9/24/2012 2:07 PM ET|
How to complain and get your way
When a product or service does not live up to your expectations, these 4 steps can help you resolve the problem.
All of us have complained about a product or service at one time or another. We've purchased a defective item, been the victim of bad advice or were promised more than was delivered. If the problem is big enough, we'll pursue a solution with determination and perhaps legal counsel. If the problem is small, we'll likely grumble a bit and get on with our lives.
But what do you do about those complaints that aren't really big, yet aren't small enough to overlook? What about them? Most of us will just send out a nasty tweet or post something on Facebook and then drop it.
Sometimes that's not a satisfactory answer. If we're unhappy with the product or service, it's much more likely that we'll spend additional money trying to get what we originally expected. But that's seldom a good strategy.
You don't have to walk away from those consumer complaints. There is a way to get maximum results with a minimum of effort. Try following these four steps to get your way when you complain.
1. Write it down
A written record does a number of things for you. It forces you to mentally walk through the events and recall what happened. It allows you to organize your thoughts into a powerful argument. It also allows you to put both the damage and your requested solution into proper perspective.
The written record can be used in a variety of ways. You might find yourself sending a registered letter or pasting it into an email. Even if you choose to visit the store in person or call in your complaint, it will be helpful to have your facts at hand. You'll avoid missing details and overlooking important points.
2. Stick with the facts
It's hard for a business to ignore undisputed facts. If you have the facts on your side, your case is much stronger. Try to avoid opinions. They're not worth nearly as much as something taken from your receipt, the product warranty statement or a mission statement from the company's website.
You'll begin by stating what happened: what was promised to you and who made the promise; what was delivered and how it differed from the promise. Be clear on how the promise differed from the results.
Include details like dates, who was present and where it happened. Be as precise as possible. That precision will help show the other side that you've thought about the situation and will also let them know that you're serious about reaching a resolution.
3. Know who can resolve your complaint
There's no sense complaining to someone who won't or can't give you what you want. So you'll need to decide whom to contact. That might take some detective work, such as a phone call to the store to find out the manager's name or an Internet search to identify the CEO.
But be realistic when you choose your problem solver. A $10 problem should be resolved by the store manager, not a corporate officer. Don't hesitate to aim high, though. You'll waste time if you choose someone who isn't authorized to help. If you're a level too high, they can always refer you to a subordinate.
4. Know what you want
Unless your goal is just to be heard, know exactly what you want to resolve the matter. Are you looking for a replacement product? A refund? An apology from the company?
Don't wait for them to make an offer. Be clear about what you're asking them to do. They may see your request as reasonable and simply say yes.
On the other hand, they may offer something less than your request. Be prepared for a counteroffer before you speak with them. Know in advance what the minimum is that would make you happy.
It's also possible they won't offer anything. They could choose to just blow you off. At that point, you'll need to decide whether to pursue it any further.
You could contact one of the complaint sites available on the Net. Or share a message with your social media friends and ask them to pass it along. That's unlikely to satisfy your original resolution, but it might make you feel better.
Most of us are not born complainers. We don't even like to complain. But with these four steps, you can get positive results when you feel you've been mistreated by a store or company.
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PS Thanks to those for example who purchase kids plastic pools then sit in them and get drunk with cigars or other items which burn or who get a dress or outfit, shoes then return them the next day we pay MORE for each item; or to those who SHOPLIFT for being fat and lazy...or destructive heathens run like mentally deficient et al...we who abide by the law--pay more for every items SOLD! WALMART is too lenient...see what shops in there...most cannot even speaka Englishm...Dial#2 for Spanish
The Dems when Biden was Senator voted TWICE against making English our official language: that is of my ancestry whose lives were taken for your freedoms taken for granted.
So what is important in the USA?
Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad: because they are at everyone's doorstep while the 47% b ch and com ain...ain't got enough blood from you...meaning me...
When the Chinese Communist takeover: they don't put up with blood sucking 2 leggeds!
A few more tips from someone who used to do the investigations of customer complaints for a Wall St mutual fund, trust and banking company (where we actually ran around and got it done with a quick turn-around AND, sometimes, the CEO or Pres would come by the desk to see what was up on certain cases and not just have others do it):
1. Use bullet points in a complaint letter. No one has the time to go through lengthy docs, and this applies to courts also (Last month, I even had a judge ream opposing counsel over how long his doc was, how backed up the courts are, he should know about the major budget cuts and vastly increased caseloads, etc. Frankly, it was a great deal for my client and I had no issues with the Stipulation once I went through it and fought for some changes).
Look up some federal complaints and see how they do it, but tweak it. For example:
"I. BadCorp owes me a replacement or repair....1, Paragraph 3
A. I purchased a warranty.................Page 1, Paragraph 3 (also see Exhibit A)
B. The item began to fail....
II. I complied with the warranty terms for repair.............Page 2, Paragraph 1
A. xxxxx Page 2, paragraph 1, (also see Exhibit B)
III. I made numerous efforts to resolve the issue...........2, Paragraph 2
2. I find out where the CEO lives and send the complaint letter inside a holiday card. Gone are the days of contacting CEO's offices and him/her having a staff that will actually get it done except in most egregious cases, as it used to be. I always did this around Dec (when i was sick of being bounced around) but hey, there is Halloween, Chanukah, Labor Day, Passover, NY Day, Election Day, Thangsgiving, Easter, Yom Kippur, and so many more...and Festivus for the rest of us.
How to is not the way it is! Nice try.
We the people would not be $17 T R I L L I O N in debt if our lst Amend Right to Redress were being attended to...
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