Steaming mad about a product or service? As a consumer, it is not unusual to experience (and even expect) an occasional problem with products we buy or services we receive. But if you’re ready to rip someone’s head off or give them a severe tongue lashing, you may want to reconsider. Giving the clerk or store manager a piece of your mind may make you feel better, but it may not get the results you want or deserve.
Product and service providers understand that consumers expect to receive products that work and service that merits their patronage. Most companies have policies in place for addressing the issues of unhappy consumers. Problems can usually be resolved quickly by speaking with a company representative. However, if you have tried to resolve the problem to no avail, it may be time to take it to another level: The WRITTEN COMPLAINT.
For some reason, companies seem to take a written complaint more seriously. But unless they are hopping mad, most people will not to take the time to write a letter. Beyond the possibility of resolving the dispute, the written complaint will serve as a record of the problem and your efforts to resolve it. It may also serve to alert the company or organization to a recurring problem at a particular location or with a particular employee or product.
6 Tips For Writing A Letter That Will Get Results:
1. Get A Name
The idea is to get your letter to the right person (someone who has the authority to do something about it) as quickly as possible. Sending your complaint to the wrong person or addressing the letter generically to the “Complaint Department” will only delay resolution and cause you additional frustration. With a quick phone call to the company’s service number, you can get the name and address that you need.
2. Kill Them With Kindness PissedConsumer
As angry as you may be about the situation, it’s important to realize that companies are more likely to respond positively, and even go above and beyond the call of duty, (think gift certificate) if the complaint letter keeps a civil and professional tone. A letter which includes calling the company or their employees by every name in the book, does not help your case, and in fact, may only serve to offend them.
3. Just The Facts
The problem should be clearly stated. Provide only information that is relevant to your complaint – what gave rise to it; location, date and time it occurred; steps you have taken to try to resolve it; and names of employees who have information about the problem. Avoid telling them that your brother-in-law, Bob, had a problem with the garden department five years ago, since it is not relevant to this particular instance.
4. The Proof Is In The Paperwork
Include copies of any relevant documentation you may have, including: receipts, contracts, service agreements and warranties. You should also include copies of any previous correspondence you have sent to or received from the company regarding the problem. Keep all original documents until the problem has been resolved to your satisfaction.
5. Be Reasonable
Any demands included in the letter should be reasonable and clearly stated. Since each situation is unique, there are no hard and fast rules as to what you should expect in the form of a resolution. It is usually safe to ask for whatever you think is fair. Asking for a full refund of the purchase price, plus a free trip to Maui, is a demand not likely to be met.