The squeaky wheel does get the grease
first...but if you come off like a whacko you're going to diminish your
chances for getting what you want and with the least amount of
Don't write your life history, be as concise and
thrifty with your words as possible...and most of all, be realistic with
your list of demands. Follow these guidelines and you'll win the
majority of the time. (Now quit your whinin' and get to work!)
These SIX STEPS TO
SUCCESSFUL COMPLAINING are easy enough to follow and will
immediately benefit anyone/everyone who thinks "they've
been wronged" by a company of virtually any size:
Paper Your Trail: If you've got a gripe, put it in writing
and document your conversations, correspondence, etc. with the company.
Rule? Always get Names, Dates, Faces, Numbers & Places: Take
(copious) notes! You're not always able to get people to give you their
name, especially in an adversarial situation..so be sweet early-on until
you get the bare-essential information...then turn up the heat if needed.
Always be sure to ask for the person's (with whom you're dealing) name
and title...and ask them their full name and title early
and before anything gets heated/adversarial.
Document-document-document! Your ability
to give a blow-by-blow chronology, detailing who you talked to, what time
and on what day can easily make the difference between success and failure
in your quest for justice.
If they won't give it up, write down a description [if you're
face-to-face] of the person you're dealing with.
If they won't give up any information, write down specific notes that
you'll understand and be able to interpret later if necessary. Numbers
must include the exact time your conversation started, the number you
called, the length of the phone call.
Always note where the event occurred, and of course, day/date/time of the
transaction in question. If you're calling a company, ask the person that
answers the phone what city/state they're located in; note the
day/date/time of your call, or their return call. Keeping a detailed
journal/call history will serve you well...trust me.
Pull the Trigger Early: If you don't get immediate
satisfaction on a local level or toll-free number early on, then quit
wasting your time and move up the management ladder swiftly! Use the
Internet to locate their home/main office, and even go to their website to
find out the name of the Chairman of the Board and President of the
company, and send them a Certified Letter.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT
jack around sending e-mails or calling toll-free numbers! There's no
way of knowing who's actually reading/screening them, and no proof they
actually received it, anyway! Certified
Mail is almost always bad news and the precursor to a lawsuit...that's why
you want to use it to get their attention!
Insider Tips from Ben:
Can't readily find the name of the company big shots? Here's two
proven methods to cut through their barriers and get the information
1: Go to their website and locate the MEDIA
section...and then peruse their latest press releases. Many of these
companies like to beat their chests about their latest-and-greatest
successes or earning news, and almost always quote a senior official,
frequently the president of the corporation, in their release.
E-Mail the Big Banana him/herself, with an original "copy"
via Certified Mail...and throw in a "cc:" to their chief media
masseuse to get their attention even faster.
Tip 2: Can't forget the Big Shot In Charge's e-mail
address? Go spend a little more time in the media/press
section, and see what e-mail addresses you can uncover. Usually, the
"syntax" of a company's e-mail address format is uniform
throughout the company.
For example, if their media mouthpiece's name is George
Costanza and his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org,
then there's a reasonable chance the president of the company (Cosmo
Kramer in this example) has an e-mail address of email@example.com.
The wildcard/exception to this rule? Middle initials: These [if they're
added or deleted] can change the syntax slightly, so play with the
combinations if you get your e-mail rejected by their company e-mail
Don't forget to send an "e-mail cc:" to me, and include
"traditional cc:" notation at the bottom of your letter;
include other appropriate media watchdog-types around the country.
Loading up a list of "cc:" e-mail addresses isn't intimidating
either. List the names and addresses at the end of the body of
text/complaint letter itself.
Define What You Want To Make You Happy: Don't just
Explain your situation and how you felt you were wronged, but then CLEARLY
DEFINE what it will take to make you happy.
Give the company an idea of what it's going to take to
send you on your way satisfied and allow them to either start over
with a clean slate or never hear from you again! You might be surprised at
how quickly they come around when you clearly state a remedy to their
lapse in customer service.
the Media! As referenced earlier, when you fire out
your letters, be sure to cc: (the old term used to note who is getting a
copy of your letter) a list of people/organizations on your side, such as
your home state's office of the Attorney General, the Federal Trade
Commission, and of course, local/regional/national media resources like
your pals here at www.bendover.com.
Give Up! NEVER take no for an answer, unless and until
you're told by the top dogs of the company you're demanding satisfaction
from to buzz off and even then, don't give up until you talk to an expert
(like an consumer-oriented/savvy attorney or someone like Benjamin Dover)
that will either advise you on where you stand (and if you're dealing from
a position of strength or weakness) or give you a realistic "Plan
B" in your quest for satisfaction!
Wanna know more?
Knowledge might be power, but throw some testosterone with that
advice and you'll win almost all of your battles. Click
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