IF YOU CAN'T GET WHAT YOU WANT, CALL AGAIN

How to Complain and Get Results
Effective complaining - resolving complaints.
How to state what you want and get a refund, exchange or credit. Step-by-step explanation of who to talk to, what to say, what to write. Many examples of successful complaint resolutions.
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6.1 IF YOU CAN'T GET WHAT YOU WANT, CALL AGAIN; HOW TO COMPLAIN AND GET RESULTS

When my wife found almost $20 worth of new service charges on her monthly checking statement (a possible $240 worth of charges on an annual basis), she called the bank. The impatient woman at the service desk said that my wife had been warned by the bank that these charges would be coming soon; she added that the bank could not refund the charges. Then the bank official quickly outlined about five different plans that my wife could switch to. She was totally confused. It all seemed like double talk.

My wife asked me what to do. I suggested that she call someone else at another branch. She did this. This new official refunded $17 worth of charges and carefully and patiently explained the banks new options.

6.1.1 GET YOUR MONEY BACK WITHOUT A RECEIPT

Recently I returned an expensive device to a discount department store. The only problem was I had no receipt. The associate at the service department did not seemed bothered by this. Getting my refund only took a few minutes.

I did have to fill out a form with my name, address, signature, plus show my drivers license with my photograph.

Each store has its own policy. I know that some will only accept two such returns in a year. Some may not accept any or offer only a store credit.

6.1.2 EXAMPLE OF NO RESULTS AFTER COMPLAINING

Water Bills Soak Elderly Woman

A woman in Seattle kept getting very high water bills. They were triple those of her neighbors who had many more people in their household. She was charged $60 per month while her neighbors paid about $20. It turns out the water district installed the wrong meter, over charged her for 14 years and now refuses to refund any money! The district is being sued.

(NOTE: this is a classic case of trouble shooting, i.e. locating the source of the problem. Step one: compare the bill with neighbors. Step two: check for leaks anywhere within the system. Step three: have an independent person check the meter and/or put another gauge on the system to measure the water demand. Step four: confront the city officials with the discrepancy between the two gauges and/or details about the faulty meter.)

6.1.3 MORE COMPLAINT TIPS

== Book and record mail-order "clubs" may not require you to return a card before a deadline.

Many mail-order "clubs" will send you a selection automatically unless your return a card before a certain date. While I liked my book club, I found the hassle of returning the card or the unwanted books to be too much bother. When I threatened to quit my book club, the company agreed to let me remain a member with NO regular book selection that would be sent automatically.

== Buy retail, return to the catalog.

When my wife needed to return clothes that she bought from a chain store at an out-of-town mall, she was afraid she'd have to take them back to that store. However, since the store had a catalog, the company let her mail the clothes to the catalog center which was much simpler.

== After six months my wife took back a canopy she had used only once to a department store. And they took it back! (Most stores have a max of 30 days.) Savings = $55.

== Mysterious charges showed up on my wife's small account with a brokerage firm. They explained that this account required a minimum, which we had not understood. We switched to a different kind of account, and got them to drop the charges. Savings = $50.


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RELATED LINKS TO HOW TO COMPLAIN AND GET RESULTS
| Get a refund from stores and merchants. | How To Bargain, Negotiate and Haggle |

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