a consumer complaint

    Online

    Every complaint is important to us. By filling out this form, you give us the opportunity to assist you directly and help us identify patterns of misconduct that may affect hundreds or thousands of consumers.

    If you have already filed a complaint about this issue, please call our Consumer Hotline at 617-727-8400. Do not file an additional complaint.

    Please do not send additional documentation to the office until we contact you regarding your complaint.

    After submitting your complaint, you will have the opportunity to save or to print out a copy of your complaint.

    By phone

    We must receive all complaints in writing and cannot take your complaint over the phone.

    However, our Consumer Hotline is staffed from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to answer your questions, provide information, and give you instructions on how to file a written complaint.

    You can reach us at (617) 727-8400.

    You can file a complaint at any time using our online form .

    By mail

    You can print our complaint form , fill it out, and mail it to:

    Office of the Attorney General
    Consumer Advocacy & Response Division
    One Ashburton Place, 18th Floor
    Boston, MA 02108

    You can also call our hotline to request that a complaint form be sent to you by mail. All completed consumer complaints can be sent to the Attorney General’s Office at the address above.

    Please do not send more documents to the office until we contact you regarding your complaint.

    In person

    Due to the COVID-19 emergency, walk-ins to the AG’s physical office locations will not receive in-person service. Walk-ins will be encouraged to file complaints online or call our office.

    We welcome complaints and whistleblower tips. For consumer issues, we offer a voluntary mediation service if we believe our intervention might assist in resolving the dispute. Patterns of complaints involving the same party or a new issue often help us in allocating our law enforcement resources, regardless of whether we can intervene on any individual complaint.

    If you are looking for information or to file a complaint specifically related to coronavirus, please visit our resource page. Complaints filed there will be confidential.

    If you are looking to provide information relating to the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, please visit www.agindependentinvestigation.com

    If you have questions regarding your individual legal rights or responsibilities, contact a private attorney.

    Some issues are more appropriately directed outside our office. We help members of the public identify other government organizations better able to address their concerns.

    If you cannot complete the form online or need additional assistance with where to direct your complaint, please call our OAG Help Line at (800) 771-7755.

    Filing a false complaint is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor.

    We need complaints in writing. We prefer you use one of our complaint forms, but you may also describe your issues in correspondence mailed to our office.

    To help resolve your issue, we may send a copy of your submission to the party you are complaining about, or to another government agency.

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    A copy of this disclaimer can also be found on our Disclaimer page.

    Filing a consumer complaint with the Office of the Attorney General is easy. But you should understand the process first. Here’s what you need to know.

    Preparing Your Complaint

    Before you file your complaint with us, take a moment to make sure you have all of your important information. Please note: The system cannot save your complaint in progress, so you will need to complete the form in one sitting.

    The more details you can provide, the more effectively we can review your complaint. Important information includes:

    • The name of the business or individual you’re filing a complaint against
    • The business/individual’s full address, including zip code
    • A detailed description of your complaint
    • Explanation of how you came into contact with the business/individual
    • Transaction dates and amounts
    • Contract information (when appropriate) with payment details
    • How you may have attempted to resolve the dispute, including the names of people you spoke with

    Note: You can also attach supporting documents when filling out the online complaint form.

    Your Complaint Is Public

    Complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division are potentially an open record. This means any member of the public may file an open records request and view your complaint.

    What We Can Do

    • Receive consumer complaints and review them to identify illegal activity
    • File civil lawsuits acting in the public interest
    • Educate Texans on the latest scams—and how to avoid them

    What We Cannot Do

    • Serve as your lawyer
    • File lawsuits on your behalf or on behalf of individual consumers
    • Bring criminal charges for deceptive practices
    • Provide legal counsel or interpretations of the law to individuals
    • Routinely resolve individual complaints

    Once You File Your Complaint

    Upon filing your complaint, the Consumer Protection Division will review it. We use these complaints to monitor trends and take action when appropriate and in the public interest. Please note: Filing a complaint does not mean that our office represents you in
    any legal proceeding.

    You will receive a confirmation email once your complaint is successfully submitted. However, this does not mean that a case or investigation is open with the Consumer Protection Division.

    File a Complaint by Mail

    If you don’t want to file online, you can download, print, and mail in your complaint form.

    Send the form to:

    Office of the Attorney General
    Consumer Protection Division
    PO Box 12548
    Austin, TX 78711-2548

      Language

    The Office of Attorney General William Tong

    How to file a complaint with the attorney general

    FILE A COMPLAINT

    The Office of the Attorney General represents the public interest, not individuals, and cannot provide legal advice. However, as a public service, the Office of the Attorney General may provide informal mediation services to assist consumers who are unable to resolve an issue on their own. The Office of the Attorney General may also refer complaints it receives to other government agencies.

