There are a number of government agencies that can assist you with a complaint that you have. Some have their own mediation processes. These agencies resolve thousands of complaints each year, without using the courts. It is worthwhile to try these first before court.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Consumer Response Center
6th and Pennsylvania, NW
Washington, DC 20580
(877) 382-4357 (toll free)

The FTC is a federal agency responsible for preventing fraud, deception and unfair business practices in the marketplace. You can file a complaint about companies, credit reporting agencies, organizations and media violence, Internet scams, telemarketing complaints, identity theft, or any fraud or misrepresentation about products for sale. The FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection does not resolve individual consumer problems, but it compiles a list of complaints to be used to investigate fraud and can lead to law enforcement action. To report a credit card crime, you can call the Consumer Response Center at (877) 382-4357.

  • Publications- The FTC also offers a number of publications for consumers. Go to www.ftc.gov and click on the tab that says "Consumer Protection." Topics include: Automobiles, computers and the internet, credit and loans, diet/health/fitness, education and scholarships, energy, ID theft, investments, shopping for products/services, and telemarketing.

File an FTC complaint

Office of the Attorney General

Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Tel: (410) 528-8662

If you are a Maryland consumer or if you have done business with a company, organization or individual in the state of Maryland, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division. Mediation is offered to work with you and the business in an effort to reach a mutually agreed-upon resolution to the dispute. You can report complaints about medical billing, health care, new car warranties, auto repair, new home construction, landlord tenant disputes and other business transactions.

Submit a Consumer Complaint Form

United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector
Criminal Investigations Service Center
Attn: Mail Fraud
10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Ste. 200
Columbia, MD 21044-3509
Tel: (877) 876-2455

U.S. Postal Inspectors investigate crimes, (such as chain letters, free vacation scams or missing persons scams) which use U.S. mail. Postal Inspectors may take action against violators, but they cannot ensure you receive a refund for money lost.

File a complaint with the USPS

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
Tel: (800) 832-5660
 
The  primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The FMCSA receives complaints about motor carrier drivers and employers, household goods moving companies, brokers or carriers.

File a complaint with the FMCSA.

Baltimore Community Relations Commission
10 N. Calvert Street, Suite 915
Baltimore, MD 21202
Tel: (410) 396-3141

The CRC receives and investigates complaints of alleged discrimination. You may file a complaint in person regarding unlawful discrimination in Employment, Public Accommodation, Housing Education, Health and Welfare Services.

File a Claim with the Baltimore Community Relations Commissiom

Maryland Board of Physicians (MBP)
4201 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
Tel: (410) 764-4777
Toll-free: (800) 492-6836
TTY: (800) 735-2258
 
If you have a complaint about any health provider licensed by the state of Maryland you may submit a complaint for yourself or on behalf of a patient with the MBP. Your complaint may be related to health care services provided by a: Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist’s Assistant, Medical Radiation Technologist, Nuclear Medical Care Practitioner, or a Respiratory Technologist.

File a Complaint with the MBP

Board of Dental Examiners
Spring Grove State Hospital
Benjamin Rush Bldg.
55 Wade Ave/Tulip Dr
Catonsville, MD 21228
Tel: (410) 402-8501
Toll Free: (877) 463-3464

The Board of Dental Examiners updates and informs consumers of regulations concerning dental hygiene. Consumers who wish to file a complaint against a dental professional  (for concerns of sedation practices, dispensing of prescription drugs, unlawful sexual misconduct by a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental radiation technologist, dental licenses, unsanitary workplaces, unpleasant behavior etc.) may contact the Board of Dental Examiners Office or file a complaint form on-line.

File a Complaint with the Board of Dental Examiners

Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)
2310 Broening Highway, Suite 150
Baltimore, MD 21224
Tel: (800) 492-TIPS (8477)

This agency is responsible for the safety conditions of the state's highways, gas regulation and public transportation. Contact the MDTA for complaints about toll booths, E-Z Pass or propane regulations or to report suspicious or terrorist activity.

