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Where to file a complaint against a business

If you have a gripe about a business, talk to a company representative first. But if that fails, you can ramp it up by filing an official complaint with a government agency.

March 11, 2012|By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
  • Framers work on a home in Carlsbad.
Framers work on a home in Carlsbad. (Lenny Ignelzi, Associated…)

If you have a gripe about a business, your usual first step would be to talk directly to a representative of the company. But if that fails to resolve the issue, you can ramp it up by filing an official complaint with the appropriate government agency. Here's where to go for some common consumer issues:

•Contractors. The California Contractors State License Board handles complaints related to such things as poor construction work, failure to finish a job, unpaid subcontractors, building code violations and deceptive advertising. It also investigates unlicensed contractors. Call (800) 321-2752 or visit http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/FilingAComplaint/.

•Moving companies. The California Public Utilities Commission handles complaints against moving companies for moves entirely within the state. Call (800) 366-4782 or visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/CEC/e_complaint/c_movercomplaint.htm. For interstate moves, call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at (888) 368-7238 or go to nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.

•Airlines. The federal Aviation Consumer Protection Division investigates airline customer service issues. Call (202) 366-2220 or visit airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/es.cfm to file an online complaint. For safety issues, contact the Federal Aviation Administration at (866) 835-5322.

•Cars. For automotive safety complaints, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at (888) 327-4236 or visit www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/. For an issue related to a car dealer in California, you can file a complaint with the Department of Motor Vehicles by going to http://www.dmv.ca.gov/consumer/invest/inv172.htm.

•Doctors. The California Medical Board is responsible for investigating complaints in the state against physicians over issues such as poor treatment, drug prescription mistakes, substance abuse, sexual misconduct, fraud and the practice of medicine without a license. Call (800) 633-2322 or visit mbc.ca.gov/consumer/complaint_info.html.

scott.wilson@latimes.com

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