    Non-payment of wages complaints should be filed directly with the Department of Labor (DOL) on its nonpayment of wage complaint form.

    If you have a mortgage-related problem, please contact the state Department of Banking’s Foreclosure Assistance Hotline by calling 1-877-472-8313. The Foreclosure Assistance Hotline is staffed by specialists that have escalation contacts with most loan servicers and can provide information on other resources available to Connecticut homeowners. For more information, visit the state Department of Banking’s Web site.

    If you have questions concerning firearms permits or the purchase, sale or transfer of firearms, please contact the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.

    If you have questions regarding a criminal matter, please note that the Office of the Attorney General does not handle criminal matters. Please direct your questions to the Division of Criminal Justice. Questions regarding inmates, including their location, medical care, visiting privileges, and release should be directed to the Department of Correction.

    Whistleblower complaints about state departments, state agencies, quasi-public agencies or large state contractors must be filed directly with the Auditors of Public Accounts. The Auditors of Public Accounts will review such matters and report their findings and any recommendations to the Attorney General. Only then may the Attorney General investigate the matter further Please click here for information from the Auditors on how to file a whistleblower complaint .

    To file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General please use the link below.

    File a Complaint

    At this time, the Office of the Attorney General is unable to accept electronic complaints in languages other than English. Please click one of the following links to download, complete and submit a complaint form in a language other than English:

    The Attorney General’s Office investigates a broad range of misconduct across New Jersey, and many of these investigations begin with a complaint from the public. Different types of allegations are investigated by different entities with the Office, and so please review the list below when deciding where to file your complaint.

    Depending on the nature of your allegations, an investigation may reach out to you for more information. Please keep in mind that, once the Attorney General’s Office opens an investigation, the details of that inquiry are confidential, and so the investigators will be unable to give you updates about the status of their review.

    If you are reporting an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately. For allegations of criminal conduct not described below, please contact your local police department.

    • Bias Crimes
      The Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) investigates crimes motivated by prejudice against others based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or ethnicity. Rewards of up to $25,000 for tips leading to a bias crime conviction.
      Report Bias
    • Civil Rights Violations
      The Division on Civil Rights (DCR) investigates violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, one of the nation’s oldest and strongest civil rights laws, as well as violations of the New Jersey Family Leave Act, which provides job-protected time off for employees when they need to care for family members in certain situations.
      File a Complaint
    • Consumer Complaints
      DCA investigates general consumer complaints against NJ-based businesses.
      File a Complaint
    • Corruption
      The Office of Public Integrity & Accountability investigates public corruption and abuse of public office. Rewards of up to $25,000 for tips leading to a bias crime conviction.
      Report Corruption
    • Human Trafficking
      DCJ and the state’s County Prosecutors investigate human trafficking crimes.
    • Insurance Fraud
      The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor offers rewards of up to [CONFIRM] for tips leading to a conviction for crimes involving insurance fraud, including fraud involving Medicaid, health insurance, automobile insurance, disability benefits, and unemployment insurance.
      Report Insurance Fraud
    • Investment Fraud
      DCA’s Bureau of Securities regulates New Jersey’s securities industry, including broker-dealers and investment advisors. Report complaints here.
    • Licensed Professionals
      Through its 51 professional and occupational boards, DCA oversees the licensing of 720,000 professionals in New Jersey, including healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, etc.) and tradespeople (electricians, plumbers, home improvement contractors, HVAC repair, etc.). To find out if DCA oversees a particular profession and accepts complaints, click here.

    Law enforcement actions are taken by the Attorney General to protect the public good and to ensure a fair market place.

    However, for individual consumer complaints, the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection offers an informal dispute resolution program for complaints against a merchant or business.

    Although the Attorney General’s Office will do its best to assist you, we are not authorized to represent individual consumers in court or provide legal or financial advice.

    If you need a lawyer, please consult with your county bar association.

    To access complaint forms you will need Adobe PDF reader. You can download Adobe PDF Reader from Adobe Systems.

