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Received Poor Customer Service? How To Complain Effectively

Recently, Consumer Reports published the results of its survey about customer service by several retailers. Many companies' customer service operations rated poorly. Consumers often left the store (or website or hung up the phone) in frustration without getting heard or their issue heard or resolved.

Consumers should not have to sue a retailer to get a response or the services they paid for. The CR report offered several suggestions for consumers to complain effectively to get heard and ideally get your issue resolved:

  1. Give praise: explain what the retailer did well. Whether on the phone or in-person, give the good news first and the bad news second. The customer service representative is human, is more likely to hear and act.
  2. Stuck in voice-mail hell? Consult websites such as such as dialAHuman.com and getHuman.com for the customer-service numbers to exit voice-mail to access a live representative.
  3. Keep a written record of the situation or problem. Keep any receipts. Make notes of the customer service representative's name, phone number and extension, date and time of your call -- or attempted call. If the representative provided a confirmation or service-request number, keep a record of that, and use that number later when following up online, via snail mail, or via phone.
  4. Escalate appropriately: if you have tried the above tactics without success, escalate the issue to the representative's supervisor. If you can't get resolution, politely ask the customer service representative to get his/her boss on the phone line.
  5. Don't give up. Speak firmly. Post your story on social-networking sites. Contact a consumer-advocate blogger. There are many around the country. If you use Twitter, use hashtags (examples: #custserv #fail; #sears #fail) to make your tweets searchable. 

Comments

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Alicia

First of all. Thanks very much for your useful post.

I just came across your blog and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here.

Dental Phone

I feel like customers service as a whole is on the raise. With the raise of social media it is very easy for people to share their experiences with products or services. So companies are improving their customer service in order to keep good reviews on the internet.

Sonia Roody

It is our right to complain when we feel violated or when we experience poor customer service. But you must always learn how to stay composed even in the hardest situations. As for the companies, always provide the best for your clients so complaints won't come in your way.

Abby Catherine

I complain all the time when I am not happy with service somewhere. Another way to get your opinion across is to join market research panels to give companies a good overview of what you think of them!!

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