HOW TO COMPLAIN, GET A REFUND, AND NOT GET AGGRAVATED
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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7.2 HOW TO COMPLAIN, GET A REFUND, AND NOT GET AGGRAVATED
By Debi Drecksler
I did a lot of traveling this past year and though the trips were pleasant experiences, there were several instances when consumer services were not up to par.
Recently, I stayed in a hotel that I had read about in a packet of material promoting a popular Florida attraction area. The information had been sent to me per my request from a very reputable company. After calling the hotel and verifying the brochure's information with a hotel clerk, I made my reservations.
Though the staff was friendly and well mannered, the hotel failed to live up to my expectations. "Continental breakfast" consisted of a bag of pre-wrapped foods, high in fat and low in nutrition.. one small bag per customer. Since it was not enough to feed my hungry family, I had the extra expense of purchasing breakfast every morning. The "beautiful suite", though clean, was poorly maintained; closet doors were difficult to open; one of the bed's head boards was broken, and the water pressure was very weak in the shower. The "exercise room" consisted of two stationary bicycles. The laundry room was dirty and in poor condition and the pool was inhabited by dozens of ducks.
At checkout time, I first complimented the manager on his excellent staff, then mentioned that the hotel did not meet my expectations based on the brochure I had received. I handed the gentleman a neatly written list of my concerns and went over each one of them with him. Based on my list (and I'm sure the respectful way I approached him), he deducted 50% from the bill for my four night stay. I was very satisfied with the discount and extremely pleased with the manager's attitude. His last words were, "Please come back and we'll try very hard to make your stay a more comfortable one."
I have found through the years that with a proper approach, most of my consumer-related problems have been very nicely handled. The most important thing I always keep in mind is that the person I am dealing with will react to the way I approach him or her. If I raise my voice or become agitated, I have set the mood for a negative situation.
On my most recent trip, my family was in a restaurant when we observed a very irate customer, screaming at the food server because his omelet accidentally included peppers. "I refuse to pay for this meal," he hollered at the young waiter, "and I demand to see the manager." His family was embarrassed and everyone in the restaurant stared at him. As the customer walked out the door, the manager turned to his staff and said, "He could have saved himself a lot of stress and aggravation, because under the circumstances, I wasn't going to charge him for the omelet."
In most situations, a consumer with a problem will get better results by being polite and well mannered. A smile and a nice attitude can go a long way in diffusing a potentially unpleasant situation.