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How very frustrating it is to give hard-earned money for a product that is found to be defective. Remembering being disappointed in previous encounters with the “return process” dread begins to creep into our thoughts and we contemplate the anticipated skirmish. I know somewhere out there are kind and understanding retailers, however, the ones who have been rude are the ones recalled. The thought entered your mind while feeling less than intelligent and quite inadequate “how I wish I knew how to match the wits of this person I am dealing with!” Let’s try to gain some understanding.

Get your facts straight; let them know they are dealing with an effective efficient person. You will need the following.
* Copy of the sales slip.
* Model or serial number.
* Do you want a refund, exchange or repair?
* They will need to know why the item was un-satisfactory.
* Know the date and where you purchased the product.
* Approximately how much it was used and what it was used for.
* How did you give reasonable care to the product?

Our problem must be a valid one. We need to ask ourselves have we abused this item in any way? Was it used as it was supposed to be? You must be honest in your evaluation, and if any of these logical questions have to be answered “yes” then you will embarrass yourself to try to return it.

If you purchased the product in your hometown or local area then proceed there first. The business has a reputation to uphold and should try to please its return customers. If you are not satisfied with the response ask to see the manager.

If direct contact with the retailer is not successful you have the option to write to the manufacturer. Each product will have a manufacturer’s identification. If you know only the company name check with your public library, and they may be able to help with an address. Make your written complaint brief. Include the date and place the item was purchased. Send copies of facts, not originals! The letter should be addressed to the Consumer Affairs department of the company. Sending the letter “return receipt requested” may encourage a quicker response. The information found on can be used to send complaints to companies and agencies.

Clearly state your problem and what you would like to be done. The facts should be presented as to why the item is defective. You may take your complaint to the Consumer Protection Division of your state. The communication with this office should include previous correspondence and responses from manufacturers and retailer. Consumer Protection has the option to serve as a mediator or may refer you another agency.

Better Business Bureau:
If your complaint is about a specific business this will be the route to take. They will act as a third party to try to settle informally. They can offer arbitration as an option. You can find your local BBB online at or check with your library.

It is to your advantage to control your anger, and be reasonable, speak in a manner that is non-threatening and controlled. Your letters if possible should be typed and easy to read. Let there be no doubt, have your facts!