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Where to complain about a contractor in different situations.

2) What your complaint is about:
If you believe your contractor has done something wrong or has violated laws or building codes, it's best to complain to your State's licensing authority charged with regulating the business that is the subject of your complaint (this can be the home improvement commission, the board of contractors, or the department of licensing and regulation). Licensing departments/boards usually do not investigate consumer complaints about fees charged by a contractor unless the primary subject of your complaint is false, misleading, or deceptive advertising by the contractor.

If you think that a plumber or contractor overcharged you, try the Better Business Bureau.

You can usually file a consumer complaint with your State's Attorney General Office. The least that they can do is to suggest to you where to take your case.

You may post any complaint on the Internet.

3) Monetary value of your complaint:
Obviously, if you are complaining about a $100 job the court may not be the best option. Theoretically, you can take even a $100 case to the Small Claims Court. However, the court fees (filing fee, process serving fee, etc.), and the amount of time and effort that the court proceedings require, make this “game hardly worth the candle”. (However, if you win your case, the judge may add the process-serving fee to your damages).

Your state licensing board may or may not follow up on a $100 complaint. Licensing boards/departments may prioritize all the complaints based on the seriousness of the allegations and your $100 complaint may not be a high priority for them.

If there's a lot of money at stake, you should seriously consider taking your case to court.

No matter how small (or big) your complaint is you can post it on the Internet.

Next page: What do you want to accomplish with your complaint?

Back to: Where and how is it best to complain?

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