How to Complain to Get Results

As I’m now in the middle of a bunch of problems with Amazon, it occurred to me that most people don’t really know how to complain effectively. Oh, sure we complain, but you need to do it in a way that the business will help you, refund you, fix the issue, or even just pay attention to you.

We typically call the 800-no service number and get mad. And after we give them a piece of our mind, we often end with “I’ll never deal with you again.”

What’s the point of working to make you happy just to have you deal somewhere else?

If a relative needs help with something, would you? Of course! You know them, like them, they say please and thank you, they’re grateful and you feel great that your time and talents made a difference to someone. THAT is what you need to remember when you call the 800 number. You’re dealing with someone that will take 50 to 100 or more calls in a shift, makes maybe $15 an hour, has supervisors pushing to deal with stuff quickly, and has been talking to mad people, many of whom lie, for six hours already.

Always stay calm, don’t raise your voice, don’t threaten, stick to the facts, and start with a one-sentence statement of what you want. Say please, and be pleasant, and tell the person you really appreciate them helping you. That will solve 75% of your issues. Do write down the date, time, and name of the person you’re speaking to.

Step two is to escalate the matter if you’re running into a brick wall of no help. Find a vice president of customer service, marketing, your bank’s regional manager, or whatever area your complaint falls under. Go online or ask one of your kids to do it for you. You want the contact information for a regional manager or vice president. The CEO isn’t calling you back, but one or two levels down, that person will pass your SOS request to someone that WILL fix it for you – guaranteed.

Send an email or a letter – one page tops. Again, write what you’d like at the top, remind them how loyal you’ve been and how shocked you are that such a great company hasn’t fixed this for you. Include the dates, times, and who you called already, with no results. I’ll guarantee you’ll have someone get in touch within 24-hours!

With Amazon, I found the email for the Canadian VP on Linked-in. The next day I had $60 refunded on my seller account, and someone from his office on the phone.

With my cable company, and the world’s slowest internet, the Vice President’s office had a “special issues” incredibly helpful supervisor call me from their BC office the same day, and a technician was at my house the next morning, with a follow-up visit, and a call every week to see how my internet was now performing.

Stay focused, factual, calm, and nice and you’ll get what you deserve. You really do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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