The Office of the Ohio Attorney General, or Ohio OAG, handles a variety of tasks for the citizens of the state. The OAG fields’ complaints about fraud and scams, oversees financial matters, handles legal issues on behalf of the state and its citizens, and advocates for consumers and victims of crimes in the state.

Among its many jobs, the Office of the Ohio Attorney General regulates issues like child support and gun rights for citizens. The Ohio Attorney CCW laws, or concealed carry, are enforced by the OAG as well as ensuring child support payments are paid on time.

The responsibilities of the attorney general are vast but can be divided into several broad categories. You will find more information on how to file each type of complaint below.

Ohio OAG Consumer Protection

The OAG works to protect consumers in Ohio from illegal practices. It’s important to note that the Ohio Attorney General is not a private lawyer, looking out for the interests of a single individual, but rather an oversight entity that can file charges against a company if enough consumers have chosen to file a complaint.

According to the consumer protection page of the OAG website, the consumer protection division “enforces laws that prohibit unfair and deceptive practices including but not limited to: false advertising, shoddy workmanship, and failure to perform services or to deliver goods.”

When you file an Ohio Attorney General complaint, you are alerting the government to a problem and adding evidence to a file kept by the OAG. If there are enough Attorney General Ohio consumer complaints about a company to show the company is breaking the law, the OAG can bring a trial against the company or individual.

According to its website, the consumer protection division of the OAG has “achieved landmark settlements and won millions of dollars in civil penalties and restitution for Ohioans.” The office maintains a collection of these cases for consumer review.

The Attorney General Ohio consumer complaints can also lead to highly publicized warnings and alerts by the OAG. When you submit a complaint, the OAG compiles the complaints and monitors trends. They might then warn other consumers about new types of fraud or scams that are occurring to try to prevent additional harm.

While the Ohio Attorney General does not act as a lawyer for private citizens, it can represent the interests of individuals as part of the greater community. For example, Ohio Attorney General complaints led to a case against Dad’s Home Repair & Excavation, LLC in 2019. The owner of the home repair company was found to have accepted monetary deposits for home repair and construction, but “failed to deliver those goods and services.” In short, he was accused to taking money for projects the company never completed. The case was settled and the company agreed to pay restitution to individual homeowners through the attorney general.

Dad's Home Repair case

These individuals were named in the case and their money was restored because they knew how to file a complaint with the OAG.

How to File a Consumer Protection Complaint with the Ohio Attorney General

The Ohio Attorney General website offers clear instructions on how to file a complaint both online and using a customer complaint form template. You can print this form and fill out the information by hand. Once it's completed, you need to file an Ohio Attorney General complaint.

The instructions for how to file a complaint are printed at the top of the form. You may send the completed printable complaint form to the Ohio Attorney General contact address in Columbus, Ohio, or you may call the stated phone number to speak with an associate. Also, it’s possible to file an Ohio Attorney General complaint online.

The three-page form contains specifics about the date, time, and dollar amount of the transactions as well as a long list of documents required to support your claim including advertisements, communication from the company or individual, or statements.

Before using any of the Ohio Attorney General contact, you should take time to gather the necessary information to prove that you are a victim of fraudulent or unethical business practices. Whether you choose to file your complaint by mail, by calling the Attorney General Ohio phone number, or by filling out the online complaint form, you will be asked for the same details.

How to Contact the Ohio Attorney General

When using the Ohio Attorney General contact information, you may:

  • Contact the OAG by traditional mail:

Consumer Protection Section
30 E. Broad St., 14th floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3400

  • Use the Attorney General Ohio phone number at 800-282-0515
  • Fill out an online complaint form on the Ohio Attorney General website.
  • Speak to the OAG in real-time using a chat feature on the website (at the time of writing, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the online chat feature was turned off).

Ohio Department of Insurance

The Department of Insurance in Ohio is not directly affiliated with the OAG but works in similar ways. The Ohio Department of Health Insurance offers several services to consumers and also investigates and works to resolve complaints about insurance fraud, scams, and unethical practices.

If you have questions about Ohio Department of Insurance regulations, you can find them on the agency’s website. The website also offers an Ohio Department of Insurance license look-up if you want to confirm that a company or individual is licensed and insured, as well as for instructions on how to file an Ohio Department of Insurance complaint if something has gone wrong in a transaction.

How to File a Complaint With Ohio Department of Insurance

The ODI has created online instructions for filing Ohio Department of Insurance complaints. According to the website, the department “saves consumers millions by reviewing different types of insurance complaints received from Ohioans related to cancellations, refunds, sales practices, misrepresentation, claim and benefit disputes, and more.”

Before starting the Ohio Department of Insurance complaint form online, you should try to resolve the complaint first with the company. Then gather information like your policy number, all written communication from the company, and your follow-up in writing. If the complaint is resolved through the company, you can use the online complaint center created by the Department of Insurance in Ohio to locate the area of your concern and file your issue.

How to Contact the Ohio Department of Insurance

To contact the Ohio Department of Insurance, you may:

  • Use the Ohio Department of Insurance address:

Department of Insurance
50 W Town Street Suite 300
Columbus Ohio 43215

  • Call the Ohio Department of Insurance phone number at 800-686-1526
  • File a complaint through the online complaint center.

