The Art of Complaining
I fear confrontation. Not all confrontation. Just with strangers. Strangers scare me. I am completely comfortable calling my friends on their shit and being a general pain in the ass to my near and dear, but if someone I’m not familiar with pisses me off I keep my rage to myself. Well NOT ANYMORE!!!
Thanks to a particularly assertive friend, I’ve begun to learn the subtle art of complaining in order to get what you want. Sometimes those things are FREE. Those are good times.
I have found, that when done correctly and tastefully, raising a stink when injustice occurs ends well for everyone. Keep in mind that although no one likes bad news, businesses appreciate constructive feedback and want to keep you happy and loyal. Below are a few tips that I’ve learned in my resent surge of consumer confidence.
1. Don’t be a dick
This is a multi-layered piece of advice, but the overall message is clear: your credibility suffers greatly if you go from zero to asshole in sixty seconds. Start off in a firm, but compassionate manner and then you have room to escalate and show them you really mean it if they aren’t immediately responsive. Nobody wants to help a jerk, so if you try at first to calmly state your case the other person is more likely to hear you out.
Also, keep in mind that there is a protocol for handling complaints, so don’t get pissed with the first person you talk to if they can’t deliver the results you desire, which leads me to my next point…
2. Hang up and try again
When you’re speaking to someone on the phone who is either completely unresponsive, combative, or generally moronic, there is a point of no return at which you should get off the phone and call back. If it is a large company you most likely won’t get the same person you were just speaking to and you both get a do-over at resolving the issue.
3. Climb the tree of command
When it becomes apparent that the person you are initially talking to either A. Doesn’t have the authority to help you or B. Doesn’t give a flying fuck, it is time to speak to the manager. If nothing else, asking for the manager shows them you mean business, and at that point, the magical gates of Getting What You Want-ville should come flying open.
Photo from: amexmovers.com