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Consumer Protection Division
Consumer hotline:
(410) 528-8662
Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Attorney General's
Main Switchboard
Toll-free 1-888-743-0023

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About the Complaint Mediation Process

What happens when you file a complaint?
When we receive a completed complaint form and any relevant documents, we will first review it to make sure that our office is the best agency to assist you. The Consumer Protection Division mediates most complaints about goods, services or credit obtained for personal, household, family or agricultural purposes. If we can mediate your dispute, your complaint will be assigned to the first available mediator once we receive your documents.

If your complaint would best be handled by another state or federal agency, we will forward it to that agency for you. While we are happy to make such referrals, you may wish to call the Consumer Protection Division (at 410-528-8662 or toll-free in Maryland at 1-888-743-0023) prior to filing your complaint to determine if your complaint should be filed with another agency. Filing your complaint directly with the appropriate agency will enable that agency to address your problem more quickly.

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How long will it take to resolve your complaint?
The time it takes to mediate a complaint varies according to the complexity of the complaint and the willingness of the parties involved to mediate. Complaints are handled by volunteer mediators in the order in which they are received by the office. Depending on our current caseload, it may take several weeks to assign your complaint, so please be patient.

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What happens if mediation doesn't resolve your complaint?
Please understand that we cannot force a business to cooperate with our mediation efforts, and we are not authorized to provide legal advice or serve as private attorneys on individual cases. If our mediation efforts are not successful, it may be possible for your dispute to be resolved through our Arbitration Program. If either party does not wish to use arbitration, we will provide you with information on how to proceed with filing a private law suit in Small Claims Court or District Court.

  • Arbitration - The Division offers a free, binding arbitration service designed to cut red tape and resolve disputes quickly. At the outset, both you and the business must agree to participate in arbitration and be bound by the decision of the arbitrator. Arbitration hearings are held at a time and place convenient to both parties. More than 1,000 businesses in Maryland have pre-committed to have our trained arbitrator hear any disputes that are not resolved through mediation.
  • Small Claims Court - Read about the Small Claims Court in this brochure (PDF) or on the Small Claims web page of the District Court of Maryland.

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Questions?
You can reach us Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3 p.m. by calling the Mediation Unit hotline at (410) 528-8662 or the Attorney General's main switchboard at toll-free 1-888-743-0023.

 

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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