Ohio Department of Health and Mental Health

The government in Ohio has created two departments to handle various types of health. The Department of Health and Human Services focuses on physical health and well being of Ohio Citizens.  The Department of Mental Health and Addiction offers citizens services and assistance with addiction and recovery as well as other mental health concerns.

Department of Health and Human Services

According to the website of the Ohio Department of Health and Human Services, or ODH, the department’s mission is to “protect and improve the health of all Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality care.” Part of these responsibilities includes monitoring the complaints filed with the Ohio Department of Health about a variety of health-related services and concerns.

The department tracks programs for adolescent health, lead paint and treatment, asthma testing, beach programs, drug and alcohol testing, and the treatment and care of residents in assisted living and nursing home facilities. The ODH is also responsible for the Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics, which registers births and deaths in the state.

How to File a Complaint to Ohio Department of Health

If you are concerned about the practices of a healthcare facility, you can file a complaint with the state of Ohio Health Department by phone, in writing, or online. The process is outlined in the OHD’s guide to filing a complaint.

How to Contact the Ohio Department of Public Health

To contact the Ohio Department of public health, you may:

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is a state department separate from the ODH. According to its website, the Ohio Department of Mental Health provides “statewide leadership of a high-quality mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery system that is effective and valued by all Ohioans.” The department oversees the state’s response to the Opioid crisis, manages licenses and regulations, and runs state psychiatric facilities.

How to File a Complaint With Ohio Department of Mental Health

Complaints about the Ohio Department of Mental Health are handled through a grievance process. If your grievance has been filed with the mental health provider and the answer is not satisfactory, you can appeal the decision through your county’s mental health board by speaking to the county’s client rights officer, or CRO.

How to Contact the Ohio Department of Mental Health

To discuss your grievance or appeal with the Department of Mental Health, you may call the Clients Rights division at 877-275-6364 or email the representatives at askODMH@mh.ohio.gov.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

The Ohio department of employment services is officially called the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, or JFS. According to its website, the JFS functions as the Ohio department of labor and employment and handles issues like filing for unemployment benefits, protective services, arranging Medicaid assistance, and veteran workforce solutions.

The department also provides the official Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Employment verification form for food assistance and cash programs.

How to File an Employment Complaint

Allegations of fraud or other complaints can be reported to the through the office of Fiscal and Monitoring Services. On the website for reporting fraud, you can select the category of complaint you’d like to file. Then complete the online form for the specific department you have selected. Requirements for documentation and information will vary based on the division of the JFS you are working with for your complaint.

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits

The Ohio JFS department also handles unemployment claims. To file for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, you will need to complete a quick questionnaire before filling out an unemployment form online.  The claimant registration consists of two steps. Be prepared to provide necessary details like your full name, social security number, bank account information, and other financial related information. 

Ohio has also created a portal specific for the needs of those who have been laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The website specific for COVID unemployment includes information for employees and employers and includes translation services. This portal offers step-by-step instructions and action for those seeking unemployment and expanded benefits during this time.

How to Contact the Ohio Department of Employment

To contact the Ohio Department of employment, you may:

Ohio Department of Commerce

The Ohio department of banking and finance is officially termed the Ohio Department of Commerce. The COM handles all of the tasks related to finance like small businesses, taxes as well as consumer issues like loans, mortgages, and banking.

As the de facto Ohio department of banking, the COM handles consumer complaints about credit cards, illegal or unethical lending practices, and fraudulent activities committed by banks and lending institutions. However, the Department of Commerce warns consumers that it can handle complaints only about entities under its jurisdiction.

According to its website, the COM cannot “address complaints against national banks, federal savings & loan associations, federal savings banks, or federal credit unions.” It explains “if the name of an institution contains "N.A.," "National," "Federal," "FSA," "FSB," "f.s.b.," or "FCU", it is a federally chartered institution.

The Department of Commerce also warns consumers that it “cannot resolve contractual disputes, undocumented factual disputes between a financial institution and a customer, or disagreements about policies and procedures.” They can’t “act as an advocate or ombudsman on your behalf, and cannot conduct detailed investigations of individual complaints.”

How to File a Complaint With Ohio Department of Commerce

If your concern falls under the Ohio department of banking complaints the Department of Commerce can assist, you may file a complaint by writing a letter to COM or by printing and submitting the online template. When you submit it, you should include copies of all supporting documentation with your letter or form.

How to complain

How to Contact the Ohio Department of Banking

To contact the Ohio Department of banking and commerce, you may:

  • Mail a letter or your completed form to the commerce office at this address:

Division of Financial Institutions
Office of Consumer Affairs
77 South High Street, 21st Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6120

When you feel as though a company has been unethical, fraudulent or committed illegal practices, you want to know that the government supports you and will take action. While not every complaint filed with the Ohio Attorney General or other departments within the Ohio government becomes a lawsuit, when you file a complaint, you are alerting the government to serious concerns. Your experiences may become the basis of warning for others, lawsuits, and legal action to stop unethical companies and possibly the basis of financial restitution in very specific situations.

Freelance Writer By Rebecca Garland
Business and Education Expert

Rebecca Garland, M.S. is a business and education writer. She holds secondary teaching certifications in six areas, has a degree in Business, and earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. As an expert, Rebecca has been working with international clients since 2005.

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