Getting action

I always tell consumers to leave their emotions at the door. The anger, frustration, and disappointment have to be taken out of your argument or only subliminally mentioned when you are trying to get action on your problem. It’s the hardest thing to do, but the most important tool to getting results.

If a business is not doing something right the first time, it’s unlikely more rage will help the situation. You’re frustrated and angry because the company dropped the ball along the way or treated you in a way you felt was wrong. Acting calmly will make you seem rationale and likely get this business to listen rather than run from your problem.

Once you raise your voice or threaten the company in any way, expect them to begin ignoring you. There is an art to negotiation and technique to follow for optimal results.

You need to tell them why you are not satisfied in a succinct manner and ask them to make it right with a reasonable solution.

When you have to call a consumer reporter or the BBB expect that there may be some negotiation in that solution. You may not get everything you want, but something is better than nothing.

The biggest key is finding someone in a position of power to make the change. Much to the surprise of consumers, even a district manager is not high enough to net you results. Sometimes it works, but often it doesn’t.

In big corporations, some key offices include the Office of the President, Consumer Affairs, and the Executive Appeals Teams.

Use the Internet to find the names of these people and maybe even emails. There is also a Consumer Action Handbook that’s put out each year with contacts for organizations throughout the country.

The book is also a great guide to complain successfully. It includes a draft of a letter and other tips. It’s a great guide and is free to download or get a hard copy of the book. It’s published once a year.

The bottom line: Keep your cool.

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