Consumer Action updates its ‘How to Complain’ guide

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In honor of its 40th Anniversary, the national non-profit consumer advocacy and education organization Consumer Action has updated its perennial favorite guide How to Complain. The free and comprehensive booklet, designed to help consumers complain effectively and get results, is being unveiled concurrently with an issue of Consumer Action News, the group’s quarterly newsletter, devoted to helping consumers complain effectively.

In June 1971, a few volunteers set up Consumer Action’s first office in a nook donated by a San Francisco church. The fledgling group was organized to respond to consumer complaints and soon callers began to deluge the new consumer complaint resolution hotline. Forty years later, Consumer Action, now an organization of national scope and reputation, is still helping consumers solve complaints, with free advice and referrals on a wide variety of consumer issues. Last year the group assisted more than 7,000 individuals from all states through its phone and email hotline staffed by English, Spanish and Chinese speaking counselors.

The new issue of Consumer Action News contains articles on complaint handling resources, including the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, filing a health insurance appeal, tips for effective complaints that get results and a guide to complaint-handling agencies.

The How to Complain booklet, updated for settling disputes in the Internet age, includes a sample complaint letter and email, as well as advice on:

  • how to approach businesses with a complaint;
  • escalating a complaint through customer service or a company’s executive offices;
  • writing emails and letters about your complaint; and
  • documenting your complaint.

The guide can be read online or downloaded in PDF format at: New members receive a printed copy of How to Complain as well as a subscription to Consumer Action News. Click here to become a member.

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action ( empowers low- to moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers nationwide to financially prosper through education and advocacy. The organization will celebrate its 40th Anniversary on Oct. 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. For more information about the 40th Anniversary celebration, visit

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Consumer Action updates its ‘How to Complain’ guide   (how_to_complain_PR.pdf)




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