A consumer complaint or customer complaint is “an expression of dissatisfaction on a consumer’s behalf to a responsible party” (Landon, 1980). It can also be described in a positive sense as a report from a consumer providing documentation about a problem with a product or service.
Consumer complaints are usually informal complaints directly addressed to a company or public service provider, and most consumers manage to resolve problems with products and services in this way, but it sometimes requires persistence.
If the grievance is not addressed in a way that satisfies the consumer, the consumer sometimes registers the complaint with a third party such as the Better Business Bureau, a county government (if it has a “consumer protection” office) and Federal Trade Commission (in the United States). These and similar organizations in other countries accept consumer complaints and assist people with customer service issues, as do government representatives like attorneys general. Consumers however rarely file complaints in the more formal legal sense, which consists of a formal legal process.