Maryland Insurance Administration
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202-2272
Tel: (410) 468-2340
Toll-free: (800) 492-6116
TYY: (800) 735-2258

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) is an independent State agency that regulates Maryland's insurance industry and protects consumers by ensuring that insurance companies and health plans act in accordance with insurance laws. The MIA can assist you with your insurance inquiry or complaint about health, life, property and casualty insurance.

The MIA also established a Rapid Response Program designed to help certain consumers resolve property and casualty claims (such as auto and homeowners claims including those made under commercial lines policies) quickly and without having to file a formal written complaint. For more information about this program, please contact us at (410) 468-2340 or 1-800-492-6116 ext. 2340. Participation in the Rapid Response Program is voluntary and does not affect your rights to file a formal complaint.

File a complaint regarding insurance

National Credit Union Administration
Region II - Capital
1900 Duke Street, Ste. 300
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (703) 519-4600
 
The National Credit Union Administration regulates federal credit unions and insures the vast majority of all credit unions in the United States. While NCUA does not arbitrate member complaints, they following may be able to help with a complaint concerning a federal credit union, a federal savings and loan (S&L) or a federally-chartered savings bank (F.S.B.), a national bank (a bank with a name containing the word "national" or the initials "N.A."), or a credit reporting agency or lender other than a credit union, bank or savings and loan

Complaints about a financial institution

Maryland Department of Agriculture
50 Harry S. Truman Pkwy
Annapolis, MD 21401
Tel: (410) 841-5700
 
Pest control companies are licensed through the Pesticide Applicator's Section (410) 841-5710. To file a complaint against a firewood dealer contact the Weights & Measures Division at (410) 841-5790.

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)- Auto Safety Hotline
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building
Washington, DC 20590
Toll-free: (888) 327-4236 or (800) 424-9393 
TTY: (800) 424-9153
 
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration maintains a complaint database to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists in a motor vehicle or an item of motor vehicle equipment. If a safety defect exists the manufacturer must fix it for free. The NHTSA lists information about and receives complaints regarding safety problems in: motor vehicles, tires and automotive equipment such as child safety seats, recalls.

File a complaint with the NHTSA

Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation
500 N. Calvert Street Suite 402
Baltimore, MD 21202
Tel: (410) 230-6100
 
The MD Office of the Commissioner Financial Regulation is the primary regulator for financial instutions chartered in Maryland. These include state-chartered banks, state-chartered credit unions, and state-chartered trust companies. The Office can assist you by investigating complaints of questionable business practices involving financial institutions under its supervision and in related financial institutions. 

File a complaint with the Office

Comptroller Of Maryland
110 Carroll St.
Annapolis, MD 21411
Tel: (410) 260-7980

The Comptroller of Maryland allows consumers to file complaints regarding employers not withholding taxes on paychecks or about wages. The Comptroller of Maryland's Ombudsman's Office can help with tax-related issues if you are unable to resolve them through regular channels.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
City Crescent Bldg
10 South Howard Street, 3rd floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Tel: (800) 669-4000
 
This government agency enforces anti-discrimination laws and reviews complaints of employment discrimination.
Any individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC. In addition, an individual, organization, or agency may file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect the aggrieved person's identity.  Discrimination types include: age, disability, equal pay, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, retaliation, sex and sexual harassment.

File a charge of discrimination.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Consumer Health Information
Rm 5377, Bldg 32
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Tel: (410) 779-5713
 
Consumers play an important public health role by reporting to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) any adverse events (unexpected side effects) after using a medical product, or other problems with any products that the agency regulates. Timely reporting allows the agency to take prompt action. There are a number of ways you can report problems to the agency, depending on the type of problem and product.

Guide to reporting a problem at FDA

Maryland Attorney General
Health Education and Advocacy Unit

200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD  21202
Tel: (410) 528-1840

The Health Education and Advocacy Unit is a division of the Maryland Attorney General's Office. It helps consumers resolve billing disputes with hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and other health care providers and also helps negotiate funds for medical equipment that is defective.

File a complaint

Source: 

A special project of the Eastern Shore Regional Library under a Library Services Technology Act grant from the Division of Library Development Services/MD State Department of Education (author: Ayn H. Crawley).

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