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Property-Casualty Insurance

Consumers aren't alone when they've been wronged

Last week's column on a little-known state group that helps consumers with medical disputes generated emails from readers asking if organizations exist that can help them tackle other problems. Many agencies can help wronged consumers. The Federal Communications Commission, for example, mediates phone bill disputes, and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear about problems with credit cards. But before you reach for outside help, take a few steps on your own. First, contact the business directly and try to resolve the problem. In fact, some regulators will insist on this before they help you. Consumer advocates say it's best to make your case in person, if...