WHEN IT IS BROKE, HOW DO YOU FIX IT?

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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7.3 WHEN IT IS BROKE, HOW DO YOU FIX IT? HOW TO COMPLAIN AND GET RESULTS

By Debi Drecksler

Inferior workmanship is unfortunately becoming more and more commonplace in the manufacturing and service industries.  Many products are not living up to customer satisfaction.  Often, the consumer is placed in a position where he or she must "go to battle" to make things right. 

Some of the inferior products or services I have encountered lately include: a door handle that cracked in a fairly new car; chairs that lost parts (with normal use); dry cleaning that destroyed an expensive dress; and luggage that didn't make it through one airplane trip. 

Sometimes going through standard procedures with complaints does not resolve the problem.  When the dry cleaning company refused to acknowledge that they damaged my dress, I sought help from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  After several attempts to correspond with the dry cleaner (all futile), the BBB notified me that the only thing they could do would be document the complaint.  I decided to call the dry cleaning business and speak to the manager once again.  I asked him why he ignored all three letters sent to him by the BBB.  He claimed they were all sent to the corporate office.  (I was not quite believing that story.)  I asked for their phone number so I could talk with them directly.  The manager suddenly grew quiet.  "You know," I said, "you're a new business in town, and this type of customer service is not the way to make friends and build-up loyal clientele."  There was a pause, and the manager replied, "I'll be happy to give you a credit for future dry cleaning in the amount of the damaged dress." 

When the customer knows he or she is right, persistence without anger can often produce results. 

Though I am always tempted to shop when traveling, I think very carefully before making my purchases because of the possibility that the merchandise I am buying may not live up to expectations.  A few weeks ago, while traveling, I bought a lovely dress for my daughter, only to discover a run in the material after we were back home.  Since the chain store did not have a branch in my home town, there was nothing much I could do about it unless I wanted to try to handle it long distance, and that could have gotten quite expensive.  This is also one of my pet peeves about shopping mail order:  Most companies do not reimburse you for shipping and handling when you need to return a product.  The wave of the future seems to be online shopping, but I personally would rather have human contact when dealing with customer service issues.


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