How to Complain Effectively

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Complaining can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t familiar with the process.  The number one rule to remember when complaining is no matter how angry or frustrated you might be, don’t start cursing, because it really will get you nowhere, so keep the stream of swear words inside your head. 

When complaining, always try to talk to the most high up person possible, as a simple employee won’t be able to do much for you, so always ask for a supervisor, and if a supervisor isn’t helpful, or tells you that they don’t have the authority to do anything about your problem, then ask for someone higher up, who has the authority to fix your problem.

When complaining, always ensure you speak clearly and explain not only your problem but why it needs to be fixed.  For example, if you bought a new television and noticed a scratch across the screen as soon as you took it out of the box then make sure you emphasize that the problem was spotted immediately and that it was obviously faulty when you bought it.  This will let them know that the defect wasn’t your fault, giving them more reason to take care of the issue.  As well, if you are a regular customer don’t be afraid to emphasize how much money you give the company on a consistent basis.  Companies will be more accommodating if they know they risk losing a regular customer. 

As well, if you know someone who had a similar problem and had it resolved, then let them know.  You can also inquire at competitors as to what they would do to resolve your problem, and mention this when you are complaining.  A company doesn’t want to look bad, especially when compared to competitors, and they won’t want to lose your business to competitors. 

It is vital that you be persistent, as many companies will hold out, hoping that you simply get tired of complaining and go away.  As well, when complaining, ensure that you get the name and position of everyone you have spoken too in the process of complaining. 

Some complaining is best done on the phone, while others are best done in person.  It all depends on your situation.  For example, if you find out that your friend who just switched to the same cell phone network that you’ve been on for five years is getting the same plan as you for half the cost, then complaining by phone would be the best option as phone operators have more authority than someone at the phone booth counter.  If, however, you bought a television and after a few days there was a problem with the color on part of the screen then your best bet would be to complain in store and bring in the product to allow them to see what the problem is. 

Most importantly, make sure that you always keep your receipts and that you are well aware of the return or exchange policy of stores, as well as warranties.    


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