As far as rejection letters go, the one I almost never use is unfailingly polite.
It’s apologetic. It blames a “system” in which the deck is stacked against you, the consumer, for my failure to accept a case. And it offers several other options, including small-claims court or a credit-card dispute, as possible alternatives.
But a few weeks ago on this site, I confessed that I hate using the rejection letter when someone turns to me for help as a consumer advocate.
“3 sweet lies you should thank a company for”
It was just a matter of time before corporations created the perfect form letter, capable of fooling a veteran consumer advocate. Or you.
You know what I’m talking about: those emails that say “we’re sorry you feel that way,” but offering you nothing for a customer-service failure.
Spotting a form letter used to be super easy, which was helpful, because you could quickly appeal the boilerplate rejection to a supervisor. In the early days of email, when low-level agents didn’t understand the difference between text and HTML, you could actually see the cut-and-paste responses, because they were rendered in a different font. You knew you were being fed a line.
Now? Not so much.
“Is your complaint being “form lettered”? Here are three ways to tell”
With only a few weeks left to leave your comments about the TSA’s controversial passenger screening methods, here’s a question worth asking: Is anyone listening?
If you said, “not really,” then maybe you know Theresa Putkey, a consultant from Vancouver. She had a run-in with a TSA agent recently after trying to opt out of a full-body scan, and sent a complaint letter to the agency assigned to protect America’s transportation systems.
Here’s the form response from the TSA:
“Is anyone really listening to your TSA complaints?”
I‘ve waged a long and lonely campaign against mindless form letters sent to customers by uncaring corporations.
It looks like I finally have some company.
“Ridiculous or not? Form letters that fail”