    Executive Offices

    Albany Office
    The Capitol
    Albany, NY 12224-0341
    (518) 776-2307
    Albany Complaint Form

    New York City Office
    28 Liberty Street
    New York, NY 10005
    (212) 416-8300
    NYC Complaint Form [Spanish] NYC Complaint Form – Spanish

    Regional Offices

    Binghamton Regional Office
    State Office Building
    44 Hawley Street, 17th Flr.
    Binghamton, NY 13901
    (607) 251-2770
    Binghamton Complaint Form

    Poughkeepsie Regional Office
    One Civic Center Plaza, Suite 401
    Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-3157
    (845) 485-3900
    Poughkeepsie Complaint Form

    Brooklyn Regional Office
    55 Hanson Place, Suite 1080
    Brooklyn, NY 11217
    (718) 560-2040
    Brooklyn Complaint Form

    Rochester Regional Office
    144 Exchange Boulevard, Suite 200
    Rochester, NY 14614-2176
    (585) 546-7430
    Rochester Complaint Form

    Buffalo Regional Office
    Main Place Tower
    350 Main Street, Suite 300A
    Buffalo, NY 14202
    (716) 853-8404
    Buffalo Complaint Form

    Suffolk Regional Office
    300 Motor Parkway, Suite 230
    Hauppauge, NY 11788
    (631) 231-2401
    Suffolk Complaint Form

    Harlem Regional Office
    163 West 125th Street, Suite 1324
    New York, NY 10027
    (212)364-6010
    Harlem Complaint Form [Spanish] Harlem Complaint Form – Spanish

    Syracuse Regional Office
    300 South State Street, Suite 300
    Syracuse, NY 13202
    (315) 448-4848
    Syracuse Complaint Form

    Nassau Regional Office
    200 Old Country Road, Suite 240
    Mineola, NY 11501
    (516) 248-3301
    Nassau Complaint Form

    Utica Regional Office
    207 Genesee Street, Room 508
    Utica, NY 13501
    (315) 864-2000
    Utica Complaint Form

    Plattsburgh Regional Office
    43 Durkee Street, Suite 700
    Plattsburgh, NY 12901
    (518) 562-3282
    Plattsburgh Complaint Form

    Watertown Regional Office
    Dulles State Office Building
    317 Washington Street
    Watertown, NY 13601
    (315) 523-6080
    Watertown Complaint Form

    Westchester Regional Office
    44 South Broadway
    White Plains, NY 10601
    (914) 422-8794
    Westchester Complaint Form

    Please remember the following:

    • We need complaints in writing and on our complaint form.
    • For consumer complaints, we encourage you to try to resolve the dispute with the company or individual before filing a complaint with us.
    • Please state your complaint clearly and concisely. You should enclose copies of all relevant documents.
    • Do not send us any original documents.
    • Filing a false complaint is a Class A Misdemeanor.

    Please understand that in order to resolve your complaint we may send a copy of your letter to the person or firm you are complaining about.

    If you have questions concerning your individual legal rights or responsibilities you should contact a private attorney.

    Generally, the mediation service is not available for:

    • Complaints between businesses
    • In cases where the consumer has already gone to court
    • Where a judge has already issued a judgment
    • If a private attorney represents the consumer
    • If the dispute is between private parties – that is, not between an individual and a business.

    If We Cannot Provide Any Immediate Assistance

    If your concern is not one that we can assist you with, we may either refer you to another government agency which may be able to assist you or just note it in our records.

    We look for trends or patterns of fraudulent and deceptive business practices. We may then be able to take legal action on behalf of all New York consumers who are victims of the unfair or deceptive practices we learn about.

    The Attorney General does not have jurisdiction over many areas of the law. For an extensive list of other agencies that may be able to assist you, please click here

    TO REPORT LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCIES, SAFETY CONCERNS, OR IF POLICE ASSISTANCE IS IMMEDIATELY NEEDED, DIAL 9-1-1 or contact local law enforcement authorities who receive and respond to calls for service 24 hours a day.

    PLEASE NOTE: The Office of Citizen Services’ operators do NOT monitor emails on weekends, holidays, or after weekday business hours (M-F 8AM-5PM). Please do not rely on electronic communications to report urgent emergencies or safety concerns. Dial 911 instead.

    In addition, please report known or suspected abuse/neglect/exploitation of a child or vulnerable adult to the state’s Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or online at https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us or call 911.

    Otherwise, the Office of Citizen Services will address online complaints and messages as quickly as possible.

    Office of Attorney General
    State of Florida
    The Capitol PL-01
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

    In accordance with 28 CFR 35.107, person(s) wishing to file a complaint or grievance against the Office of the Attorney General for denial of access to services to the public, as defined by 28 CFR 35.130, may do so through the Office of the Inspector General by using the on-line contact form, selecting Inspector General, and following the contact link or by calling the Office of Citizen Services at 850-414-3990.

    If you choose to provide information in a feedback form, conference registration form or other form on this site, unless specifically exempted by Florida Statutes, such information is a public record under Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Laws and available for public inspection upon demand.

    Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.