Consumer Complaints

At a time when shopping is big as well as returning items, we find items that don’t work or live up to our expectations. Rather than just complain, do something about it. It might surprise you. I bought two Miss a Kits and the pen didn’t work on either one. I wrote to the company about it and the company promptly sent me replacements.

In another situation, my Microsoft mouse stopped working. Microsoft’s customer service was easy to reach and will send a replacement as soon as it’s in stock. On the flip side, I contacted Logitech support to ask questions and it was one of the longest, most tortuous support calls.

The Dallas Morning News had an article on the topic and how to best go about product problems. The article included an interview with Tim Duffy, a consumer evangelist who says he’s not a fan of sites like Planet Feedback.

When something breaks or doesn’t work right, here are the steps that worked well for me:

  1. If the problem occurs within days after buying the item, return it to the store and exchange it or get a refund.
  2. If the problem occurs past the return date, go to the company’s Web site and search for information on the problem.
  3. If the Web site doesn’t have the answers, search the Internet for resolutions. This works more than you might think.
  4. Call the company if you make it this far. It might lead to a replacement, repair, or some other solution.
  5. Let others know about your experience by posting reviews on Amazon, forums, or wherever you like to share your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Consumer Complaints”

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  2. Funny I should read this today! I finally got to take back a 700.00 elliptical machine that I received in damaged condition. I wrote to them over a month ago, adding pictures of the damage. I originally said that I’d agree to some of my money refunded since the machine works. It’s just cosmetic damage.

    I received an email that someone would get with me within a week. I wrote back in a week saying that nobody has responded. I got an identical email to the second one. One week later, I wrote again saying that I’m getting angry now and I want a response immediately. I received yet another IDENTICAL “we’ll contact you within a week” email.

    Finally, last week I wrote, “I am now past angry and I want you to pick up the machine and give me a full refund”.

    I recieved notifcation today that they’re sending UPS to pick it up.


  3. Just came across E-Writing Bulletin, which pointed to Annual Email Survey from Hornstein. It reports a decline in email customer service for the fourth year in a row.

    “Hornstein’s survey found that in 2005 only 42% of companies responded within 24 hours, down a full third from a high of 63% in 2002.”

    Awful. I make it a policy to respond to business emails within 24 hours. I might miss on occasion, but it is generally not the first email.


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