The fact that there’s a ‘Grumpy old man’ category on my blog should be a clue that from time to time I may be prone to complaining. Judging by a recent example from my dad (he was complaining to Tiscali who were being particularly incompetent at canceling his account), I think I must have inherited it.
I’ve had a reasonable success rate resolving complaints so, after spotting @Susan_Phillips_ was having trouble with AOL, I thought I’d post a few tips:
- Don’t get angry, particularly at any individual. It’s not nice and it won’t help.
- Keep notes. It will probably take a little while to resolve a complaint, so keep track of what happened and who you’ve spoken to.
- Write. It’s unlikely anyone in a call centre will be able to help you and, if there is, you’re even less likely to get through to them! It’s also much harder to ignore a written complaint when it arrives recorded delivery.
- Get advice. For example, Hampshire has a consumer advice page and Consumer Direct has more advice and template letters.
It might take a bit of persistence to get anywhere, but it’s usually worth it. I tend to write to the customer service manager but my dad had to go to the managing director to sort out his problem with Tiscali, and you should too if no one else is helping. Just make sure your complaint is reasonable and clearly state what the company needs to do to resolve it.
Obviously not every company will do the right thing, but they never will if you don’t give them the chance. For example, O2 did cancel my contract and give me a refund when I had problems with them, so I would consider going back (still tempted to get a Palm Pre). On the other hand phones 4u won’t be seeing my money again, and Ikea can keep their meatballs!
Do you have any tips or success stories?