How to Complain & get compensation.

 

How to Complain or Methods of complaining have definitely changed since I realized effective complaining got me things for free, improved services for me- and others for that matter! Complaining/negotiating made me money by saving me money! When I first started – – I used a typewriter! – – electric though! No, I’m not 80 years old, nor 70, 60 or even 50. Let’s stop there..phew

Let’s cover off the most common methods of complaining:

● In person- face to face (one on one!!)

● Telephone

● Internet Submission through company’s website

● Email

● Written and mailed

● Written and mailed via registered mail or sign for delivery courier

● Social Media- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

 

I can’t say which method will work best for you–we all have different qualities in ourselves different knowledge, skills and abilities in complaining..my Dad was a bit of a swearer and angry when complaining, rest his soul. I don’t think I’d add his style into how to complain and get compensation! Yelling and/or swearing rarely works, and it’s just mean!

Some of us can hammer out a very articulate and compelling complaint letter or email but when faced with verbally articulating over the phone some fall down, ramble or explode! Remember one thing, give them a chance to fix it, whatever the “it” may be. I suggest following the chain of command, start at the bottom and work your way up. There are always exceptions to this.

Consider the seriousness of your complaint and the need for immediate action. Clearly your first time of poor service at a restaurant usually doesn’t warrant calling out the National Guard or firing a registered email letter to the CEO. This would be a face to face with the Manager in most cases – – this after considering, do I have a complaint, what is my goal, who do I complain to, make notes after the fact in this example and be nice.

Hopefully you achieve what you wanted. Bill covered, bar bill too, coupons for next visit , a hug! Whatever it may be..try and get it.

Now as has happened to me, some managers in the food service industry aren’t always as accommodating as others. Think bigger then.  If you don’t achieve your goal and perhaps too many excuses were made by the Manager, time to escalate. I’d suggest an email to the right person. That involves finding out who the right person is. Usually research via the Internet and then email, like I did with Otter Box and SodaStream in my previous posts. It takes time but it is worth it.

The telephone can resolve minor complaints in most cases such as discrepancies with your phone bill, satellite bill or perhaps a call with the General Manager of your car dealership about service. The call taker representatives are there to help but in many cases can only do so much. So when it’s at the point where what they can do is reached and you hear the familiar “Sir/Ma’am I wish I could do that for you but I’m not able to do that or not authorized.” Time for telephone escalation to a Manager. This takes time and you should be taking notes of how long you are on hold, how many reps you have talked to, how many times you have repeated your “story”, how many times you were disconnected so that at the appropriate time this information is now part and parcel of your original complaint.

Important for telephone complaints- get the person’s name and employee number you are speaking to right off the bat! They tend to not accidentally hang up on you then and try a little harder, plus if you escalate you have their name, date and time talked too and content!

I’ve found my initial complaint however valid has received much better results based on how I acted on the phone and how they treated me. Based on the level of service I received on the phone, poor in some cases, I have achieved what I wanted easier, free credits on my bill, early upgrades on my cellphone, some sort of compensation. Each case is different. Compensation comes in many forms. Remember, be polite , articulate, paint the picture for them and make notes in case the telephone complaint must be escalated to email.

Usually if you’re not satisfied after complaining on the telephone you should do some further digging to see who you should email. Finding the person’s email address is tricky as clearly not all CEOs or executives want emails flooding in. More advice on that in the future.

If your e-mail is your first course of action as you skipped face to face as it didn’t apply or you skipped the telephone or internet submission then compile your e-mail in a clear and concise manner.

You often see an internet submission form on a company’s website. I have used these with success and without success. Recently I submitted an internet submission about my Sony smart phone. I immediately received an automated return email advising that Sony had received my complaint. 5 days later I receive an email from a customer service representative advising me I had submitted it to the UK site and that I was in Canada. He gave me a link to resubmit my issue. Wrong move on his part- why couldn’t he take the two minutes or less and forward my issue to the proper place in Canada? Why am I forced to take the time and be inconvenienced to resubmit and start all over? This became part off my complaint among other things. Ultimately Sony was very good to me based on my email and telephone strategies. Thank you Sony!

When you are really getting into a boot fight and need to show your serious, send a hard copy via registered mail to an executive. This certainly shows you are not a push over, provided your submission isn’t written in crayon!! I usually save this for incidents where I have been hurt or injured and I don’t really want to hire a lawyer. Using the following comments or something similar sometimes has a great impact: ‘how do you intend to compensate me and/or my family if at all without involving legal counsel or media?’ (Feel free to email me your set of facts and I will draft an email or letter for you,  info@effectivecomplaining.com. Fees apply.)

If you are emailing or hard copy mailing something to a company, you just raised the stakes. You have a better chance of success in getting compensation and getting what you want, achieving your goal. Why? Most people don’t take the time to take pen to paper. When they do, businesses take notice.

Social media is a new avenue of complaining. I haven’t used it myself but surfing the net I have seen people taking companies to task. I certainly wouldn’t suggest running to social media at the get go in order to trash or embarrass a company about something they did or didn’t do for you. Again give the company a chance. If at the end of the day they still drop the ball or don’t do the right thing,  consider social media, professionally, to expose them. They may have a second look. Share your success or failure stories with your social media complaints at info@effectivecomplaining.com .

I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t settle. There’s money to be made by saving money!

complaintmentor