Switch to previous version of Magzter
How To Complain And Get Results

Impersonal customer service makes it hard to get help. Here’s the script for success.

Patricia Mertz Esswein

TAKING A COMPLAINT TO CUSTOMER

service can be maddening. No one wants to deal with endless phone trees, outsourced representatives working from inflexible scripts, automated responses or chatbots. “Despite saying they provide more ways than ever to contact them, companies are building fortresses around themselves so that no one has to interact with you,” says Christopher Elliott, of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit consumer group.

To breach the walls and successfully resolve your complaint, says Elliott, you must use the three p’s: patience, persistence and politeness. Don’t expect an instant fix, and give the company’s complaint process time to work. Be prepared to tell your tale repeatedly, taking your complaint up the chain of command if necessary. And even if you’re frustrated and furious, make nice. Being polite will help your complaint go to the top of the pile and get you a better response every time.

Here are steps you can take to get the results you want.

Document everything.

It’s still called a paper trail, even though much of the information may be digital. For any product or service for which you pay a sizable sum, keep copies of your order confirmations, receipts, contracts, work orders, warranties, service agreements and billing statements. If you opt to get a receipt by e-mail or text, make sure you receive it and file it. Before you dispose of product packaging, remove enclosed paperwork that may include a warranty and customer-service phone number. Also remove the bar code, which you may need to obtain a replacement item, says Amy Schmitz, a law professor at the University of Missouri.

Continue Reading with Magzter GOLD

GoldLogo

Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines

READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE

October 2019

MORE STORIES FROM KIPLINGER'S PERSONAL FINANCEView All
Test-Drive Your Retirement
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
5 mins read
Make Time for a Retirement Checkup
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
2 mins read
Invest in a Landmark
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
5 mins read
Credit Card Confidential
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
5 mins read
Minivans: What's Not to Like?
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
5 mins read
Couples & Money: When Together Is Better
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
9 mins read
Plan Now to Retire Worry-Free
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
10+ mins read
Watch Out For The Elder Fraud Web
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
10 mins read
Squishy Science
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
2 mins read
Retirement Savings For The Self-Employed
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
4 mins read