I will try to make this as short as possible. Back in 2006, my wife and I tried to sign up for a family plan on AT&T. They said sure, but my wife had a out of state number so they wouldn’t let us get the family plan. So I told the guy in the store that no where in writing does it say you can get a family plan only with in state numbers. So we called corporate, explained the situation and corporate said, we’re sorry currently it’s a software limitation. I politely said, “No problem just adjust our bills temporarily until the software is updated to accommodate us.” They refused. I got pissed. I raised my voice in the store. I spent fifteen minutes saying as your paying customer you are not allowing me to opt into this plan which is available to all AT&T customers with no conditions. That statement got me no where. So I asked for the guy’s supervisor. I proceeded to explain everything again to the supervisor and he just said sorry, software limitation. So I asked for his supervisor, which led to the same outcome. Then asked for his supervisor, same story. I moved up their manager ladder two more times, and got the name/number/address of the vice president of something or other and was ready to write a letter of complaint. Later that night, I was so furious but kept my letter professional and to the point. After all that, I’m not sure what happened to my determination but I just gave up and decided not to send the letter. I had no idea I could’ve actually sued AT&T for discrimination and reported them to BBB. Still to this day I don’t know why I didn’t mail the complaint letter. Also it’s crazy how terrible the customer service was and how many managers (a lot of unnecessary managers) were willing to pass me around the loop as if it was a game of hot potato.
It was 2006, Facebook was only open to college students, Myspace accounts were useless for complaints, and blogs were just online dairies. The power of a complaint letter was still strong. I often think if I was nicer (which I was in the beginning) maybe they could’ve given me a credit or free phone to come a resolution.
Anger got me no where back in 2006 and it will still get you no where now. Pretend a person you respect is on the other end, because all businesses want to talk to a nice person and one rude customer can lead to a very bad day for the customer service representative. Which as you know why some people talk to you with an attitude. People have high expectations of customer service and legally they don’t have to be nice, you are just supposed to get what service you paid for.
Here are some options to keep it cool when the service or product you received isn’t to your liking:
1. Put yourself in their shoes - Mistakes happen, and you aren’t perfect. Remember they don’t work for you. You’re just their client. Corporations like AT&T or retail stores like JCPenny handle a lot transactions in a day and there are many temps, associates, supervisors, managers, department managers, VPs, Presidents, CEO, Chairmen and Stockholders within the company. Any one of those guys could’ve been the cause of your bad service. Imagining yourself as a member of the company may help keeping your blood from boiling.
2. Go Online! - Amazon one of my favorite places to buy anything! They also have excellent customer service. Instead of dealing with a number to call they have order management and email support to solve your problems. Banks sometimes have a live chat feature directly to customer service. Sears is able to use Facebook or Twitter to resolve customer complaints. They best part about this is all conversations are in writing and using social media you’re likely to gain supporters for your complaint which would make a company resolve your problem quicker.
3. Don’t leave negative reviews - Ebay is a famous for the quickly leaving negative reviews. Just because you haven’t received the products in three weeks doesn’t mean the first thing you do is leave a negative review… you’re simply closing the transaction when that happens. I’ve ordered many things from companies on Ebay and a few times my item just didn’t arrive because it was lost in the mail. Every time I emailed the seller and I got a new one right away. Sellers will likely do anything not to get a negative review. That is sometimes true for hotels. If you stayed at a hotel that just didn’t work for you, instead of writing a negative review, tell the hotel management how you feel and you’ll likely get something good out of it.
4. Try to keep all conversations in writing - This is a big one just because if you’ve kept your cool and calmly expressed your disappointment to the managers and still no resolution then at least you have all conversations in writing to present to your attorney or small claims court. If you mainly contacted customer service by telephone you might want to ask for the mailing address or email and provide a summary of the conversation and maybe they can solve it through writing. But if they’re unwilling to resolve your problem it’s best to take legal action.
Showing anger to others can immediately put up a brick wall. Learn to be open and clear thinking about conflicts in service or products. You’ll have a less stressful life!
So the next time, the restaurant messes up your food. Just finish your food if it’s still digestible and complain to the manager about your messed up food order or if you’ve lost your appetite let the manager know right way. Remember everyone’s got a superior!
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