I’m interviewed today in an Atlanta Constitution article on how to improve your chances of getting consumer problems resolved.
Here’s an excerpt:
Consumers often put up with poor products and shoddy service, shoving that faulty battery charger to the back of the junk drawer or bite their tongue when a clerk says that blinds scheduled to arrive last Friday simply aren’t in yet. Many hate to be rude or lack the energy to argue for better treatment when a product fails to deliver. But that’s not the best approach.
“This is business. You buy something, it should work,” says B.L. Ochman, a New York blogger (www.whatsnextblog.com) and Internet marketing strategist. “If it doesn’t, or if you’re not happy with it, the company should make good.”
If you don’t complain, businesses have no reason to correct bad behavior, says Ochman, who used to own a company called Rent-a-Kvetch that complained on behalf of disgruntled customers. She even secured a free case of Twinkies for a man who bought a boxful that contained no filling.
“There should be a consequence when a company screws up, the same way there would be one if you screwed up,” Ochman says.
Glad to see you raising this subject. As a master kvetcher, I think that companies WANT to hear from customers when things don’t go right. I always begin my complaint by telling the company that I’m a regular customer, etc., then I explain what went wrong. And I always state what I expect them to do! It works every time.
And retailers and companies alike learn more from a customer who makes the time to complain than one who merely tosses the offending product [or service, however you toss that].
Do just go away mad, let someone know you’re disappointed. That they failed to deliver on their “promise”.
It doesn’t have to be hostile, just lucid, coherent. And that’s why many people’s comments fall on deaf ears… like my rants to Comcast.
Occasionally, you hear back from a PERSON, and even more occasionally, you get free stuff, or coupons in the mail. Mebbe even your money back.
My wife sees a strange envelope in the mail… and she says, “who’ve you been writing to now?”
Got my money back more times than I can count [on one hand], but it’s about companies learning that we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore.