The U.S. General Services Administration publishes an annual Consumer Action Handbook, a guide to help citizens make smarter decisions with their money. It is a compilation of buying tips from across government agencies, with updates on the latest scams and a consumer contact directory, and is available in both print and online formats. The Handbook also provides a sample consumer complaint letter wizard to help frustrated consumers experiencing a problem with a product or service: the Consumer Complaint Wizard asks a person to answer a few questions, and from the answers produces a downloadable letter that can be edited and mailed to the company responsible for the product. The Wizard takes the user through a 5-step process:
- Explanation of the product or service (including date of transaction)
- Mailing address of the company
- Description of the problem
- Choices for resolution of the problem, and
- A preview of the letter.
The Complaint Wizard also features “help” text and examples associated with a light bulb icon. The new online tool intended for consumer use supplements the resources available through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov) and other government agencies.