Trying to figure out where to complain (other than regulatory agencies about which I write and talk) can be tough. However, online sites can help you not only to vent, but also to help provide information about companies. Check 'em out.
• www.airlinecomplaints.org is for complaints or suggestions.
• www.angieslist.com is a paying site, but complaints about local service providers may be lodged for free.
• www.apartmentratings.com offers reviews and ratings.
• www.avvo.com gives us lawyer and doctor reviews.
• www.charitynavigator.org provides reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations. (Good site for when you wish to contribute but don't know how much of your funds actually go to the charity.)
• www.complaints.com speaks to issues about products, services, companies, and professionals. (What I used to do under the alias of Ellen's Poison Pen and, also, when I ghost-wrote complaint letters.)
• www.consumerist.com, owned by Consumer Reports, reviews complaints about products, services, and companies.
• www.edmonds.com discusses and reviews cars and car-related topics.
• www.pissedconsumer.com (I love this title) reviews and shows complaints about products, services, and so forth.
• www.ratemds.com reviews and rates doctors, dentists, and includes access to medical-board records.
• www.tripadvisor.com reviews and rates hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals, cities and towns, and lots more. (Take what's said with a grain of salt as I've heard managers sometimes write their own glowing reviews and pretend to be customers.)
• www.trustlink.org is a Better Business Bureau site that reviews and rates companies and professionals. Even better, it alerts us to scam artists.
• www.yelp.com reviews and rates local companies and professionals.
Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at www.timesfreepress.com under Local Business.