“We got there by following your advice to just keep trying, be polite and firm”

Martha Mauser did all it by herself. She had a case — a good case — and she advocated it on her own.
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I know what you did last October (hint: begins with a “C”)

If you had a gripe about a product or service last month, you’re in good company.
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Got a complaint? Never say these 5 words

Orna Lenchner did it. Read more “Got a complaint? Never say these 5 words”

The biggest complaint mistake you’ll ever make

Pavel/Shutterstock
Pavel/Shutterstock
If you have a gripe with a company — and let’s face it, at some point, everyone has a gripe with a company — here’s a cautionary tale about complaining.

It comes to us by way of Tracey Phillips. She had a problem with a hotel’s change policy. Specifically, every time she changed the date of her stay, the hotel insisted on charging her a fee, which is an increasingly common problem.

Instead of the grassroots approach to problem-solving, which I always recommend — in other words, starting with a real-time resolution at the lowest level, and working your way up — Tracey went straight to the top. She wrote an impassioned letter to the CEO, asking for a one-time exception to the hotel’s rules.

And, no surprise, she hasn’t received a response yet.
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Should I shame, sue – or take it straight to the top?

Kuzma/Shutterstock
Kuzma/Shutterstock
Ever want to see how customers screw up? Then spend a few hours looking over the shoulder of a consumer advocate.

Watch the emails come in — and learn.

“Need help getting a refund on a non-refundable airline ticket,” the subject line reads on a message I received a few minutes ago.

I get a lot of travel complaints.

“Yesterday, I went to ER due to heart palpitation and chest pain,” the passenger explained. He phoned his airline to ask for a refund due to his medical condition — an understandable request, coming from someone who’s an infrequent flier.
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I can’t believe you wrote that!

Nicola/Shutterstock
Nicola/Shutterstock

I just wrapped up a review of my August emails — and wow, what an awesome collection of complaints!

To recap, one of my email addresses experienced a total meltdown, holding more than 10,000 messages in a queue since January. I explain everything in this post. And here’s a synopsis of the September emails.

It’s worth repeating that there are many ways of reaching me, including social media, my primary gmail address, [email protected], or phone.

I answer as promptly as possible — when the technology works.
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