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You can file a complaint about fraud or deceptive practices by retail stores in New York City.

Complaints include: 

  • False advertising 
  • Overcharging 
  • Refusing an exchange, return, or refund 
  • Selling damaged or defective goods 
  • Failing to deliver goods or services 
  • Failing to post prices or provide a complete receipt 
  • Providing an illegal receipt 
  • Failing to post credit card limitations 
  • Failing to provide layaway terms or ID requirements 
  • Selling prohibited items, such as box cutters, etching acid, tobacco products, or laser pointers to minors 
  • Selling toy (fake) guns that are not brightly colored 

You need a receipt or a copy of any misleading or deceptive advertisement to file a complaint. 

If a business has any kind of restriction on the use of a credit card, such as requiring a minimum purchase amount to use one, the store must clearly post the policy near the register and the front entrance, as well as in any ads that say the business accepts credit cards.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) does not take complaints about bed bugs.

What Happens Next

To receive follow up on your request, you must provide your address. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) will mail you a complaint form, which you must complete and return. If you also provide an email address with your Service Request, you will receive the form by email instead. Be sure to check your spam folder in addition to your inbox.

DCWP will consider your complaint a tip if you do not provide your address.

In 2020, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection announced a permanent price gouging rule under the City’s Consumer Protection Law. The rule makes price gouging illegal for any product essential to health, safety, or welfare during a declared state of emergency in the City of New York.

Examples include:

  • Staple food items (milk, bread, eggs)
  • Emergency supplies (water, flashlights, batteries)
  • Diagnostic products and services (test kits, thermometers)
  • Disinfectants (wipes, liquids, sprays)
  • Face masks
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medicines
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soap
  • Gasoline

It is illegal to increase the prices of these types of goods and services by 10% or more.

If you think a store, including an online business or a street vendor, excessively increased the price of these items beginning in June 2020, you can file an overcharge complaint with the City.

The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection does not accept reports of rude employee behavior. You should report this type of complaint to the business.

For reports of discrimination, go to the Discrimination page.

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection can help you with complaints about businesses in New York City. For complaints about businesses elsewhere, contact the local Consumer Affairs office or the State Attorney General's office.


Learn how to file a complaint for a business outside of NYC.

By Phone

  • Agency: Nassau County Consumer Affairs
  • Phone Number: (516) 571-2600
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

  • Agency: Suffolk County Consumer Affairs
  • Phone Number: (631) 853-4600
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

  • Agency: Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection
  • Phone Number: (914) 995-2155
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

  • Agency: New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
  • Phone Number: (973) 504-6200
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

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