What elected officials are the best sources of help?
Local officials are usually the best place to begin when lodging a complaint. We are referring to those closest to you in proximity to where you reside. It is also helpful to find an official who has a history of dealings with the organization that has caused you grief.
For example, if you live in New York City and you have a complaint with the bus service, your local city councilperson would be the first person to lodge a complaint with.
If you have trouble with a state chartered savings bank, the best source is probably the State Banking Commission or its equivalent (in New York State the Department of Financial Services). If you are dealing with a large national or international bank, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) or your local Federal Reserve Bank may be your best choice.
For an airline, a complaint to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the best choice.
If you are having a problem with a communications carrier such as Verizon, we would recommend that you direct your complaint to the state Public Service Commission rather than the FCC because the former is much closer to home.
The closer to home the elected or appointed officials are, the greater your chance will be in eliciting help from them.
How do I find local media contacts?
When you are in your home town you probably are familiar with your local radio and TV stations.
How do you find these contacts when you are away? A simple query to Google, Yahoo and Bing can get you the email address of the type of media you wish to contact. If you are in a place you don’t know, for example" New York City", then a query like, “New York city newspaper list”, will locate sites with a listing of local papers. From there, you can choose the contact(s) you seek.
Print media is always looking for human interest stories In order to get published you need to make your complaint both interesting and entertaining. By sending your complaint to several local media outlets you may create competition for who will publish your story first. The more interest there is in your story, the greater the buzz, the chance of your complaint being resolved greatly increases.
Who do I complain to?
Experience shows that the best person to complain to is the people at the top echelon of the company usually the CEO and the person in charge of customer service. It is usually relatively easy to find who they are on the company’s web site. It may well be more difficult to get their emails but the following may help. Once you get a name do a Google, Yahoo, Bing search, “executives name email”. Additionally, most emails are structured first initial and last name (no space) @companyname.com or first name.last name or first name_last name. Trying all three of these will usually get you to their corporate email. Now do not expect that they will return your email personally but usually their administrative assistant will especially if you have also copied an appropriate regulator.
The first thing you need to do is look at the type of business you are dealing with, for example, hotel, air line, public utility, etc. You can then create a web search in Google, Bing, etc. like, “What type of business is Con Ed” and you will receive a reply like regulated utility. You can then crate a search like, “Who are the regulators for Con Ed”. You will then see the various state agencies you might complain to, based on the specific issues you have. If the issue is service it would be one agency if the issue is billing it could be another. Once you locate the agency you want to complain to you can go directly to their web site and often file your complaint there or you may find an email address where you can send your complaint. If the issue is with a bill or a fine you may want to scan in the document in question to support your claim. You will of course want to cc the company or organization against whom you are complaining. This will often get much more attention from the company then just a complaint to the company. If you do file a complaint directly with the company it will be useful to cc the appropriate regulatory agency.